During the first lockdown, many cars were not in operation and left idle on driveways. As we come to the end of a second national lockdown, a similar story is expected, and with it an increase in car breakdowns.
If a car isn’t used regularly, it is important that the driver carries out essential maintenance to ensure it remains in good working condition and is ready to kick straight back into action when the lockdown measures are once again lifted.
Parts in Motion offers some top tips on how drivers can keep their car running well once lockdown ends.
Keep your battery charged
Batteries are the biggest reason for breakdown call outs, and this year there has been a significant increase in flat battery breakdowns at home.
This is because many cars aren’t being used regularly, or when they are, it’s for shorter trips. This means they haven’t got time to recharge, and therefore may not have the power to start the engine, which is particularly the case in cars with older batteries.
To help prevent this, drivers should consider using a ‘trickle’ charger or battery conditioner. This is a good way to keep the battery heathy when not in use and will stop immobilisers and other components from completely draining the battery. These are mainly recommended for those with a driveway as they often require cables, which could cause a tripping hazard.
Simply starting the car every now and again could lead to more problems if it doesn’t have a trickle charger as it could actually weaken the battery.
The best advice is to drive the vehicle at approximately 50mph for about half an hour to recharge the battery.
Keeping jumpstarters in a vehicle is also recommended. There are also now options available, such as lithium jumpstarters, that offer a convenient lightweight solution and remove the need for road-side assistance or to jumpstart from a second vehicle.
In the worst-case scenario, if a driver requires a new battery, they should always opt for quality over cost, purchasing from proven and trusted brands.
Keeping on track with quality tyres
Tyres are an important component on any car, and they should ideally be checked before any journey.
Drivers should check the pressure and condition of every tyre, looking out for any cracks in the sidewalls of the tyre or if they look flat, as they’re more likely to go down if they haven’t been in use.
Keeping a tyre pressure gauge in the car is recommended to ensure each tyre is at the required pressure, which can be found on the tyre sidewall. If they’re not at the required pressure, it could increase fuel consumption, rise motoring costs and increase the chance of wear and tear.
It’s always a good idea to keep a spare tyre in the boot of the car, just in case.
Don’t get left in the dark – carry a spare bulb
If one of the vehicle’s headlights go out, the driver could be prosecuted. It will also result in an unbalanced light beam so will not be as safe for the driver, other vehicles and pedestrians.
Keeping a spare bulb kit in the car ensures drivers won’t fall foul of the law and keeps the vehicle roadworthy.
Make the essential checks
Oil, coolant, lights and washer fluid are some of the checks that a driver should regularly make, particularly if the car is being used less often, as it will reduce the chance of an unwanted breakdown.
Drivers should keep their oil topped up, as well as safely draining used oil as it can become corrosive. Afterwards, the car should be taken on a journey to circulate the oil around the engine.
Fuel should also be topped up as the tank can develop rust. Fuel stabiliser will help add protection.
If you’re in need of any parts or products to help keep your car in good health during lockdown, simply enter your vehicle registration at PartsinMotion.co.uk or speak to one of Parts In Motion’s product experts to find the correct parts for your vehicle.