Essential Checklist Before You Hit the Road After Lockdown

May 22, 2020

While other parts of the country, with low transmission of COVID-19 virus, have been put under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the Philippine government has put NCR and other provinces under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until May 31, 2020 which means that some industries are allowed to start their business operations, part of the guidelines on transportation is that only private vehicles and public shuttle services are allowed on the streets We have to bear in mind that lifting the quarantine does not mean we are safe from the coronavirus. Everyone must still observe proper safety protocols and are advised not to be complacent until a vaccine or a cure has been discovered. Don’t get too comfortable. 

Since most of you are going back to work and we’re pretty sure that you are excited to get out of your homes after a two-month quarantine period, make sure that your vehicle is in good shape for the following reasons: 1. It saves you money as a properly tuned engine increases fuel economy by 50% ; 2. It is time-efficient because you don’t need to go back and forth to the repair shops; 3.) It does not put your life at risk because a regularly maintained car is safer to drive; and 4.) It can be sold at a better price if you opt to upgrade after two or three years. 

We have compiled some essential checklists of guidelines to help ensure your safety before you hit the road. 

1. Check your car 
Maintaining your car shouldn’t be difficult. Check the items below to help ensure that your car is in proper condition before getting behind the wheel. 

a. Keyless Remote or Frequency Operated Button (FOB) 
Most vehicles are now using FOB to open and close their vehicle doors or trunk. Overtime, the battery of the FOB may wear out which may render it useless as a wireless remote key. If this happens and your remote key does not respond, you may use your spare key or mechanical key that is attached in your FOB to open the door. For some vehicle models, the mechanical key is hidden or can be pulled out from the FOB itself. Once your car dealer is open, make sure to ask them to replace the remote battery. 

b. Tires 
In some cases, a tire tends to lose air pressure if not in use overtime which may damage the tire and other components. Double check the amount of air pressure in your tires. Replace damaged tires with spare ones if necessary. Driving with deflated tires may consume more fuel and cause uneven driving conditions. Make sure to have the damaged tire fixed immediately so you may have something to use in the event of another tire problem while on the road. If more than one tire is damaged, remove it instead and bring it to a nearby tire facility or a gas station that can service your tires. Sometimes it may only need to be re-inflated. 

Important Note: Spare tire of some vehicles comes with the same mag wheel design while others have steel rims different from the four tires installed. If you have mag wheels on all five tires, there is a possibility that you forget that you have a damaged spare tire and are not able to have it fixed immediately. Better to have your damaged tire fixed immediately and replace the spare. For some reason, having a different rim in a spare tire can remind you visually that you are using a spare tire and that you have a damaged tire as a spare that needs to be repaired. 

c. Head Lights, Tail Lights and Signal Lights 
Ensure that all signal lights are working properly before you take your car out of the garage. Defective signal lights may cause confusion to other drivers as they may not know the direction you will take. If it’s working, make sure to use proper signaling when driving. 

d. Vehicle Fluids 
Keep the engine parts lubricated, cool and clean. To make sure the oil is sufficient, use a dipstick to check. If it's low, simply add engine oil specific to your vehicle engine type. You may refer to your vehicle manual for the proper viscosity of oil. You may also look for signs of oil dripping on the floor under the engine bay. If you see some oil on the ground and in the vehicle compartment, call for a technician and have your vehicle immediately checked. 

If you are scheduled to have your vehicle engine oil changed, you may contact your vehicle dealer and ask if they can do a home service instead during, or even after the lockdown for your convenience. 

Check for the rest of the fluids such as Coolant, Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, Transmission Fluid (for automatic transmission vehicles) and even windshield wiper fluid. These fluids have a proper level indicator on the bottle that shows if you need to refill or not. Make sure to follow your vehicle manual on the correct type of fluid and its specification. 

e. Batteries 
Start your car engine at least three times a week to prevent your battery from draining. If possible, drive it when you need to buy grocery items or other essentials. 

These are just friendly reminders that would help you drive safer and with peace of mind after a long quarantine. Make sure to refer to your vehicle service manual for proper care and maintenance

2. Check the government protocols

The national government  released the official guidelines on the different forms of community quarantine, including MECQ and GCQ. Private cars are allowed for the purpose of essential travels as defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) following social distancing - one passenger in the front passenger seat, while front-facing seats shall not exceed two passengers per row. 

Better check the area you intend to go before you leave, as some LGUs are implementing strict guidelines before you can pass through.

3. Check your car registration  

Your car should be registered on a yearly basis  and be a responsible driver, make sure that you don’t drive with an expired registration.

Part of the registration requirement is the CTPL (Compulsory Third Party Liability) policy and Paramount offers a convenient, fast and reliable way to renew your CTPL insurance. No need to take the risk of getting infected by staying outside longer when you’re registering your car. You can get your CTPL insurance at the convenience of your own home. Visit to apply online.

If you’re looking for an added protection that provides extensive coverage, Paramount has designed Car-to-Car Collision (C2C) to provide security at a much lower cost. This is the first and only car collision insurance in the Philippines that provides protection for your vehicle against physical damage. With its unique and flexible features, you can customize your coverage according to your needs.

Keep a close eye on your car and monitor minor problems to prevent a major breakdown and serious repairs. Stay safe and happy driving!