Home Cars 20 Ways Car Fans Can Stay Sane While Social Distancing

20 Ways Car Fans Can Stay Sane While Social Distancing

Vukasin Herbez March 30, 2020

The impact the coronavirus has had on the global population is both shocking and debilitating. Local authorities have urged and even mandated people to stay at home and practice social distancing. But in reality, it’s hard to do. That’s especially true if you’re an avid car enthusiast who loves to take to the roadways as much as you can. What makes it even more tempting is the fact that gas prices are the lowest they have been in decades.

But thanks to the pandemic, many roads are empty, most people are at home. In most parts of the Northern hemisphere, spring is coming. Unfortunately, there will be no car shows, but there is still lots you can do while waiting for the virus to subside. Although it doesn’t involve perusing car shows or visiting the track, here are some other ways to practice your hobby while social distancing.

20. Visit the Car Forums and Message Boards

Before social media killed message boards and forums, they were temples of automotive knowledge. In the early 2000s, there were thousands of different forums all over the web. Most of them focused on one brand or type of car, but there were general automotive ones also.

Soon, social platforms like Facebook groups killed the forums, which was a shame. Forums and chat rooms offered a lot of quality information, hard-to-find details, and firsthand user experiences. Fortunately, many still exist and are invaluable if you want to restore a car, maintain your vehicle or thoroughly research a topic.

So the quarantine days are perfect for searching bookmarks for old forums you once visited. Reconnect with your old message board pals and find out what has been happening there. You will probably find more exciting stuff and see what you have been missing out since your last visit. Surf the web and discover some of the many newer forums, too.

19. Play Racing Games

If you don’t have a high-spec PC or gaming console, don’t worry. There are hundreds of quality racing games you can play on your mobile device. If the last racing game you remember is ’80s Outrun, you will be presently surprised how far the racing genre has come.

Apart from the classics like Need For Speed or Gran Turismo, there are the popular Forza and Forza Horizon franchises that offer online multiplayer modes. Driving around through the English countryside followed by your online friends is a great way to spend the afternoon without leaving the comfort and safety of your home.

Most racing games require you to have a steering wheel, which is essential for the perfect gaming experience. However, there are lots of games you can play on your keyboard that still provide an exciting time.

18. Shop for Car Parts and Accessories

Unless you’ve been laid off, this is the perfect time to do some shopping for car parts and accessories. Most car parts retailers are offering significant discounts on their stock, which is a great way to get what you need and save a few bucks. You may want to look for parts suppliers that offer pickup or delivery services.

That way you’ll beat the crowds. Soon, car fans will be eager to make up for lost time sitting at home. Now is the time to prepare your ride for the summer season and stock up on spare parts. You’ll have your car ready to go when this whole thing blows over.

17. Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube is not just for music videos, cute kittens, or funny clips. It’s also an enormous automotive resource. You can find practically everything in only a few clicks. From car reviews to useful how-to clips on regular maintenance to various other automotive-related content, you could spend hours binge-watching YouTube clips.

Also, if you prefer a more on-hand approach to your car, YouTube is an invaluable source of practical knowledge. There is no problem or situation that you can’t find a solution for on YouTube. Be sure to check the reviews and use the tips wisely, however.

16. Work on Your Car

If you own a driveway and a set of tools, there’s no excuse not to work on your car. There is always something you can fix, adjust, or change, and now you have the time to do it. You may want to finish your restoration, install a new engine, or replace the carburetor.

Working on your own car will not only successfully kill time, but it can save you lots of money. Also, it’s great therapy because you get to do something other than sitting on your sofa. You get to spend some time outside and you’ll feel more productive.

With a little help from your favorite YT channel or service manual, you could develop your car repair skills even further. Who knows, maybe your new career is in the automotive restoration and repair business.

15. Browse Auto Classifieds

Browsing car ads is a car fan’s favorite pastime. If you’re like most car enthusiasts, you’re addicted to searching for cars. It can be interesting to follow the prices and market trends and see what’s hot at the moment. There are dozens of relevant sites, so you can find unique cars, not only in your area but also worldwide. You get bonus points if you’re one of those people who looks at overseas sites to import something unavailable locally.

