If you’re a bad guy, you want to make sure you have a reliable getaway car, right? Every cops-and-robbers movie has a trusty escape vehicle of some kind idling at the curb. How else are you going to do a successful grab-and-run?
Well, you can’t—if your car isn’t working right. Case-in-point: On March 18, a pair of would-be thieves attempted a robbery at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Woodland, CA. They grabbed the goods, ran out the back door, jumped in the car …and a block away, their car stalled. They even got a push across the street from a Good Samaritan.
Car karma strikes again.
So what about the rest of us, especially those who have not started the car for months? What would happen if you had to make a fast getaway because of a disaster or a medical emergency? Would your car get you to where you need to go?
Although car maintenance may not be at the top of your to-do list these days, it’s important to maintain your car, not just for an emergency, but also because it can cost major bucks if you don’t.
Even if you just start it up to blow away the spiderwebs, it’s a good start.
Business Insider offers these tips from auto experts to keep your car in good repair during the lockdown:
Move it. Driving your car a few times around the block once a week can do a few things, including:
- Keeping the battery charged. Battery charge levels depend on the car’s age, whether it’s parked indoors or outdoors, etc., however starting it up and taking it for a few spins around the block can recharge it.
- Keeping the oil and lubricants moving. If a car sits for too long, oil starts to settle, fluids begin to separate, and seals can begin to dry out, which can cause damage to your vehicle.
- Keeping tires from getting flat spots. If a car sits for too long, the weight of the vehicle can cause flat spots to develop where tire is sitting on the ground. Tires lose air over time; if you allow your tires to sit on flat spots too long, you may have to end up paying for a new set of tires.
Fill the gas tank all the way up. Topping off your tank has two benefits: It helps prevent condensation from collecting inside the tank, and it helps stop gasoline fumes from building up to dangerous levels.
Don’t pull the parking brake. Brake pads and rotors can stick and/or fuse together if the parking brake is set for a long time.
Wax and seal. If you’re concerned about your paint job, wax and seal the paint; even if your car sits outside, the coating will help protect the paint from dust, twigs, and other debris.
Watch where you park. Pavement is the best, however gravel is a good alternative. Grass and dirt? Not so much. Moisture can travel into your car’s undercarriage, causing rust.
The thieves’ stalled car—which may or may not have been due to a lack of car maintenance—helped close the case quickly for the Woodland Police, nonetheless. The police even posted the incident on their Facebook page with a reminder that “even getaway cars need regular maintenance.”
The same goes for cars driven by the good guys. Even though you may not be going anywhere now, if you keep up your car’s maintenance, you’ll be ready if you ever need to make a quick getaway.
Car Sit Too Long? Make sure you take it to a repair shop that has a license in good standing with the Bureau of Automotive Repair.