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Keep Your Car Roadworthy During The Pandemic

by Rae Castillon

Who Can Fix My Car

During the pandemic, the most important thing is to not do anything that risks your own health or anybody else’s. Car usage is at a low globally; in the UK, driving is only permitted for essential journeys. This includes key workers travelling to and from work, shopping for basic necessities, such as trips to the supermarket or other food stores as infrequently as possible (social distancing still applies), trips to pharmacies for any medical needs and to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. [The full outline on what constitutes as essential travel can be found on the government website.]

Even with these restrictions, if a car is not deemed roadworthy, it is still illegal to drive. Therefore, there are certain maintenance checks you should undertake to unsure all is in tip-top condition for when you make those essential journeys. To aid you in this, we have listed some ways to maintain your car safely from the comfort of your own home or drive.

Tips To Keep Car Roadworthy And Avoid Costly Repairs

Occasionally move your car if you can (every fortnight or so should be enough), just reversing the car on and off the drive is enough to reduce the chances of your brakes seizing up. Whilst doing so it’s a good idea to let your aircon run, as it will lessen the risk of leaks occurring.

Give the car’s exterior a good clean; as well as getting it looking great aesthetically it may also prevent any further corrosion in areas where it has begun to occur. Apply a coat of wax at the end of your clean as further protection. Thoroughly clean the interior of your car too, paying special attention to major touchpoints such as the steering wheel, indicator and the door handles. Use gloves whilst cleaning and remove them immediately after.

Check your fluid levels, topping up if needed and if you have the relevant equipment to do so (such as antifreeze). Having a correct level of brake fluid is imperative to prevent internal corrosion where moisture may begin to be absorbed by the brake fluid.

Ensure that fuel is at a sufficient level if it safe for you to do so, this will not only alleviate worries for your first journey back out on the road. It will also prevent condensation from building up in the tank which can cause you to stall.

Check all your lights are in good working condition and that your windscreen is free of any cracks, as well as tyres for any scuffs and bumps. If you have a handheld pressure gauge, it’s also worth checking your tyre pressure levels and topping up if necessary and you have the necessary equipment.

Driving Your Car After A Break – Getting Back On The Road

Check all your documents are still valid – time flies and with the patterns of everyday life absent its easy to forget these important legalities. Ensure that your tax, insurance and MOT is still valid. Remember, those in the UK with a MOT due to expire from 30th March, were granted a six-month extension.

Before you take your car out after a long break, carry out a visual inspection under the bonnet for any leaks and corrosion. Also ensure all fluid levels are correct, adjusting to meet the specifications outlined in your car owner’s manual that are specific to its make and model.

The first time you take your car out, pull away very slowly and carefully. Make sure to check your tyre pressure before doing so and confirm that your tread depth is a minimum of 1.6mm.

On your first drive out, drive slower (although not dangerously so), in case your brakes have corroded.

When topping up petrol make sure to always wear gloves and use a contactless card to pay at the pump wherever possible.

Even if your MOT is not due any time soon, a full service or vehicle health check are recommended to get an overview of your car’s functionality and safety. Not only will it provide peace of mind, it will also decrease the risk of breaking down or any accidents happening.

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