4 Essential Tips for Maintaining Your Car During a Quarantine

Idle automobiles need love, too.


With over two-thirds of Americans in 30 states in quarantine under state-mandated stay-at-home orders, many automobile owners will be driving much less—if at all—during the coronavirus pandemic. 

But even an idle car needs some basic upkeep. Steven Greenspan, an instructor and education manager at the Universal Technical Institute, is an ASE-certified Master Technician who previously worked for 30 years at multiple Chevrolet dealerships. Below, Greenspan gives us his four essential tips for maintaining a car while in quarantine: 

Maintain Gas and Oil 

“Gasoline will typically last in a car for 6 months. However, the key to making gasoline last this long is to make sure the owner has a full tank of gas, which will help reduce condensation due to weather fluctuations. If one is planning to have his or her car idle for an extended period of time with diesel fuel, the key is to fill up the tank with clean fresh diesel. If you have a full tank of fresh clean diesel, it can last 6 months to a year. E85 tends to degrade faster than gasoline or diesel, especially when it has a higher alcohol content. In a car that will not be driven regularly, E85 lasts less than six months.”

Drive Regularly to Charge Your Battery


“Today’s high-tech vehicles often have multiple computers that are always on and monitoring the car’s systems. These computers do absorb energy, and if a car is sitting and not recharging, the battery can die within two weeks. To avoid a dead battery, it’s recommended that the owner take the car for a short 5-10-minute drive.”

Check Your Tire Pressure

“Tires naturally lose air, so it is a good idea to frequently check the tire pressure and to maintain the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire pressure. Tires filled with nitrogen leak less than those filled with oxygen.” 

Examine Your Engine Belt 

“Engine belts and anything that is made of rubber will deteriorate over time. If the rubber is in good shape, it will typically last 6 months.”