A local mechanic says that your health isn't the only thing at risk from COVID-19.

It turns out that social distancing may be killing your vehicle. Adam Albertelli from Bolt Mechanics in Poughkeepsie says that Hudson Valley drivers could unwittingly be damaging their cars.

Albertelli explains that leaving your automobile sitting in the driveway is actually worse than overworking it.  By not moving your car for a month or so, you could be doing much more damage than commuting back and forth long distances every day.

According to Albertelli, there are several things that can happen to a car that isn't regularly driven. The number one problem is battery drain. Your car battery naturally loses just a little bit of its charge every day. When you drive, your battery is automatically recharged. But by keeping the car idle for long periods of time, the charge can get so low that your car will no longer start. Albertelli suggests that if you do have to take your car off the road for an extended time to back it into the garage, that way it will be easier to jump the battery when it finally loses its charge.

Another problem that comes from not moving your car is tire damage. If tires aren't repositioned from time to time they risk getting "flat spots" from the weight of the vehicle. Permanently misshapen tires will need to be replaced.

Adam Albertelli
Adam Albertelli


For those who live in more rural areas, mice are also a concern. Albertelli says that having critters chew up the wires and inside of your engine is the "worst-case scenario." Damage like this could potentially cost thousands to fix.

Albertelli says you can prevent most issues by simply taking your car out for ten to fifteen minutes a couple times a week. He says that this will keep your battery charged, your tires moving and scare the critters away. Of course, problems can still happen with your vehicle. The good news is that mechanics have been deemed essential businesses, so garages like Bolt Mechanics in Poughkeepsie are open and ready to help.

Of course, extra precautions are being taken, so be sure to call first to see if there are any special instructions for getting your vehicle serviced. Bolt Mechanics offers pick-up and drop-off services, so customers don't even have to leave their homes.

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