Looking at ads can be frustrating if you can’t afford a new car, but you can play a game with your car friends. Set an imaginary budget and ask them to spend it on an exciting set of wheels. Whoever “buys” the coolest set of wheels at the best price wins.

14. Cruise Around Town

Although many areas have issued “shelter in place” orders, there are still some areas where you can freely move about. If that’s the case for you, why not cruise around? The price of oil is at the lowest point in a decade or so, which means that gas is inexpensive. In fact, in some areas of the U.S., a gallon of regular gas will cost you just over a dollar right now.

So, jump in your car, fill the tank, play your favorite tunes and cruise around for a while. Find a new mountain road, explore nature or just cruise around the city. The traffic is light these days, making every drive a pleasure. Even though there are no car shows to attend, you can still enjoy yourself driving around in your car.

13. Read a Book on Cars

True car aficionados not only collect car magazines but car books, as well. There’s a whole automotive publishing business dedicated to printing informational car books. They cover a full range of topics from basic service manuals to highly stylized and well-documented histories of specific brands and models. You can also read racecar driver biographies, muscle car chronicles, and stories about famous car designers.



Now’s the time to sit in your favorite chair and slowly sail away to the world of reading, not just scrolling on your computer or phone screen. There are many interesting automotive books, and perhaps you have a few gathering dust on your bookshelf.

12. Bring Out Your Old Car Magazines

Those old magazines can take up space around the house, so you may have stored them in your garage or attic thinking they might come in handy one day. Well, that day is now, so bring out all those Hot Rod, Car and Driver and Road and Track magazines you have stashed to enjoy again.

You’ll be surprised by how many exciting and cool things you’ll find. You’ll see old car reviews and lots of cool tech tips and how-to articles you probably forgot about. Reading old car magazines is the perfect way to remember what cars were like years ago.

Also, you’ll be able to see how cars and car manufacturers have progressed over the decades. Most of the cars in those magazines are classics now, so the magazines themselves could be worth some money, too.

11. List Car Stuff on eBay

Do you have car parts, components, rims, and general automotive stuff just lying around collecting dust? Maybe you own some collectibles, books, models, and magazines that you don’t enjoy anymore. Now is the perfect time to sort everything out and see what you want to keep and what you want to sell.

You will be surprised how much clutter a person can collect over the years. Also, you may be delighted at how much money you can get for it. Alternatively, you can trade with your fellow car buddies to get some fresh and interesting stuff.

10. Clean Out Your Garage

This is the logical next step to listing your stuff on eBay. After you decide what you need and what don’t, the next step is to clean out and sort your garage. Wipe the floor, remove those oil stains and put all those tools back in the tool cabinet. Every active garage or working space needs cleaning from time to time, and now is a great moment to do it.

Even if you have a simple one-car garage, you’ll find that cleaning and sorting will take a long time. But imagine having the room to actually park your car inside your garage again. It will look and perform like new for much longer than if it was sitting out in the elements, so this isn’t a waste of time.

9. Dust Off Your Die Cast Collection

Most real car enthusiasts are also serious diecast model collectors. Many people spend lots of time and money collecting their favorite models. Collectors tend to keep them in the original boxes since displaying them requires a lot of space.

So now you have the extra time to dust off your collection, see what you have, organize it, and do something with it. Trade, sell, give away, or find the place to display your collection proudly on your walls or desk. There are numerous creative ways to showcase your diecast collectibles, so let your imagination go wild.

8. Make a Scale Model

Back in the ’60s and ’70s, scale model building was a big craze among car-loving kids. Companies like Revell, AMT, Tamiya and Monogram made thousands of kits, mostly in the 1:24/5 scale, which they sold unassembled. Your job was to glue the pieces together and add paint and decals. Even though that sounds simple, in reality, it requires a certain amount of skill. However, making a model car can occupy you for hours.

