With the Christmas break looming as well as more irregular and varying lockdowns being imposed, it’s important motorists keep their cars in working order, get them MoT tested if appropriate and fit to hit the road when the restrictions end.
Helpfully, here are Green Flag’s top tips for keeping a car healthy through winter and lockdowns:
- Look after your battery– start your vehicle once a week and let it run for 20 minutes, remembering to turn off features such as lights and wipers, this will keep the battery’s power reserved for the most important components. If your car is electric, it’s best to leave your battery between 45-55% charged, if you know you won’t be using it for a long period of time. Then just charge it fully before you use it again.
- Be mindful of your brakes– with less use, corrosion can build up between the brake pads and discs, making them stick. Moving the car backwards and forwards at least once a week should prevent this happening.
- Keep the tyre pressure up – maintaining your tyres air pressure will keep them in good shape. If you don’t have your own pressure gauge and pump, you may consider buying one. If not, when you next drive your car, take it to a garage forecourt and inflate the tyres where necessary. If you need new tyres, find the exact ones your vehicle needs at Green Flag Tyres
- Fuel your vehicle– the fuller a car is with fuel when it’s left, the better. The more fuel a car has, the less air there is. With a fuller tank, there’s also less chance of condensation building up.
- Air con– The air conditioning in most new cars uses the coolant that flows through it to lubricate its seals. If the air con goes unused for a period, those seals can dry out and cause leaks. When you start your car to charge the battery, make sure the air con is switched on too.
- Vehicle fluids–ensure all vehicle’s fluids are topped up with the correct formula. Liquids can thicken in the colder weather, reducing their effectiveness.
During lockdown, Green Flag advises drivers follow government guidelines when it comes to using their vehicles. Combining the above top tips with the next essential journey, should help ensure your vehicle runs more smoothly when you need to use it.
Lockdowns are a good opportunity to thoroughly clean your car or van inside and out, remove items from the boot or interior which are not necessary but add weight and check over the engine bay and on the ground beneath for any fluid leaks. A walk around can also show up any faulty side and brake lights if done with some assistance.
You can still get your vehicle serviced as an essential journey during the lockdown if the garage is open and following social distancing regulations.