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  • Julia Allen

How to Look After your Vehicle During Lock-down

We're so used to the usual routine when it comes to how and when we use our vehicles that we may not yet have a plan in place when they are not being used as frequently, if at all.

Frequent use takes its toll on any vehicle, hence the need for regular car maintenance. But when we go from daily use to very little or no use at all, which is the unique position we currently find ourselves, it is important that we keep, at least, a basic routine in place for 'at-home' maintenance.

So here are some actions you can put in place while on lock-down, with a specific focus on battery and brakes care.

1. Regularly start the car To prevent the battery from draining, start you car once a week and leave the vehicle running for at least 10 minutes.

Allow good time for the car to warm up and for the temperature gauge to come up. We don't advise starting and stopping quickly, without allowing the time in between, as this can have a detrimental effect, and is likely to cause problems further down the line.

Stay with your car while the engine is running. If you do not stay with your vehicle, you are heightening the risk of the car being stolen. Even key-less systems can be hacked.

2. Handbrake off

If your vehicle is parked on flat ground, take the handbrake off and leave the car in gear. If parked on an incline, leave the car in gear but place chocks behind the tyres. If the vehicle has an automatic handbrake, it is advisable that you start the engine twice a week, and move back and forth on your drive and/or the road, before parking up again.

Leaving the car in gear prevents the brakes ceasing on, therefore preventing the need for future repairs when your car is ready to be back on the road.

3. Back on the road

Once your vehicle is back on the road, it is important that you check your tyre pressures. Look for any signs of leaks from the engine, and ensure that you check all levels before returning to the roads.

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