How to maintain your vehicle's health during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With so many of us self isolating or working from home, many vehicles which are usually used on a daily basis are now parked up for what’s likely to be an extended period of time. Whilst personal health is at the forefront of our minds, looking after the health of your vehicle during the Covid-19 lockdown is recommended in order to avoid problems when you’re ready to get back on the road.

When vehicles are not used for an extended period of time, problems can arise but there are steps you can take to help avoid this:

  • Ensuring you start your car a couple of times a week and *letting it run for 15 minutes will help ensure your battery stays in good working order and will allow the coolant and fuel to circulate; obviously if your car is stored in a garage then drive it out first to avoid a build up of fumes.
  • Whilst your vehicle is running, if you have Air Conditioning then it’s a good idea to turn this on as this will help keep the air con fluid fresh and circulating.
  • Checking your tyres have adequate pressure every week will help prevent flat spots and sidewall deterioration.

*Please DO NOT leave your vehicle unattended whilst you do this as it’s both illegal and unsafe.

Garage your car or use an outdoor car cover

If you have a garage that is large enough (& clear enough) to store your car in then this is always going to be the safest option. Your vehicle will be safer and cleaner and less likely to develop problems associated with damp outdoor conditions. If this isn’t an option for you then it may be a good idea to invest in a car cover suitable for outdoor storage. These are available to buy online for all vehicle models.

Do not apply your handbrake too tightly

Try not to engage your handbrake too tightly and make use of gearbox holding instead of relying just on the vehicle handbrake. When your handbrake is fully engaged for a long period the brake pads can get stuck to the discs or drums. Leaving the vehicle in gear with the handbrake only gently engaged (and using wheel chocks if necessary) with prevent moisture in the atmosphere sticking your parking brake on and seizing.

If your vehicle is standing for a period of time then it’s inevitable that your brake discs will form a layer of rust across them. When this happens, you may hear a grinding noise when you drive your vehicle again; this is nothing to worry about and just the sound of the rust layer being worn away. It’s recommended that when you do drive your vehicle for the first time, apply the brakes a couple of times to help speed up the process.

If the grinding noise persists for more than a mile or two please call into your nearest ETS branch for a free brake check and our technicians will check your brakes are safe and in order.

Battery Maintenance

Starting your vehicle on a regular basis and running the engine for a while to recharge the battery with the alternator and to help maintain a healthy battery.

During Coronavirus lockdown, it is not advisable to take your vehicle for a drive to keep your battery in good order. Although this is something that would normally be recommended this isn’t seen as essential right now and increases the risk of road accidents and trips to the petrol station which could be avoided.

Tyres

Ensuring your tyres have adequate pressure helps prevent flat spots and cracking to the tyre sidewall. It’s even advisable to slightly over-inflate your tyres if your vehicle is not in use at all. Also check the valves and valve caps are fitted correctly and don’t have any leaks.

Cleaning

If you’re stuck for something to do in lockdown then why not give your car a good clean? Decluttering your car and thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior will make it much easier to keep germ free during essential use and much nicer to get in when you’re back on the road more regularly.

Cleaning, polishing and waxing the exterior will help ensure your paint work stays in good order and is protected against moisture in the air.