The outbreak of Covid-19 brings great travel preparation opportunities for those of us who like to travel. We agree with officials of the American Automobile Association. They project that many Floridians’ cars could be parked in the driveway for at least another month.
It’s all due to the statewide “stay-at-home” order which is part of Governor Ron DeSantis executive order.
According to figures issued by the Florida Petroleum and Marketers Association, Floridians are already driving less. Due to so-called “social distancing,” bars have been closed, inside dining has been shut down and events have been cancelled in wholesale lots.
In fact, compared to this time last year, gasoline demand is down as much as 50 percent in large metro areas.
Officials of the AAA are suggesting Floridians remember to check on their vehicles. We think that this is a great idea.
“Leaving the car unused for an extended period of time could leave it vulnerable to problems with your battery, brakes, and tires,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. He suggests that there are a number of things people can do to make sure their vehicles are ready to roll when it’s time to hit the road again.
Things to Do
- Battery Boost. Start your vehicle every couple of days to keep the battery at a full state and prevent deterioration. Let the engine run for a few minutes to recharge, then turn it off. If you have one, consider using a Battery Tender or other maintenance-type battery charger. The Battery Tender would remain connected to the stored vehicle.
- Tire Pressure. Add 10 psi of pressure (more than usual) to each tire to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires. This occurs when the area of the tire touching the ground becomes rigid due to sitting in one position for an extended period. You can also move the vehicle periodically.
- Windshield Wiper Placement. Prop up the wiper arms so the blades are off the windshield and won’t get stuck to the glass.
- No Parking Brake. Don’t use the parking brake when storing the vehicle. The brake could become frozen, and the brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums. With an automatic transmission, simply place the vehicle in park. If the car has a manual transmission, put it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks to help hold the vehicle in place.
- Sun Shade. If your car is always outdoors and exposed to the sun, use a sun shade. This will help prevent the sun’s UV rays from deteriorating your dashboard and steering wheel.
We have started this process already. Our first move was to take the Funmobile to our favorite (local) mechanic. He did an oil change, brake job and gave it the once-over to make sure everything is in running order.
Moreover, we went through our traveling tool box and first aid kit to make certain they were well-stocked and up to date. As bad as it is, the outbreak of Covid-19 brings great travel preparation opportunities.
Even more than preparing and updating our vehicle, we have had a chance to learn how to adapt our travel to the so-called “social distancing” restrictions by finding drive-in restaurants, drive-in theaters, drive-through attractions and even drive-in churches for corporate worship.
Additionally, we have had a great opportunity to plan for where we will go and what we will do when this is over. This also has caused us to both look back at the places we have been and the places we would like to go. Revisiting some places is a very attractive option but I can tell you the idea of exploring new places also is a great pull.
So you can see, the onset of Covid-19 brings great travel preparation opportunities. Additionally, we look forward to the kinds of deals we expect when hotels, restaurants, beaches, attractions and the rest of Florida re-opens. And the best part is, we look forward bringing our travels to you.
Stay tuned. We are praying it won’t be that long.