Friday, 17 April 2020

Ten Top Car Care Tips to help you throughout COVID-19

As the COVID-19 lockdown is extending by at least another 3 weeks, we thought it would be a good idea to provide a few tips for you while your vehicle is in infrequent use...

Tip #1 - Your battery

Whilst we must reduce our use of vehicles to #ProtectTheNHS it poses a problem for battery performance as vehicles are not being driven far enough to charge the battery.

To help this you can start and run your vehicle at least once per week. If you are popping to go shopping, when you start your vehicle, run it for 15 minutes before you head out. Running prior to leaving gives the vehicle the chance to warm up properly and will also charge your battery to help maintain it's life. Make sure when running it that you switch off consumers such as wipers, lights, heater and radio as this will help charge the battery. If you are not going out in your car and you can safely do so, move it forwards and backwards as part of this process.

If your car won't start and you don't have breakdown cover email Tim and we'll see what we can do to help.

Tip #2 - Check for warning lights

Check for warning lights on the dash. If the battery light comes on and stays on there is a good chance the battery won't be charging. This will require further attention and it would be worth contacting your breakdown cover company. If other warning lights come on, check your handbook to see how urgent it is, but if the vehicle feels normal (even with the warning light on) then please feel free to contact Tim to discuss and we can advise.

Tip #3 - Check your tyres

Have a visual check of your tyre condition and whether they look low of pressure. If you don't have a pressure gauge check visually

You should check your tyre pressures once a fourtnight as a matter of routine and top up as required, but it isn't always feasible to do that. Keeping your tyres at the right pressure for your car (normally found either in the door pillar, fuel flap or handbook) helps to reduce wear, reduce fuel consumption and is safer on the road.

We'd recommend you check your tyre pressures at least once per month. If you've got a tyre pressure gauge then check you tyre pressures and top them up at least once per month. When you do that pay attention to the pressure in the tyre and compare it against the tyre on the opposite side. Low pressures in an odd tyre might indicate a puncture, which could be checked by your local tyre depot. We'd recommend Malvern Tyres or John Wood Tyres in Leominster on Southern Avenue.

Tip #4 - Check your oil level

Oil is vital for your engine. Check the level is between the minimum and maximum mark and top it up if it's low, using the correct oil (the right oil is critical with modern engines). When you first start the engine after it has been stationary the right amount of oil is really important as it lubricates the engine quickly to prevent damage and engine wear.

Also check your screenwash and antifreeze levels whilst you are there.

Tip #5 - Brakes

Your brake disc surfaces will naturally corrode and this may result in noisy brakes. Check your brakes before you drive too far so you know how they feel. Try to use them more than usual during driving to help clean up the surfaces. It should clean up with use, depending on the original condition.

Tip #6 - Parking brake

If you leave your vehicle stationary with the parking brake on for a prolonged period of time it will likely seize and stick on. If it safe to do so on your drive, release the parking brake while it is parked and leave the vehicle in gear. For additional security, put a chock under the front and rear wheels to stop it moving. Remember though, when you start the car to take it out of gear and remove the chocks before moving.

Tip #7 - Clean your car

Take this opportunity to clean the inside of your car and remove all rubbish from inside. It will help to prevent any bad odours or mould building up. Clean the outside of the car to remove any debris and dirt. Lift up wiper blades to clean the wiper rubbers to help their longevity.

Tip #8 - Fill with fuel

Not only will it stop you running out of fuel at this time, but if your fuel tank is full it will help reduce chances of condensation inside the fuel tank.

Tip #9 Security

Unused vehicles present an opportunity for unscrupulous people. Remove anything from sight to reduce any reason for a break in and always make sure you keep your car locked.

Tip #10 - Breakdown cover

This is a good opportunity to check your breakdown cover to see if you have home start included. We'd recommend upgrading it if you haven't as this will provide you with a bit of  re-assurance for when you do need to start using your car more regularly again.


Remember, even when we are closed we may be able to help in an emergency and we'd certainly be able to provide advice. Ring 01568 612436 for our Email address.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for the advice Oldfields, kind and helpful as always. Best wishes, Sarah