There are numerous choices on the market, from inexpensive ones all the way up to the $1,000 kits. You can even find wooden car kits and Lego car-building kits. If you are new to building models, start from the bottom and work your way up. Remember, the most affordable kits are the snap-together types, which are a great way to get hooked on model-building.

The more serious kits require tools, special glue and paint booths for the airbrush guns. So if you get addicted, be prepared to invest a hefty sum in additional equipment.

7. Broaden Your Automotive Perspectives

Regardless of how much you know about cars, nobody knows everything. If your garage is clean, your diecast models are on display, and you are done playing racing games, it’s time to discover something new. Most car enthusiasts are dedicated to only one car type, model, or brand, which is fine. However, since you have time and the World Wide Web at your disposal, why not explore the cars you don’t know a lot about?

What about South-African muscle cars, East-European luxury brands, classic Japanese all-terrain vehicles, or German supercars? There are some strange, exciting, and cool automotive makes and models out there. You can learn so much about them if you can just step out of your comfort zone.

6. Start Organizing an Event

If you’re a true car aficionado, the chances are that almost all of your friends are also car nuts. That provides the potential to organize an event once the pandemic passes. All you have to do is use your imagination.

Now you have the time to send invites, list plans, make phone calls, get suggestions and reserve the date for your car meet or event. Whether it’s a race meet, cruise, car show, coffee-type activity or just a simple get-together, now is to time to start making your plans a reality.

5. Write a Car Story

You probably have more than one exciting car story to tell, so why not write it down? This is a fantastic way to fight boredom during these long quarantine days. Also, other car fans will probably like to read it. Just start writing down all your favorite car-related memories, stories, events and legends.

You can keep it for future generations or send it to a car magazine or website. If your story is good, you could get published, which is even better. Why not let your passion for automobiles shine brightly for others to enjoy?

4. Race Scale Model Cars

Do you remember racing scale models and slot cars around a floor track? Did you have those famous Scalextric tracks and cars? Even before online multiplayer racing games, that was the only way to race your friends in the living room. The Scalextric is a brand that produces plastic scale model cars that race down a specially-designed track. This was the favorite pastime of car-crazed kids back in the day before computers took over the world.

If you have a Scalextrics or other track, put it to good use. It may look easy, but racing slot cars and Scalextric cars can require a lot of skill and is immensely fun. Show your kids what multiplayer really means and teach them how to release the accelerator button when making those tight turns.

3. Teach Basic Car Maintenance

There is nothing the average gearhead likes more than to pass their knowledge on to others. Over the years, you may have accumulated lots of useful car information, skills and techniques. So, why not share it with the younger generation? Since you have the time and school is out, spend some time with your teenager.

Show them how to do something with their hands, like changing a flat tire or replacing the oil. You can teach how to top off the various fluids and replace the brake pads. Not only this will create a valuable bond, but it will also teach your teenager some essential car maintenance skills. Also, it could even help them choose their future career.

2. Watch Your Favorite Car Movies

You’ve probably seen them all by now, but it’s still fun to watch them again. Classic car movies are a vast genre, so no matter how many times you have seen Bullitt or American Graffiti, you can still watch them again. Look around – there are many cool movies to discover on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV.

You may want to re-discover some classic car flicks like Fast and Furious and Le Mans, or modern car films like Baby Driver or Drive.

1. Design and Draw a Car

Do you have an idea for a hot rod or a custom car you can’t describe, but can see perfectly in your mind? The only way to get it out there is to draw it and present it to the public. Even though you may not have the talent or skill to draw a car like Chip Foose can, you don’t need to worry.

While you’re at home and feeling bored, why not hone your skills? Even if your eyes are the only ones to see it, drawing is therapeutic and will occupy you for a long time. You can always learn how to use Photoshop or another type of photo editing software. Some of the modern programs offer the right tools to help you learn fast.

These are the top 20 ways car fans can remain sane during times of quarantine, but you can also use them during snowstorms, vacations and your time off too. These are activities any car fan will enjoy. You may be able to spread your love of automobiles to others at the same time.

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