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Protecting your car during quarantine amid COVID-19

Many folks are driving less and leaving cars at home, which can lead to dead batteries and other issues.

MAINE, USA — It's all too common to go out to your car on a cold winter morning to find a dead car battery, but even without freezing temperatures, Mainers are still needing a jump start to get their cars up and running. 

Amid Maine's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic, fewer cars are on the road. As your vehicle sits in the driveway, problems could develop. 

"A lot of people aren’t driving right now, so vehicles sit dormant," said Erik Lowell, service advisor at Duval's Service Center in South Portland. "You see things like tire pressure drops, mice and rodent infestation in the air filters and such." 

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Those are just some of the issues folks may be discovering with their cars however after letting them sit for days and weeks. A common issue many are facing is dead car batteries. 

"It’s definitely more call volume than we’re used to seeing in April," said Nate Wardwell, owner of Union Street Towing in Bangor.

Wardwell says he and his team have been performing roughly 20 jumps a day during the pandemic. "As a battery gets some age on it, it’s doesn’t hold a charge as it should," said Wardwell. 

Many car batteries are losing their charge as they sit and go without being driven. Car experts say there are easy ways to prevent dead batteries, and other issues to your car, however. 

"Take the time to just perform a visual check around your vehicle. Look for things like tires that look low. One thing that a lot of people like to do is start their car up just to make sure it starts, and that can actually lead to a dead battery," said Lowell. 

To avoid draining your car battery, technicians say it's as simple as getting out and driving every few days. 

"Most vehicles need anywhere between a half-hour and 45 minutes of running, even some driving to get that battery back to its full state of charge," said Lowell.

“Get out and drive. That’s what’s best for it. Just got for a ride and get the battery back up," said Wardwell. 

Under Maine's stay-at-home order, car repair shops and tire service centers are open for business, so if you do run into car troubles, you will be able to have your vehicle serviced. 


At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.newscentermaine.com/coronavirus.


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