Life as we know it has been turned upside down since lockdown commenced back in March. Whilst measures are easing to pave the way for a new (socially distanced) normal, car safety should still remain a top priority. Viruses after all don’t prevent accidents so you need to ensure your car is maintained and safe. With recent government guidance giving the go ahead for unlimited outdoor exercise and long distance car travel, car safety and maintenance is becoming even more important.
Regular car maintenance improves safety, enhances reliability and performance, minimises expensive repairs, and lowers the risk of accidents. Pandemic or not, every vehicle owner should be completing essential maintenance tasks to keep their car in good condition. Here we reveal the top tips that will ensure car safety and maintenance, wherever your lockdown life takes you.
Focus on battery health
Battery issues are the top cause of vehicle breakdowns in the UK. If you – like the majority of the nation – have been stuck at home during lockdown and haven’t used your vehicle, your battery health may have suffered.
If you are still at home and using other modes of transport, you can prevent your battery from going flat by starting the engine and leaving it running. Do this at least once a week for 15 minutes. Taking short journeys by car will also keep your battery healthy and charged.
Check your levels
Unbeknown to most, keeping your engine in tip top condition isn’t rocket science. Simple maintenance tasks like checking engine oil and coolant levels will work wonders for your engine and other mechanical parts.
Engine oil in particular is the lifeblood of the engine, a fact that makes this simple levels check integral to the health of your entire vehicle. All you have to do to check engine oil levels is locate the dipstick (your vehicle handbook will inform you of its exact location), remove it, clean it with an old cloth or rag, and reinsert it. It should then be removed once again to check whether the oil sits between the minimum and maximum level marks.
Engine coolant levels can be checked using the same method. Simply refer to your handbook to locate the coolant reservoir in your car.
Don’t forget your tyres
You may not be driving as much but that doesn’t mean you should overlook tyre condition and pressure during your lockdown maintenance checks. Your tyres should ideally be checked every two weeks.
Start with a visual check to identify flat tyres, cuts, uneven wear and tread depth. Flat tyres should be replaced right away and so should tyres with a low tread depth. The pressure of your tyres must also be checked before you resume driving or undertake long journeys. If your vehicle was manufactured after November 2014, it’s likely that it is fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). If your car’s tyre pressure is below what it should be, a warning light will show. Treat this particular warning light with caution however. The TPMS warning light can easily be triggered if your car has been parked for a long period of time.
A good, old fashioned tyre pressure gauge offers a much more accurate assessment if your vehicle hasn’t been in use for some time. Simply refer to your vehicle handbook, or the label on the inside of your car door or fuel flap to find your make and model’s required tyre pressure.
Call on the professionals
Keeping your car maintained needn’t be something you do yourself at home if you’re not comfortable or confident enough to perform maintenance tasks. Calling on a professional like us is advisable and will ensure your vehicle is safe and maintained, even during the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic.
Here at Collison Motoring Services, we’re open and providing the same high quality repair and maintenance services we always have. The way we work has changed to keep our staff, customers and wider community safe, with new contactless services ensuring minimal risks to all. If you are self isolating, your car can still be taken care of by our experts. Our pick up and drop off service can be used if your vehicle is due for an MOT or requires repair. However you intend to use our new contactless service, your car will be washed before it is returned, payment will be taken via phone and any associated documentation delivered by email.
For further advice and help regarding your car safety or maintenance issues, contact our dedicated team today.