Fire up engine once a week during MCO, and other tips from Proton on maintaining idle cars

Tan Mei Zi
Proton has outlined some tips for Malaysians to maintain their vehicles whilst their cars are parked at home. — Picture courtesy of Proton

PETALING JAYA, April 2 — The extension of the movement control order (MCO) to April 14 means many Malaysians won’t be getting behind the wheel as often as they used to.

National automobile maker Proton has reminded drivers to start their car engine at least once a week for 10 minutes to charge the battery, along with a series of other helpful tips to maintain one’s vehicle during the shutdown period.

A press release from the company revealed that car engines need to be started regularly to allow the alternator to charge the battery, which provides electrical power to other parts of the vehicle.

While you may be tempted to switch on the radio or air-conditioning as you wait for the battery to charge, Proton said it was best to keep them turned off as these processes will drain current from the battery and reduce the efficiency of the charging process.

Maintaining your car is key if you want to ensure safety and cleanliness. — Picture courtesy of Proton

Proton also reminded drivers to check their tyre pressures every two weeks and to head to the nearest petrol station to pump them back up if they are not within the recommended pressure range.

Flat spots can also appear on your tyres if the car has been parked in the same place for several days, so it is recommended to move your vehicle forwards and backwards when you’re charging the car battery.

You should also lift up the windshield wipers as Malaysia’s hot weather can lead to heat transfer from the windshield and heightened exposure to UV rays, which can cause wipers to stiffen up and lose their efficacy.

And of course, don’t forget to sanitise frequently touched surfaces such as the steering wheel, door handles, window switches, and gear lever with some disinfecting wipes, but take care not to go overboard as too much moisture can damage the car interior.

Malaysia has seen a sharp drop in traffic ever since the government ordered all non-essential workers to stay at home under the MCO to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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