11 June 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all in a number of ways. With some people finding themselves working from home more than usual and spending less time commuting or travelling, it can be easy to forget about the maintenance of your vehicle. Not using your car regularly may lead to some problems that you might not be aware of if you haven’t driven in a while, like the car not starting or car tyres pressure deflating. It is important to look after your car even if it is not being driven, which is why we have compiled a list of useful tips for keeping up with the maintenance of your vehicle during lockdown.
It is not uncommon for a car battery to fail when it has gone unused for a long period of time. Cars with a petrol engine should ideally run for around 15 minutes a week to maintain the battery operating temperature. If you are not using your car this often during lockdown, it is useful to start the engine and leave it running to allow the battery to warm up correctly and increase its charge. It is important to remember not to leave your car running whilst unattended and unlocked, and never leave your car running in a garage as the fumes are toxic. You can alternatively use a trickle charger, which are designed to maintain a healthy car battery when the vehicle is not in use. Remember to check that any electric systems are not left running in your car, such as the lights or radio, as these can drain your car battery quickly!
If you are not frequently using your car, the tyre pressure can begin to deflate without you even noticing. When cars are left stationary for a long period of time, they can begin to deflate under the pressure of the car and lose their shape which can cause poor driving conditions with an increased risk of wear and tear. Before you start a journey, you can do a tyre pressure check at your local petrol station or with a tyre pressure gauge. Contact DCM tyres to enquire about tyre fitting and replacement services. Alternatively, if you have a busy schedule or work long hours during the week, you can book our mobile tyre fitting service: we will make sure you have your tyres fitted at home or work.
When you are able to drive regularly again, check all the fluid levels including oil, coolant and screen-wash before starting your journey. It is useful to fill your fuel tank before long periods of not driving your vehicle to help keep the tank clean, prevent rusting and reduce the risk of a breakdown during your journey. Keeping track of coolant and screen-wash levels will make sure that your car is ready drive when restrictions are lifted. Check your vehicle handbook to ensure all fluids are at the recommended optimum level.
This is good practice before starting any journey, but if you haven’t driven for a while it is essential that you check both your brakes and lights are working correctly. Gently apply your brakes and look out for any unusual sound or vibration that may suggest corrosion to the brake pads. You may need a car service if your brake discs have warped or corroded. Ask someone to check that both headlights are working, and that the brake lights come on when the brakes are applied.
Keeping your car maintained and healthy during lockdown can help to reduce the risk of an accident or breakdown when you begin driving again. Contact DCM tyres to enquire about car services, car air con or if you need expert tyre fitters to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy for when restrictions begin to lift.