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If you've had to put the brakes on driving your car during the coronavirus lockdown, or if it's just been a while since that engine has purred, experts say you should check out your ride before letting that rubber hit the road. Fox News spoke with Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesperson for AAA Northeast, about what you should check your car for if it hasn’t moved since coronavirus lockdowns were introduced. Even if you neglected any type of car care before or during the lockdown, Sinclair says these tips can help ensure you can cruise safely as states re-open.
Fox News: What should people be checking as they prepare to start their cars again post-lockdown?
Robert Sinclair Jr.: The first thing you need to do before you get on the road is check that tire pressure because if that vehicle's been sitting, the tires will lose air. And if you weren't diligent before, they’re probably underinflated, which is a very dangerous situation. You [also] want to check your battery. If the vehicle starts, great, but you want to have a look at those battery terminals. You're looking for that white oxide, that corrosion that kind of looks like sand that's around the terminals. It can also be down in the terminals between the battery post and the terminals going to the ignition.
Fox News: Should people get an oil change before they drive their cars again?
Robert Sinclair Jr.: Before you hit the road, check your fluids. Oil, certainly transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, power steering fluid. Make sure those fluids are up to snuff.
Fox News: Should people put a fuel stabilizer in their gas tank?
Robert Sinclair Jr.: Some are recommending that you put a fuel stabilizer in the gasoline if your vehicle has been sitting a couple of months. That might not be necessary. Gasoline is not naturally stable. It becomes what it is as a result of mixing chemicals and the application of heat and catalysts. After a lot of time, I would say a year or more, it might start to separate into various components that are not good for your fuel system or your engine. The best thing to do to prevent all that is to keep the tank as full as possible. That's going to eliminate any condensation from forming in the gas tank.
Fox News: What else should people look out for before they drive again?
Robert Sinclair Jr.: Rodents could make a home under the hood. It's fairly warm, it's protected, it's certainly dry. There are sprays that can deter rodents camping out under your hood. They generally have the scent of spearmint or the scent of a predator.