Keeping your car in good working order during lockdown
As we remain in the third national lockdown, there are a few things to take care of. And whilst most of us will be quick to look after the obvious (ourselves and each other), there are a few things that might just slip the net.
One them, being our cars. If, like many of us, you’re working from home and utilising your freedom of exercising once a day to do your food shop, you’re probably using your car a lot less than normal. And whilst this is great for us and is undoubtedly better for the environment, the truth is, it isn’t doing our cars much good.
So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to keep your car in good working order during lockdown.
1. Maintain Brakes
One of the most important features of a car, is its brakes – they are absolutely essential, so it is a good idea to maintain the quality of them.
When we regularly drive our cars, we notice any differences in the brakes – how they feel, how they sound and how they work. But when our cars are left sat for quite some time, they aren’t getting the mileage that they need, which could lead to them seizing and will then require a professional’s attention.
To make sure that your brakes remain working as efficiently and safely as possible, we recommend rolling your car back and forth to ensure that the brakes still work whilst preventing potential disc corrosion.
If you can, take your car for a spin around the block – and not only will this put the brakes back into gear, but it will also reduce the risk of your handbrake sticking and will allow your engine to warm up, too.
2. MOT & Service
Now, this may sound incredibly simple. However, if we’re using our cars less frequently, then the fact that it is due an MOT or service may just slip our minds.
And although there was an MOT extension granted by the government during the first lockdown, mechanics and gar garages have now been deemed essential and are continuing to work through any car emergencies that we might experience.
MOT’s and services are a crucial aspect of car health, so it is vital that as car owners, we keep these up to date to prevent or flag up any potential risks.
So, set a reminder – put it in your phones and diaries and make sure you take your car for its MOT and service.
3. Manage Fluids
Even though your car may be just sitting there or perhaps it isn’t getting quite as much use as it did prior to the lockdown, it is still important to manage fluid levels within your car.
As tempting as it is, don’t leave your car without fuel as over time, moisture can build up in tanks that are almost empty which could lead to requiring the help of a professional, which is not only inconvenient, but costly, too.
We also advise regularly checking your oil and water levels as depending on the weather and climate conditions, they could potentially deteriorate whilst the car isn't being used as often. This again, could result in enlisting the help of a garage, which could easily be avoided.
4. Maintain the battery
Something that is often forgotten about, is the battery of a car. When being used regularly, a battery of a car isn’t a problem very often, however it can cause a variety of problems if it drains.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend starting the car a couple of times a week, leaving it to run for a short time. And if restrictions allow, take it for a short drive to recharge its battery and give the fluids a chance to circulate.
5. Check tyre pressure and condition
If you don’t have a drive or a private parking spot, be mindful of where you leave your car and check that there is nothing hazardous, such as nails or glass, surrounding your spot.
Also consider moving spaces if you can. If a car has been sat in the same spot for a long period of time, it can become prone to flat tyres, which could potentially lead to damaged wheels, too. This is another reason to roll your car back and forth if you aren’t in a position to move spaces entirely.
We also advise keeping an eye on your tyre pressure too, and if needed, top them up with air to prevent any further issues.
6. Clean, clean, clean!
Just because your car isn’t getting much action, doesn’t mean you should neglect it. Keeping the interior and exterior clean is just as important as looking after the mechanics of it.
If you’re parked in an area where cars are likely to get dusty, muddy or even rusty, try covering it with a sheet.
Keep on top of cleaning the inside and outside, as this will leave it looking, and smelling clean and fresh whilst preventing any rust or cosmetic damage.
For more information on looking after your car or to discover more about our car leasing options, contact our friendly team today.