There are over 4 Million COVID-19 cases worldwide as of writing this article. And that is expected to grow at an even more exponential rate soon.
In such a scenario, you, of course, adhere to the government guidelines and quarantine yourself. But what if you’re met with an emergency and need to travel?
And what if your car refuses to start or is in dire need of repair due to other malfunctions? Can you ensure your entire family’s security in such compromised circumstances?
The question is tough, but the answer is yes if you know how!
You can’t control a machine from malfunctioning over time without maintenance. Moreover, there are over 30,000 components in an average vehicle, and sometimes parts wear out or fail and need repair.
But you can always ensure safety by asking the right questions, the next time you visit an auto repair shop.
What Precautionary Measures will you be Taking to Prevent the Spread?
This is the most important question you will be asking any potential auto repair technician. Are you sanitizing your hands and equipment at regular intervals? Are your mechanics using gloves while working on every vehicle?
Get an answer to these questions in a very specific manner. If the auto repair shop adheres to the guidelines provided by the government, only then proceed with your query.
CDC guidelines strictly convey that every shop needs to move its commitment to a facility where sanitization can be carried out with ease.
So do not hesitate to enquire about these nitty-gritties.
And if your car has already broken down and you need emergency assistance such as towing, your safety regards should be even higher.
Tow your car safely during the coronavirus and choose a towing service provider that commits to this obligation.
Will You Sanitize the Car after the Repair?
When the job is done, and you get your car back, that’s the most crucial phase of auto repair for you at the moment. Beware of even the slightest contact of your car with a COVID-19 positive person, as the virus is prone to staying active on such surfaces for 12 hours or more.
And if you drive during that time, there is a high chance that you might get infected.
Sanitizing the car after repairs will prevent the transfer of the virus (if any).
So ask clearly whether your car will be sanitized post repairs? If yes, then proceed with other questions, or else, move on to another shop.
Will You Provide a Loaner Vehicle? If Yes, Then will it be Sanitized?
One of the easily overlooked questions is, how will you manage after sending your car for repairs?
Do you have another vehicle for backup? Can a friend or family member lend you a car?
If not, will the auto repair shop lend you one during the time your vehicle is undergoing repairs?
Most auto repair shops provide a loaner vehicle as a complementary service. So do not be hesitant to ask about it.
And if they say yes, proceed with this another critical question, “Will that car be sanitized?”
Accept the offer only if the answer to both the questions is yes.
How will you ensure safety during the test drive?
You might overlook a few simple yet essential questions. What about a test drive? How will you ensure safety during that?
As per the CDC guidelines, every mechanic should wear gloves and a mask while working on every vehicle.
Likewise, the same rules must apply to test drives. So, stay vigilant on this.
Have Your Employees Been Tested?
You might be taking all the precautions and following through on all the sanitary measures. Still, all these efforts are futile if one of the employees working at the auto shop is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.
Other random customers are not the only threats of transmission. There’s a chance of your vehicle being infected by an infected employee.
Ask very explicitly if their employees have taken the test. And if yes, what were the results?
Curbing the virus has become tougher than ever, as the pandemic is spreading like wildfire, with cases increasing exponentially.
Hence, it all boils down to us—the way we handle it, precautions we take to control the spread, questions we ask, and efforts we make to reduce physical contact as much as we can.
Be safe and ask wise questions before proceeding for any service during this pandemic. Your health is most important above all else!
Lary Cook works with a towing and auto repair service provider in Doylestown, Pennsylvania A&G Customs. They deal with all kinds of auto & automotive repairs, classic car restoration, and 24/7 towing services.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
Photo attribution: Javier Alvarez @ JBER