How to keep your car in good condition during lockdown

Thursday April 9 2020

Once the engine is running, power for the car

Once the engine is running, power for the car is supplied by the alternator but in this case, the battery will lose the charge since it will not be moving. NET PHOTO  

By David S. Mukooza

Cars often get mechanical issues when not driven and parked for long. We share some of the tips on how to keep your car in top shape during this lockdown.
Fuel
According to Bosco Kigongo, a mechanic, because the temperatures keep changing, your car’s fuel tank might be invaded by water, which collects as droplets on the side surface of the tank.

Therefore, he says, maintain a full tank or almost full tank of fuel so that the amount of air above the fuel is less leading to lower condensation. Bosco says the problem might start with mildly annoying trouble with the performance of the engine and eventually lead to damage so severe that you need a new engine and fuel injectors.

Cleaning
Thoroughly clean up your car, especially the interior, to avoid odour. According to Richard Mudoola, who works at a washing bay on salaama road, the exterior of the car equally needs routine washing because cars, especially the white ones might lose their colour when take long without washing it.

Disconnect battery
Ronald Lubega, a mechanic, says this means an automotive battery, which is rechargeable and supplies electrical energy to a motor vehicle. It is also known as an SLI battery and its main purpose is to start the engine.

He says once the engine is running, power for the car is supplied by the alternator but in this case, the battery will lose the charge since it will not be moving.

He, therefore, advises that you remove the battery terminals to keep charge on the battery or else start the car every three days and let it idle for about 10 minutes.

Jack up the car
We do not know when the private SUVs will be allowed to move again but according to Ronald Lubega, a mechanic, in the event that the period exceeds four months, your car might develop flat spots on the tyres.

He, therefore, advises that when tyres are flat, use four jacks (or blocks of wood) so that the car does not rest on the wheels. He, however, cautions those using jacks to be take care so that the car does not fall off and cause harm.
Do not engage the handbrake
The hand brake or foot brake is engaged when the car is parked. The handbrake keeps the car in place when the footbrake malfunctions or fails. But, its primary function is to remain engaged in the parking mode until the driver pushes the release button. It is quite helpful since it stops a car from rolling away when parked on a slope or a surface that is uneven.

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However, according to Lubega, engaging the handbrake over an extended period can result in the brake pads getting stuck to the discs or drums, causing difficulty the next time you drive the car.

He says instead, use wheel chocks such as a piece of wood or even a brick, to keep it from rolling and leave the car in first gear or in parking mode for the automatic transmission ones.

dsmukooza@ug.nationmedia.com

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