The changes to the way we live our lives, brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, have been plentiful and our motoring habits have changed enormously. Statistics show that traffic on UK roads has decreased by as much as 73% …that’s back to the level of traffic seen in 1955!
Our cars are sitting idle on our driveways as we all work from home, where possible, and our only journey is to the supermarket for essentials.
We have shared below some tips on caring our cars during this time to ensure, that when ‘normality’ returns, we aren’t faced with any motoring problems.
Don’t let it go flat!
You may be doing a weekly trip to the supermarket, if so this is enough to keep your battery charged. However, if you are one of the many vulnerable people who are self-isolating we recommend that you start your engine every two weeks and leave it running for 15 minutes. Remember, don’t leave your car unattended when the engine is on!
If you drive a fully electric car you should ideally maintain the battery level at 50% and try not to let it drop below 30%.
Check for pressure
Keep an eye on your tyre pressure – it’s especially important to check pressure before you take a longer journey (post lockdown) that might involve a motorway and higher speeds. If you don’t know what pressure your tyres should be the recommended pressures can be found on the inside of the fuel or charge flap or in your car manual. Don’t rely on your car’s electronic data to tell you that your tyre pressure is incorrect, do a manual check.
Test your brakes
It’s wise to test your brakes after a long period of your car being idle. Gently apply the brakes when driving to clear any debris. Also to ensure your handbrake doesn't seize, driving your car forward and back a metre will help – if you’re unsure at all call your local garage.
Fill her up
Did you know that a full fuel tank reduces the likelihood of condensation building up? It’s best to leave your car full rather than empty.
Does your car need a service?
Many garages do remain open, prioritising urgent repairs. If your car is due a service then you might find your local garage is open and willing to do this (if they can observe social distancing) but in line with Government advice (at the time of writing) you will need to consider if this is an essential journey.
Get out your bucket and sponge out!
For one, it’s something to do when in lockdown and for two giving your car a wash will get rid of the grime that will build up over time. Try to use car specific shampoo to maintain the quality of your paint!
Don’t panic about your MOT
The Government has granted a 6-month extension for cars whose MOT is due on or after 30 March 2020. It is your responsibility to keep your vehicle safe to drive.
Stay safe everyone.