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How to Maintain Your Car During the Lockdown

With lockdown enforced and thousands of motorists staying at home, the roads have been quieter than usual – but what does this mean for our cars – how can we maintain our car during lockdown? This month, Oaks Services will be advising how best to ensure your car is kept in tip-top condition during this world-wide pandemic. Starting from your brakes and tyres, working through the battery, oil, coolant, fuel, DPF and security, we’ll take you through each step, so your car will be ready for when the lockdown restrictions lift. 

Maintaining car tyres during COVID
Whether you’ve parked your car on the drive, in your garage or on the side of the road – your car needs to be on flat ground and with its handbrake off. Although this may sound weird, having your handbrake off keeps your car from seizing up. If you’re worried about your car rolling off, a pair of wheel chocks will do the job at keeping it stationary. To prevent your tyres from developing flat areas, you can raise your car completely off the ground using axle stands.

Maintaining your car brakes during COVID
When a car has been left unused for a while, the brake discs can start to corrode, which can lead to your car’s brakes seizing completely – and when this happens, you’ll need to get a mechanic on the case. If this does happen, it’s likely that your handbrake will be sticking too.  To stop your brakes from corroding and your handbrake from sticking during COVID, roll your vehicle forwards and backwards every so often and only a few metres or so – only do this in a place where it is safe to do so. Doing this is simple and will also keep your tyres from flattening in one place. 

Maintaining car batteries during COVID
A car that hasn’t been out for a spin in a while will begin to start slower because it has been discharging over the days it hasn’t been driven. To preserve your car’s battery during lockdown, you may want to purchase a trickle charger online and plug your car’s battery into the mains whilst it remains put for the foreseeable. When lockdown ends, you can take the battery off the mains and use your car for essential food shopping trips or to the local park to stretch your legs. Small and regular trips out in the car will keep its battery ticking over nicely. 

Maintaining car engine oil during COVID
If you’re not planning on driving your car for two months or so, and you’re going to store your car, you’ll want to change your engine oil. This is because old motor oil will contain chemicals and additives which can damage your car’s internals over a long period of time, so now is the best time to whip out the old and replace it with the new, clean engine oil. Whilst your car is in storage, it’s advised that you start your car every now and then to turn the engine over and get the oil circulating. 

Maintaining car engine coolant during COVID
Similar to your car’s engine oil, it’s important to replace old coolant with new coolant – always follow your car’s handbook to ensure you replace it with the correct amount.

Maintaining car fuel during COVID
Believe it or not, a car’s fuel has an expiry date, and a car that is brought out of months of storage, using fuel which is old and past its best, will be likely to fail. To extend your fuel’s life, you’ll want to brim the tank, this will stop a build-up of air and keep your fuel for longer. If in doubt, you can use a good fuel stabiliser, which can keep your petrol fresh for a maximum of 12 months. When you do start up your car after a long time, check its fuel lines and look for signs of dryness around the seals. 

Maintaining car DPF during COVID
If you’re a diesel car owner, it’s likely that your car has a diesel particulate filter (DPF) – this component works to extract harmful substances from the car’s exhaust. When your diesel car is in use, this component automatically cleans itself when the car’s engine is running for extended periods of time. So this is more or less impossible to ensure and maintain during lockdown, which means the best thing to do is wait for lockdown to lift, so you can help your car out with a long journey that reaches speeds above 2500 RPM (revolutions per minute). 

Maintaining car security during COVID
Other than keeping your car healthy, it’s important that you keep it safe too, away from thieves. Remember to check on your car and keep it parked in a well-lit area that has CCTV cameras, preferably under shelter, where possible. 

Want to have your car serviced before taking it back on the road? Contact Oak Services Ltd to schedule your car’s health check today. With experienced, trained and fully-qualified mechanics at the ready, you can put your trust in us to provide quality, comprehensive services all at competitive prices.