Whitney Russell
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How to Safely Service Your Car at a Dealership During the Quarantine

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mechanic working under car hood engine
If your vehicle needs an emergency repair during the quarantine, some dealership service departments are open during limited hours
Getty image from NLM Flickr

We’ve already discussed some easy ways to keep your car in shape when you’re driving it less during the COVID-19 outbreak. But what if your vehicle has a serious maintenance issue during the quarantine? Here’s how to interact with and make use of your dealership’s service department while keeping everyone safe.


Schedule Maintenance: Set up a service appointment for your ride


Call in advance

phone call
Call ahead before bringing your vehicle to the dealership for service to find out if and how they are doing things differently during COVID-19
Photo: Breakingpic via CC

Even if your state is one of the many that are observing a stay-at-home order, it’s likely that your local dealership’s service department is open during restricted hours. Call ahead to schedule an appointment instead of walking in. Speaking with a service department technician is also a great way to confirm if your car’s problem is as urgent as you think, or if you can wait until after the quarantine to resolve it.

Leave your car overnight if possible

person holding car keys key fob take the keys designated driver
Consider dropping off your car instead of staying with it, in case the waiting area is closed
Photo: Max Pixel

When you call to schedule an appointment, ask if the waiting area is open. If so, inquire whether the dealership has implemented stricter cleaning regimens during COVID-19. Bring hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing wipes with you and wear a face mask and gloves, to help shield yourself from germs in the waiting room.

Another alternative is to drop off your car and leave it overnight if you’re able to. That way you can avoid potentially exposing yourself and others in the waiting area while the technicians work on your vehicle.

Clean your car once you bring it home

wash your car clean sanitize spray dirt dashboard wipe
Give your car a deep clean after its service department to help ensure that it’s germ-free
Photo: The News Wheel

Some dealership service departments are implementing more rigid sanitization practices for customers’ vehicles. Even if a staff person has thoroughly cleaned your vehicle before they hand you the keys, it’s best to sterilize your vehicle when you get it home just to be safe. Make sure to clean commonly-touched areas both outside and inside of your car, such as door handles, the steering wheel, and control knobs.

Arm yourself with these helpful strategies to sanitize your car against coronavirus. And for more tips on maintaining your vehicle during the coronavirus lockdown, check out this article.


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