Keeping on top of car maintenance during lockdown
- Make sure your car battery doesn’t go flat – when a car isn’t used for a long period of time or only used every now and again, the battery can suffer and start to go flat. To help, remember to start your engine regularly and leave it running for 5 minute or so – this can help prolong your battery life. However, remember to stay by your car when doing this!
- Get under the bonnet and check the fluids – keep an eye on your oil and water levels and remember to keep them to the recommended level. It’s not recommended to check your oil as soon as you’ve turned the engine off as the oil can take up to ten minutes to settle to the bottom.
- Check your lights – to check your lights ask someone from your household to come out to your car and check the lights on the front and back of your vehicle are working. If you are the only one in your household, park near something reflective so you can check your brake and back lights in your mirrors.
- Is your Tyre tread legal? – It’s important to make sure your tyres have enough tread depth and are in-line with legal requirements, which in the UK is 1.6mm. To check, you can use a 20p coin and put it into the tyre groove. If you can see the outer rim of the coin, the tread depth is too low, and the tyre will need replacing. Alternatively, there are a range of apps available for Android and iOS that can help you measure your tread depth.
- Tyre pressure – the correct tyre pressure for your tyres can be found in your car handbook, the one that usually lives in your glove box. However, if you don’t have that to hand anymore, you can also find the correct pressure for your tyres online. To inflate, you can buy a pump to keep in your car or go to a local petrol station where they usually have air for you to use. However, during COVID-19 we recommend buying your own pump.
- Are you brakes making a strange noise? – When getting behind the wheel for the first time in a while, it’s important to check your brakes. If you hear a strange sound or feel a weird vibration, it’s worth getting them checked out and repaired if needed.
Please note, garages are still providing essential services to keep the road network moving. So, if you use your car frequently and are experiencing problems with the above, get it checked out. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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