Servicing Your Car after Coronavirus
In a time of lockdowns, face masks, and travel restrictions it can be difficult to imagine life going back to normal. With 2-meter social distancing requirements in place, driving lessons (apart from key worker tuition) has had to take a back seat. As it stands, with the easing of restrictions going to plan, lessons could restart in early July. Servicing Your Car After Coronavirus looks at some of the ways you can get your car back into tip-top shape after lockdown.
Currently, the government has a 6 month MOT extension running as of the 20th March 2020. This is to help anyone that may not be able to get out during the coronavirus. However, road tax must be kept up to date. Remember, if you are not using your car due to the coronavirus or any other reason, you can SORN your vehicle. To SORN you must have the car off public roads and parked on private land, e.g your drive.
The government has just recently confirmed that the extended MOT is under constant review and could be canceled at any time! So watch out!
Problems With Leaving Your Car Unused
Lockdown Check List
1. Car battery
What you can do
Start your car a couple of times a week on the drive and let it run for at least 15 minutes. This should be enough to keep it zippy and ready to go! If it does run flat, a decent battery charger will soon have you ready to go!
2. Sticking Breaks
Be ready for your handbrake to stick if you haven’t used the car for a while. Sometimes the pads can seize onto the disks and after releasing, the brakes stay clamped shut.
Your main brakes or footbrake may also feel strange when you re-start driving. They can make a grinding or rubbing noise until they bed themselves in.
What You Can Do
The best course of action would be to get them serviced by a professional mechanic after any long periods of unuse. At Pass Me Faster we tend to use North East Auto Services for most work on our cars. We find they are very professional and give you good quality service.
While you charge the battery twice a week, why not take the hand brake off and move the car forward and backward a couple of times. Have a little squeeze of the footbrake.
Remember, if you did SORN your vehicle you must keep it on private land!
3. Problems With Tyres
Without daily driving, you may miss the signs of your tyres deflating. When you start the engine twice a week have a look at your tyres. Re inflate if any look flat. Try to stop the car in a slightly different position on the tyre before you leave it again. If the weight of the car always pushes down on the same part of the tyre you could end up with flat spots.
4. Diesel DPF Blocking
If the coronavirus has you altering your driving patterns to shorter journeys you may have clogged your DPF filter.
To help cut down pollution by reducing harmful soot particles pushing out into the atmosphere, all modern diesel cars are fitted with DPF filters inside their exhaust systems. Usually, the build-up of soot is burnt off and released on longer faster drives out of town.
What to do
Possibly consider other forms of transport whilst lockdown restrictions are in action. Failing this you may want to consider taking a long drive down a faster road and back once a week.
Air Conditioning Problems
This one has happened to one of our cars. In most modern cars the air conditioning unit uses the coolant fluid to lubricate the seals. If the system is left unused the seals can dry out and leak.
Just switch it on when you start the car to charge the battery. During the winter you can still use it on a warm setting to keep it working.
Aerial Bird Bombings
Here’s another one that has caught me out on lockdown. Behind my house is a small crop of trees where the crows and pigeons live. Usually, my car will get a couple of quick jet washes a week to prevent it from getting tarred and feathered. On lockdown, it has sat for weeks without a wash!
The acidity or bird muck can damage paintwork if left too long. Wash it off as soon as possible or consider buying or making a cover to protect it.
Servicing Your Car After Coronavirus
We hope our list of things to check has been of some use to you. Keeping your car serviced regularly is the best way to make sure it stays in a safe working order. Follow your car manufacturers guide on when to get it serviced. Additionally, it may be worth having it checked out after long periods of unuse eg coronavirus lockdown.
If you’re worried about returning to driving why not book a lesson with us and ease back into things slowly. Call us on 07838166663 to speak to a friendly instructor.