We accept that writing this story is as painful as sitting at home twiddling thumbs. While it is being said that the lockdown might be for 21 days, there are reports that it could be extended to three months. The grace period that the government has got right now, will be used to bring in essential supplies. The lockdown not only affects us but our beloved cars and motorcycles too. Here are the methods in which you can care for them.
Cleaning the vehicle inside out
It is essential that you clean the car/motorcycle before storing it away. This is to be done so that the vehicle remains clean and relatively fresh when it’s the time to use it. Moreover, any grime left on the vehicle due to it being unclean will not eat the paint.
If it’s a car, please ensure that you use an alcohol-based sanitiser and a cotton swab to clean crevices. A motorcycle will not have too much surface area to clean though it is advised to use the same sanitiser for disinfecting purpose.
Ensure that there is little or next to no moisture on the car or motorcycle once you are done with the cleaning part.
Use a parking cover
A covered parking is a good idea. You will have one less thing to worry about during this lockdown. Since most of our audience lives in crowded cities, finding a secure parking is as easy as a needle in a haystack. Investing in a good parking cover is essential. A snug fit should ensure that the wind doesn’t play havoc either.
For both cars or motorcycles, tie the parking cover tightly. For bikes, keeping a brick on either side of the cover with a pinch under the stone works too.
Keeping a vehicle unused for long periods means the battery is going to go kaput. For those motorcycles with a kick starter, it will not be a big issue. However for those who have one of those modern vehicles, you are in for trouble. Every 3-4 days, make sure that you start the motorcycle and keep it running in neutral for at least half an hour. If the bike is parked in your motorcycle compound under the watchful eyes of the security, you can go about doing your regular chores. If not, you have to stand guard there.
As for cars, when you start the vehicle, make sure you roll down the windows and let the trapped air get out. Once this is done, switch on the air-conditioning. Keep the car running for a good half an hour. Both the methods will ensure that the alternator has enough run time to avoid the battery getting discharged.
If you are quarantined elsewhere from your vehicle, ask a known and knowledgeable person to disconnect the battery altogether. This will help conserve the battery for later use.
While 21 days isn’t a really long period , the uncertainty of the lockdown is evident. One can choose to empty the fuel tank of the vehicle and keep it dry. This is good for carbureted two-wheelers. However, those using a fuel injection or specifically the crop of BS6 ones, it is advisable to keep the fuel tank at 3/4 level. As it is, one is going to keep the engine running for half an hour once in every 3-4 days. So this fuel will be consumed.
Fuel gumming takes place if there is a long period of inactivity. This, later will involve cleaning fuel injectors or carburetors and might not give the desired performed. Rings true even for CNG vehicles.
Use of handbrake
Motorcyclists take a break here. This is for ’em car guys. While the general practice is to use handbrake while parking a car, here it may not apply. We mean, the rule might. You see parking the car for a long time means that the handbrake has to work extra. Over a period, the rear brake pads might get jammed and will cause a screeching noise while the vehicle is in motion. Not apt, eh! In this scenario, try and park the vehicle on a level ground. If this isn’t possible, engage a gear while parking. Keep two bricks ahead of the front wheels.
Use of main stand
While the side stand is convenient and a standard feature for almost all (we are looking at you Honda) two-wheelers, in this case try and use the main one. It will protect the tyres. If your vehicle doesn’t have a main stand (sportsbike pretenders), well there isn’t much you can do. Investing in a roller pitstop is a good idea though now it’s too late.
There you have it. Lockdown tips for the cars and motorcycles. As far as you are concerned, stay put at home, enjoy time with loved ones and plan the next road trip.