Unless you are a key worker or unable to work from home, your vehicle is likely only being used for essential trips to the supermarket once a week. Unfortunately, whilst it is just sitting on your driveway, your car isn’t being properly maintained. We have included below some helpful tips on how to keep your car in good health during the lockdown.
Petrol engines weren’t designed to only run short trips, and to keep the engine healthy, it needs to have a chance to warm up. Ideally your car will need running for at least 15 minutes to prevent the engine from flooding with fuel, but please do not leave your car running unattended or in an enclosed space. Electric vehicles don’t need running the same way that petrol engines do, but you should ensure it isn’t at a minimum charge level to keep your battery healthy. It also isn’t advised to keep your vehicle plugged in when it is not in use.
Your car’s battery naturally runs down over time if it is not in use, so try to run your vehicle once a week to help keep it charged and avoid having to jump start before your next essential journey. If you leave your electric vehicle in “ready mode” for about 10 minutes every week this should help to maintain your battery life.
When your vehicle has been stagnant for a long period of time the brakes have a tendency to seize. If you are able to release the handbrake and move your vehicle back and forth whilst running the engine, this should prevent seizing.
Keep your engine oil and coolant topped up if needed. It is also recommended to keep your fuel levels full to avoid a build up of condensation inside the tank.
If you know you are going to be storing your vehicle for a long period of time, slightly over-pressurising your tyres will prevent them from flat-spotting – this occurs when the vehicle has been stationary for a while, the tyre in contact with the ground can become flat due to the weight from the car. We would also like to remind you to check your tyre tread depth before getting back on the roads. The band around the outside of 20p is just above the legal limit, if the band is hidden when inserted in your tyre’s tread then you are above the legal limit, if the band is visible then your tyre’s may be classified as illegal.
Whilst your car is off the road you have the opportunity to carry out checks that you normally don’t have the time to do. Ensure your lights are all working, check for any damage to your windscreen or bumps in your tyres. If you have any issues that you don’t feel comfortable fixing yourself, please feel free to get in touch either by calling our helpful customer care team on 01603 203050 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help.