Just because you’re driving less doesn’t mean you can skip vehicle maintenance

On average, Americans are driving 2,000 miles less since the start of the pandemic
Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:59 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Millions of Americans are staying home more often during the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you should skip your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. A lot of us are doing a lot less of this - driving!

“We know people are driving less since the pandemic. They aren’t leaving their homes as much and people aren’t doing that commute to work,” Emilie Voss with Carfax said.

In fact, CARFAX data shows people are driving an average of almost 2,000 miles less a year than they normally would in the time since COVID-19 travel restrictions were enacted.

However, driving less doesn’t mean a vehicle no longer needs maintenance. Even if the odometer isn’t moving much, the clock is still ticking on a car’s maintenance schedule.

“A lot of manufacturers give maintenance recommendations based on mileage or time and it’s that time component that’s really important here because you might not be hitting the mileage recommendations but you should still be getting regular maintenance because the time might be elapsing,” said Voss.

So, if your car or truck hasn’t reached the recommended mileage for your next oil change - if it’s been a year since you got one - it’s probably time for another. The same goes for checking your tire pressure and tire rotation.

“A lot of us have a front-wheel-drive on our vehicles now and even if the car is parked in a garage, front-wheel drive puts more weight on those front tires, even when it’s sitting parked,” Voss added.

A best practice here is to drive a car at least once a week for several miles to get all the fluids flowing and to allow the engine, transmission, and brakes to get the kind of regular use that will keep them working properly.

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