Useful Car Tips

How to Enjoy Cars During Lockdown

April 29, 2020
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been mandated to comply with mandatory lockdowns or quarantines to safeguard ourselves and our communities. With all this newfound time spent at home, you may be looking for activities to do to stay occupied and mentally stimulated. So what can you do? If you’re a vehicle owner, you’re in luck. Some jurisdictions are restricting all non-essential travel, meaning only traveling for groceries or medicine. Because of this, we can’t recommend our readers to go on non-essential drives for pleasure. Instead, our cars provide several outlets to expend some time and keep us occupied at home.


Spring cleaning is upon us again, but this year it doesn’t just apply to our homes. With lockdowns and quarantines keeping us indoors, now is a perfect time to clean your car too. Wondering where to begin? We’ve got you covered with our handy spring cleaning guide, which covers everything in your interior and exterior and all the nooks and crannies in between. Spring cleaning your car is much like cleaning your home: for a proper deep cleaning, you’ll need to vacuum, clean your windows, and wash your floor (mats). Other crucial steps include hand washing and waxing the exterior, applying vinyl conditioner, and shampooing the seats, among several other steps outlined in the article. For more specific advice, we’ve also published straightforward guides teaching you how to clean your interior (and keep it protected) and how to take care of your paint. Using a short list of relatively inexpensive products you can order online, you’ll be able to deep clean your car and eliminate excess germs and dust.


All vehicles require periodic maintenance to keep them running in good shape, and lockdown presents us with opportunities and time to do so. If you’ve never worked on your car before, don’t worry! You may be surprised how easy and inexpensive it is to perform basic maintenance tasks if you have the right tools. Changing your oil is one of the most simple yet rewarding tasks you can do; not to mention the money you’ll save by not going to a dealership or mechanic! Our guide goes over exactly what you’ll need to do, all the way from assembling the correct tools, to choosing the right oil you need for the job. If you own a motorcycle, basic maintenance is generally even easier. In a previous guide, we covered how to change your oil, air filter, and how to check tire pressure and tread. Only basic knowledge and tools are required for these jobs, making them great starting points for any beginners looking to save a little money and learn valuable new skills.


Although some car dealerships are staying open, it may yet be wise to avoid visiting them unless absolutely necessary. Instead, online car shopping is a viable option regardless if you’re looking to pick up a used or new ride. Websites such as CarGurus, CARFAX, and Autotrader are just a few of the many online car marketplaces prospective buyers may peruse. Websites such as these allow users to search vehicles through a variety of parameters ranging from year, seating capacity, and fuel economy, among many, many more. Some even provide filters for theft, crash, or rental history. These features allow virtually anyone to find the perfect vehicle that satisfies their requirements. Some websites also provide price calculators which attempt to calculate the true market price of a vehicle, although these figures may not always be accurate—showing prices that are either too high or too low. Because of this, we recommend that prospective buyers analyze market value calculators through several different sources.


But what if you just want to drive; to get on the open road and hit up your favorite scenic routes? As we’ve noted, some jurisdictions are clamping down on non-essential travel of any kind, which naturally includes even solo drives for pleasure. Fortunately, there is a solution, albeit perhaps an unconventional one: sim racing! Sure, no racing simulator will ever quite capture all the visceral sensations and joy that driving an actual car brings, but some will come close. First, you’ll need a decent gaming computer or video game console and preferably a sim racing rig, which consists of a fixed seat and frame that you can attach your pedals and shifter to. Pick up a digital copy of Assetto Corsa (or rFactor 2, or iRacing, or any number of excellent sims available), buy a wheel and pedal set such as the budget Logitech G27 or the higher-end Thrustmaster T300RS, set up your monitor(s) or virtual reality goggles, and drive off into the virtual sunset! Although no replacement for actually driving a car, we must make do with what we have. While we’re in lockdown, consider cleaning your (real) car inside and out, performing basic maintenance, and then relaxing with a nice virtual drive with your favorite simulator. For now, stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy!
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