If a repair is urgent, use these safety guidelinesUnless your car needs repairs immediately, skip the shop — at least in the short term.
That's the advice of Pat Carroll, M.D., chief medical officer of the San Francisco–based telemedicine platform Hims and Hers.
"This pandemic is a significant and serious health concern,” he said. “As people are postponing their own routine health care, you should most definitely postpone routine car care."
Save 25% when you join AARP and enroll in Automatic Renewal for first year. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services, and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
Of course, some vehicle maintenance can't wait. To determine if yours can, call your repair shop and ask, says James Garnand, owner of Hi-Tech Car Care in Phoenix and president of the Network of Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals. “The service technician can also explain how you might be able to make a simple repair yourself,” he says. “We appreciate your interest and would like to help you."
How to keep the virus at bayBut you can protect yourself if you need service because of a coolant leak, faulty battery or other serious malfunction. Don't rely entirely on the quick-service centers, even those that work under your car from pits, suggests Brian Haggerty, owner of Cross Island Collision in Floral Park, New York. Ask before you go. “If you don't have to get out of your car, then that's great,” he says. “I think they do want to drive the cars in themselves. They don't let you do that due to liability."
Need roadside assistance?
Many towing companies are taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Expect tow truck operators to wear gloves and masks; they'll expect you to do the same. But prepare for the worst before you get behind the wheel.
• Keep antiseptic wipes, gloves and a mask in your car.
• Assume you won't get a ride home from the tow truck driver.
• Ask the towing company to help you arrange for transportation home if you don't have it.
• Wash your hands and face as soon as you can afterward.
"Caution is the operative word,” says Patrick Carroll, M.D., chief medical officer of the San Francisco–based telemedicine platform Hims and Hers. “It's probably a time in our lives when it's good to be a little bit obsessive-compulsive and just assume that [the virus] is deposited in a lot of the hard surfaces."
Even if you find a shop that allows you to drive in and out, Haggerty recommends wearing gloves and a mask. And make sure the technician does the same. Roll the window down only slightly to pay, and disinfect your credit card before you put it away.
No matter what shop you frequent, Haggerty, Garnand and other experts suggest the following precautions.
Follow CDC guidelines and expect others to do so.
“Wear a mask and gloves, and choose a facility that will [mandate employees] do the same,” Haggerty says. “Call and ask if the facility is doing that. We only greet customers when we have gloves and masks on. And we do six feet of social distancing."
Don't touch unsanitized items.
Keys and paperwork are dropped onto counters and sanitized before Haggerty's customers touch them.
Make sure the repair shop sanitizes your car.
"Do not be afraid of asking, ‘How did you make sure my vehicle is safe?’ “ Garnand says. Even better, ask technicians to disinfect the car while you watch.
Wipe down your car, too. Don't rely on others, Haggerty recommends. Disinfect your vehicle even if the technician did so.
Clean hidden spots. Wipe down dashboards, gear shifts, seat belts and any other exposed surface, advises Ragina C. Ali, public and government affairs manager at Wilmington, Delaware–based AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Although cleaning is vital, take care not to use alcohol or bleach on leather or vinyl, she warns, as it could crack and discolor your seats and steering wheel. Check your owner's manual for products that thoroughly but safely clean car surfaces. The Environmental Protection Agency also has a list of criteria for effective cleaning products.
Stay alert at the pumpCustomers with vehicles in service bays aren't the only ones who could be exposed to the coronavirus; rather, those who perform routine actions, such as pumping their own gas, increase their risk of infection.
"Assume that all the surfaces have droplets,” Carroll says. “You should wear protective gloves. If you can, [use a disinfectant] to wipe down the pump surface and handle.” Also, take care not to let your hair or clothes come in contact with the gas pump, he says.
Use the AARP Auto Buying Program for a hassle-free purchase experience
"Those are portals of entry for the virus,” Carroll explains. “As soon as you get home, thoroughly wash your hands, your hair and anything that might have come in contact with the pump."
He also recommends washing your face and around your ears. Yet that's not enough. Most of us reach for our wallets and credit cards after pumping gas. Even if you wear rubber gloves when handling those items, they still could transmit the virus to you. So wipe down gloves with antiseptic and wash them or throw them away.
"You have to be fastidious about limiting your exposure to other individuals except when it's absolutely necessary,” Carroll stresses. “Those over 50 are at increased risk, and there's even more risk for those over age 65. You really should be minimizing your contact with people outside of your immediate household."
We're committed to offering you the best products available, that's why we'll create a custom auto quote from Hagerty® for you. Call us at 508-540-2601. We're convinced Hagerty is the only choice for classic car insurance. Their program is designed with you in mind and includes benefits like:
Hagerty goes beyond insurance with Hagerty Drivers Club®. Member benefits include unlimited emergency roadside service, valuable automotive discounts, 6 issues of the award-winning Hagerty magazine, access to members-only events, and more. We‘ve offered the 1st Gear membership level with your quote and encourage you to visit hagerty.com to learn more and choose the plan that fits your needs.
We're excited to present this one and look forward to getting you covered with Hagerty. Please contact us if you have questions or there is anything we can do to help you along the way.
Arthur D. Calfee Insurance Agency, Inc.
*Less any deductible and/or salvage value, if retained by you.
“Please remember Hagerty does not monitor your specific vehicle values. You are solely responsible for requesting any future increase or decrease in your vehicle‘s Guaranteed Value coverage, Which is displayed on your policy declaration‘s page.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented all of us with a unique set of challenges and our hearts go out to everyone who have been affected by this life altering event. Our insurance agency is currently taking several precautions and preventative steps to maintain a healthy and safe work environment.
While we are continuously monitoring this evolving situation and are taking appropriate actions based on the guidance from our public health officials, we want to assure you that we are here for you. As we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19, the health and wellness of our clients, employees and communities remain our top priority.
Like many others, we are closely following guidelines from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and national health organizations and will continue to seek guidance from these agencies and public health officials. Our leadership team has increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitization of all office areas, added five air purification machines, and encouraged all employees to sanitize their work areas throughout the day.
With the forward thinking of our leadership team and with the advancement of technology, our insurance services will continue uninterrupted as we can make all insurance policy changes and updates through online web tools & portals. We have built a STAY HOME area of self-service online tools and applications on our agency website to make it easy – and safe – for you & your family. We have business continuity plans in place that we have used previously to ensure that we can continue to deliver our services without having to meet face to face.
If you have questions, comments or concerns, you may reach out to us at (508)540-2601 or email me at Davidson@CalfeeInsurance.com.
Davidson O. Calfee, President
Arthur D. Calfee Insurance Agency, Inc.
Homeport Office 336 Gifford Street - Falmouth, MA 02540 508-540-2601 x 1008 direct 508-371-9221 fax
Davidson Calfee at age 7 is viably working very hard to learn the fundamentals of rowing a boat at the Falmouth Yacht Club located on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This photo was taken in the summer of 1984 to be submitted in to their yearly best photo contest to win the cover in 1986. This cover was then selected to be on the Cape Cod Life cover again for their 200 Year Anniversary issue.