During the current Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, the majority of us are unable to leave the house unless for essential trips such as work (if unable to work from home or if you are a key worker), travelling to the shop for essentials or medications, providing medical care or going for our one exercise a day. Due to this many cars, vans and other vehicles are remaining stationary in the driveway or outside our homes for long periods of time. Whilst you may be glad that you are saving a few pennies on fuel, you could end up spending a few pennies elsewhere.
Cars are mechanically propelled vehicles that have cogs, mechanisms and a whole brain within the engine and chassis. Leaving a vehicle unused for a period of time can cause all kinds of problems which we want to help you avoid! Heres what you need to do:
1) Give Your Battery a Boost
Flat batteries are extremely common due to the current situation and approximately 70% of the clients we assisted over the past weekend alone had flat batteries. In order to prevent this, we recommend that you start your vehicle every day or two and allow it to run for at least 15 minutes in order to charge the battery. It is important to remember that you should not leave your vehicle unassisted during this time. Use the 15 minutes to your advantage – get some peace, listen to the radio or make a few phone calls.
If you happen to have two vehicles in the household and you are popping out for some essential items, alternate between the two vehicles for these essential trips.
Remember to turn off any lights (both interior and exterior) and ensure all doors and the boot are closed properly to help prevent the battery running down.
2) Seize The Day, Not Your Brakes
Whilst sitting stationary for long periods of time, your brakes and other mechanically moving parts can begin to seize. If possible and safe to do so try and release your handbrake and use the brake pedal to apply the foot brake a few times, every so often. Due to the current lockdown restrictions it is not advised that you go for purposeless drives or journeys. When driving restrictions are lifted in the future we recommend that you check break pads and discs to ensure they are in working order and your vehicle is safe to drive.
3) Restrict The Revving
When you start up your car, you may be tempted to rev the engine thinking that this will help the engine after not running for a few days. However, this is not the case. It is best to avoid revving the engine when it is cold as the oil needs time to heat up and circulate around the engine to prevent any possible damage.
4) Eliminate the Elements
Whilst sitting outside in the ever-changing weather, your car may get weather beaten. The damp and cold can affect your car, and likewise so can the heat. We recommend you keep your vehicle in a car port or garage if you have one to protect it from the harsh elements. This will especially help protect your paintwork and prevent rust and other weather damage.
5) Holler for Help
If you do require assistance to jump start your car or you require any other roadside assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 028 9041 0220 where our agents can assist you 24/7.
If you do not have a breakdown policy, you can purchase our policy for just £25 online which covers for home start, punctures, mechanical breakdown, fuel shortage/ wrong fuel and much more. Terms and Conditions apply.
Please note: all government restrictions should be strictly adhered to.