With far fewer ‘non-essential’ journeys to take us on, many cars are sitting at road sides, in driveways or garages patiently waiting for the lockdown to lift.
Even in periods of lower usage, there are still maintenance checks to keep on top of, to make sure our cars are ready to go whenever we need them.
In 2020, the most common issue we have dealt with is a flat battery. When you store your vehicle or if you use it less regularly the battery gradually discharges, and therefore won't have enough power to start the engine.
So to prevent this from happening try taking your car for a short (local!) trip once a week. A trip to the shops or circuit of the block should do the trick.
Another alternative is to buy a trickle charger, that plugs into your mains and tops up your battery’s charge in a few hours.
Even hybrid or electric cars need a top up, and although they shouldn’t be left charging for long periods of time, try to keep it to about 50% charge if you’re not planning on driving it for a while.
If you need your car to start quickly and cannot wait for the battery to charge, you could try jumpstarting. To do this you need another car with a charged battery and jump leads.
If you leave the car in one position for long periods of time your tyres can get a bit out of shape (a bit like us!). You can get flat spots which could make them more prone to punctures when you do eventually drive it.
To prevent this, a short drive like the one for keeping the battery topped up will do the trick, or at the very least move it forward and back a couple of feet ever week or so.Read our blog about tyre treads and what to look for when checking your vehicle's tyres >
Before you set off on your post-lockdown drive, make sure you check your fluid levels: oil, water, coolant, screen wash and of course, fuel.
Even in the Winter it’s a good idea to use your air conditioning system, to help keep the gas levels charged and ready for when you need it the most in the Summer.
Bulbs should also be checked over before setting off for a long drive; get somebody to check your rear lights and brake lights are working correctly and replace any that are no longer working.
We’re in pothole season at the moment so remember to take care when you do drive your car, as more may have ‘suddenly’ appeared since you last drove those routes.
Try to avoid going down potholes, especially at speed, as they can damage tyres and suspension systems and knock your wheels out of alignment.
If you notice any noise or squeaking coming from your brakes the first time you drive your car in a while, don’t panic! This is normal as rust can easily form on the discs, but it clears quickly so just start off slow and give your breaks a few tests when it's safe to do so in order to try and clear them.
If your car is parked on a roadside or driveway, you might want to consider investing in a steering wheel lock. Although these devices aren’t unbreakable, it’s certainly a visible deterrent.
If you need any avarice or help we are here to support you, click here to get in touch with a member of our Service Team.