As the country begins to reopen after an unprecedented pandemic, it might be time to consider prepping your vehicle to get back on the road regularly. After spending so much time in your garage or driveway, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is ready to take on your commute.

After a long period of disuse, it’s a good idea to air out your vehicle, check your tire pressure and let it run for at least 10 minutes before driving.

Proper tire inflation will ensure better fuel economy, steering and a longer tire life. In order to check the inflation, you’ll need a tire pressure gauge and to fill your tires, you’ll need access to an air compressor. Most gas stations provide free air. Or, you can bring your vehicle to the Folsom Auto Mall to have your tires checked and filled, if necessary.

How to check tire pressure & refill air:
Start with cold tires, then check the manufacturer’s recommended PSI (pound-force per square inch); this can typically be found on the sticker inside your car door or in your owner’s manual. Most passenger vehicles’ tire pressures fall between 27 and 35 PSI. Remove the valve cap from your tire and apply the pressure gauge. Press down hard enough that the air hissing sound stops. Read the measurement on the bar that extrudes from the gauge. Check all four tires. Then use an air compressor to fill any tires with low pressure. Place the nozzle securely on the valve stem and press the lever to add air. Check the pressure as you go to ensure the correct amount.

If you haven’t run your car for a few months or more, there’s a chance your battery will either need to be recharged or replaced. Luckily, charging or replacing your battery is fairly simple. If your car doesn’t start, you can try jump starting it with jumper cables.

How to use jumper cables:
First, you’ll need a set of jumper cables and another running vehicle (or a portable jump starter). With both vehicles off, attach the red jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal on your dead battery (+), the attach the other red clamp to the positive terminal (+) on the live battery. Then attach the black clamp on the negative (-) terminal of the live battery and the other black clamp on a bare piece of metal like a non-painted bolt or screw (not the battery) on the dead vehicle. Start the functioning vehicle and let it idle for a few minutes. Then start your vehicle and let it idle. If everything seems to be functioning properly, remove the black clamp from the battery first, then disconnect it from your car. Finally, remove the red clamp from the good battery and then from your battery. It’s a good idea to bring your vehicle in to a professional - like a certified technician at the Folsom Auto Mall - to run a full check on your battery and make sure it doesn’t need to be replaced. If it does, don’t fret - it’s fast and easy and you can save 10% Off with the Folsom Auto Mall.

Once you’ve moved your vehicle, check the ground for any potential leaks - if you find one (or more), note the amount fluid and color, then call your trusted Folsom Auto Mall service tech with questions or concerns. They can probably tell you what it might be, if it’s safe to drive or needs urgent repair.

Finally, schedule a service appointment as soon as possible so that a certified technician can check your fluids, belts, hoses, tires and brakes. Most inspections are complimentary and can not only keep your car in good condition, but can also keep you safe.

Good luck getting back on the road!
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