Keeping your car maintained whilst it is off the road
At the moment you are probably not getting out in your car as much as you would like, or not at all. We also don’t know how long this lockdown is going to be in place so keeping your car healthy whilst its off the road is important. Whether your car is on your drive way, a road outside home or off-road parking, it is important to keep it clean and mechanically maintained to keep away the rust and mechanical issues.
If you are lucky enough to have a garage, we would suggest clearing some space and keeping your beloved car tucked away to minimise the risk of it becoming covered in moss and debris from the outside world.
Car covers are also a great option with lots of different variations available from local stores such as Halfords or even online at places like eBay and Amazon.
We also recommend cleaning your car thoroughly before putting in in storage or under any kind of cover to prevent stuck-on grime from harming the paintwork. If you are leaving your car in storage, leaving the windows slightly open will reduce the chances of mould build-up on the interior. Be careful though as it can also attract insects and animals like mice and rats which could be nasty to the interior of your pride and joy.
Brakes and Tyres
Some of the most vital elements of your car are its brakes and tyres. Leaving your handbrake off when your car is in situ will reduce the chances of it seizing up. Using a set of wheel chucks would stop your car from rolling away but a step further would be putting it onto axle stands to also stop your tyres developing flat spots. It is also important to test your brakes before allowing your car to be driven on the road after prolonged storage.
One thing lots of people don’t realise is that fuel has an expiry date. Your car will mostly likely not be too pleased if you come to start it after many months off the road being forced to run on petrol/diesel that’s past its use by date!
Also, filling your car up to the top diminishes the risk of corrosion in your petrol tank. A great product like a fuel stabiliser can keep the fuel fresh for up to 12 months, depending on the product.
Keeping your cars battery maintained is also very important when it comes to storage. Batteries don’t like the cold weather but we have been lucky in recent weeks with the lovely sun. However, there are still a few ways in which you can keep your car's battery maintained whilst it is off the road.
If you are using your car for essential shopping every now and then your battery should keep topped up as long as the journey is a few miles each time. If you are walking to the shops however, investing in a Smart or trickle charger will keep your car's battery in check.
When storing your car, you only need to change the engine oil if it is going to be stored for a few months. This is because used engine oil contains additives that can wear away mechanical components over time, so it is best to swap it for new fluid before parking it up for the last time.
The same goes for the coolant which should be mixed with the right anti-freeze according to your cars owner's manual.
In the meantime, keep safe and we'll hopefully see you on the road again soon.