Car Care During and After Corona Lockdown will become a must. So, we must know all Do’s and Dont’s for this purpose to ensure the smooth running of our cars.
The moment Corona lockdown ends, we all will be gearing to go but rushing towards your car, hold on.
After keeping at home for so long and abiding by social distancing to be safe, you might not want to jump into a car that has been sitting idle and gathering dust, and who knows what else. So you must sanitize the complete car before using and taking it anywhere. Let’s go through a detailed guide on how to do this.
The one piece of advice that the whole world has been following to curb the spread of COVID-19 is washing your hands with soap every time you go out or do some work. Do wash your hands before, after, and even in between while sanitizing your car.
Soap has always played an essential role in our healthy and hygienic living. But after the arrival of Coronavirus, it has become a must for all times as it breaks molecules and is the most effective weapon against invisible pathogens, including the COVID-19.
You need to give car care with a “soap bath or shampoo”—both on the outside as well as inside of the vehicle to lay off any viruses. You must start by making a bucket of soap solution using liquid soap, shampoo, washing powder, whichever is handy for you. In the case of a soap bar, you can break it into small pieces and place it in the bucket of water to let it mix well to form a lather.
Check for any creatures that may have gotten into your car’s engine compartment or wheel wells. Even generally, if a vehicle is kept unused for days, mice and rats have a habit of getting in it. Yet at times snakes, hares, squirrels, small birds, and also seek kittens shelter in the car bonnet. Under this lockdown, the movement of wildlife has increased, even in metros and urban areas.
Therefore, it becomes much more important to check for animals under your bonnet. But before opening the first tap gently on the fenders and hood and also kick the tyres. You must blow the horn to indicate to any wild visitors to let them know the time to leave has come.
Rats get into the engine compartment. Sometimes snakes take shelter in a car tyre. We have a habit of eating and littering in a car which is not good car care habit. So any fallen food crumbs or wrappers can act as a medium to attract bacteria and germs. You must clean out the complete vehicle, including the boot, and remove everything you can pick with your hands. Wearing gloves before doing this is an excellent idea.
All other litter, including food crumbs, must be removed from the car. You must pledge not to eat in the car. Bits that cannot be removed by hand have to be removed with a vacuum cleaner. You can use a home vacuum cleaner too if you do not have a car vacuum cleaner. Before starting to vacuum, please beat out a bit of the dust by dusting the seats, door pads, dash, roof lining, etc., with a clean cloth. It will loosen the dirt to make the vacuum cleaning more effective and fast.
Gently spray the soap solution over the upholstery. The car is litter and dust-free, it’s time to start the sanitization. It is best to start with the passenger compartment.
Many studies show that a steering wheel has four times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. Approximately 700 different types of bacteria are found in a car interior, which is not cleaned regularly.
Therefore, the disinfecting of the steering wheel becomes the most crucial task. Everything must be washed with a soap solution. Indeed, you must not touch screens or electronics. You must use some wet wipes containing a portion of the alcohol to clean any electronic accessory. You may soak a clean cloth in an alcohol-based sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol solution. You should clean with the soap solution, with a gentle stroke of the hand. There should include no vigorous scrubbing.
You must let soap solution stay on the parts for 20 seconds before you wipe it off using a damp cloth. The other most contaminated parts in a car are cup holders. In case there had been a spillage of milk or sugar, gear shifter, seat belts, and the buckles, door handles (both inside and outside), all controls and switches or stalks for lights, indicators, etc. can also get contaminated.
Everything and anything touched often must be cleaned properly. You must clean- the car key and keychains, floor matting’s, seat adjustment controls, hand brake, start-stop button, horn button, glove box (inside and outside), and also all that is stored in it. Rear-view mirror, center console (again inside and out), fuel filler, interior lights, and complete glass area, bonnet release controls, and all upholstery including seats, dashboard, door pads, roof linings, door pads, parcel shelf, etc.
Vacuum clean the entire passenger compartment. Typically cleaning air conditioner and its filter is best done at the service station. But this is not the perfect time to go there. You must clean the a/c vents with an alcohol sanitizer. To get to reach difficult areas inside, use a cotton bud to clean internal parts.
Locate the AC filter. It is typically located just behind the glove box or dashboard or under the bonnet. Clean it with the cloth. Soak it in soap water after removing it from the mount. You can even use a vacuum cleaner. If it has been washed with soap, let it dry properly before putting it back in its place.
After cleaning the entire interior of the car, it will surely get dampen. Therefore, you must let the passenger compartment to get some air and sunlight. Roll down the windows. You must park the vehicle directly under the sun. Thoroughly making the car to have air and sunshine is very beneficial just like our clothes when dried in the sun, all the bad odors and bacteria are gone.
Similar to the human bodies getting Vitamin D from the sun, the UV light from bright sunshine kills germs. The luggage or boot compartment usually is where you also keep all your groceries or shopping, so this area must be cleaned to perfection. You must provide the same treatment to it as the interior of the car. Roll up windows and give the car body a shampoo wash. Using a soft sponge, spread soap solution all over the car and let it stay for some time on the car before washing it off with a lot of water. Do remember to pat dry with a cloth. Do clean the door frames, fuel filler cap, luggage compartment handle, etc.
The car is ready. Take it for a drive. Please ensure to keep a tissue box, a small bottle of liquid soap, hand sanitizer, bottles of water for drinking and washing hands, some alcohol-based wet wipes, and some masks.
The first place you should go with the car must be a fuel station. Fill the tank and do check the tyre pressure to ensure the smooth running of the vehicle. Maintain social distance and do tip the attendants as a kind gesture for their car care services.
The first drive after the car has been lying dormant for so long, should not be a short one. Take the car for a ride for at least 30 minutes or 8/10 kilometers. It will let lubricants and components to start correctly and get into running a temperature needed by them to stay fit. The alternator will get a chance to charge the battery successfully. While on the drive, please try to use all the lights, wipers, and other features to give them a workout. You don’t want the vehicle to start getting stuck because of disuse.
Drive the car for until few minutes till it reaches proper running temperature. Please do ensure that you travel in a car and car care has been taken to clean and sanitize it.
And finally, the corona pandemic is not going away anytime soon. We must learn to live with it and change our ways of living a Corona free life. Please maintain personal hygiene and do observe car care and hygiene too. Do not indulge in eating or drinking any hot or cold beverages in the car. Water is an exception, though—no littering around in the car.
Clean your hands with a soap solution or a hand sanitizer before and after getting into the car. Sanitize the car at regular intervals.
Wish you a safe drive and stay safe from Corona.