As a Ventura County business, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims of the recent fires. And while the safety of you and your loved ones should be everyone’s top priority and concern, those who know Mirek know that he is always stressing the importance of protecting your car as well! Therefore, the following includes some important information for how to maintain and prepare your vehicles.
Is your car is being affected by fire ash and debris?
If you are in an area where there is debris in the air, then yes, it affects your car! To minimize the damage you must wash away all debris to keep it from corroding the paint on your car. The ash might look fine while dry, but the next time your car gets wet, the elements that mix together can become highly corrosive. (For example, potassium in the ash, when mixed with water, will form potassium hydroxide, which has a similar corrosive effect as drain cleaner.)
Where do I leave my car?
Keep all vehicles in a secure garage and be sure vehicle windows and sunroofs are closed to minimize any residual exposure to the ash.
If car must be left outside the next best option is a fitted car cover to protect vehicle surfaces and keep excessive ash residue off of painted surfaces, wheels, and tires as much as much as possible.
If neither of these options are available to you. Make sure to wash your car once a day to minimize vehicle corrosion.
What do I do when the fires are over?
Once the fires are over have your car inspected by a licensed mechanic…we know a good one if you need a referral! 😉 If necessary, replace the engine air filter, and have mechanics inspect and replace ventilation filters in the passenger compartment. A dirty air filter can restrict fuel economy and increase vehicle emissions.
Have you taken your car in for maintenance?
It is so important to keep your car up to date with all routine maintenance; you never know when something might decide to fail, and we don’t want that to be at a time of emergency. Make sure you’ve checked your tire pressure, battery, lights and all car fluids.
Do you have a car emergency kit?
We suggest basic tools, a good flashlight, water bottles, extra cash and a first aid kit. For women, it is a good idea to keep a pair of walking shoes as well. If possible, a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack and a portable battery jumper and empty gas can might prove useful as well. Given the current environment with these fires, it may also make sense to have a blanket, change of clothes, and some emergency canned food in the event of a quick evacuation.
We hope that the above tips prove helpful to you. Should you have any car troubles, please call Mirek at German Tech in Thousand Oaks, which offers maintenance and full body work services by skilled professionals.
Take care and please stay safe!