With millions of people feeling the effects of cancelled holidays, an empty social calendar, and remote or disrupted working, many of us are using our cars much more infrequently than before.
Unfortunately for us, leaving your car in the driveway for weeks on end can actually damage your vehicle. In this article, Motorparks investigate how to keep your car in good condition during lockdown.
It is recommended to drive your car every two weeks if possible, driving for around 10 miles and reaching speeds over 50mph. Driving for a few minutes around built up areas at 30mph will have little benefit on your vehicle apart from heating the engine up.
Additionally, batteries can lose their power when left idle and turning on the engine will drain the power even more. Driving for several miles allows the battery a chance to recharge. However, if your car has been sitting for a month or more, so much power could be lost that it will need jump starting. If your battery has run flat or you’re unable to drive long enough, consider purchasing a trickle charger or battery conditioner, the most effective method for to keep your battery healthy for a long period of time with little to no use.
Regularly check your tyre pressure with a pressure gauge or at your nearest petrol station, as not only do underinflated tyres use more fuel, but they can be dangerous when on the roads. Also, check for any sidewall cracks or visible damage to the tyres. Roll your car back and forth a few metres every so often to prevent flat spots and your tyre losing shape by spreading the pressure out.
When your car is stationary, try to keep it on a flat road rather than on a hill, and if possible, keep your handbrake off and hold the tyres with tyre blocks to remove strain from your brakes and prevent them seizing up. You should also regularly get in your car, remove the handbrake, and apply the foot break to prevent it sticking.
You probably haven’t considered how storing fuel in your car can have an effect. Your car certainly won’t thank you for being woken up after a long hibernation and running on old fuel that’s past its use-by date.
To prevent moisture accruing and rust and corrosion developing in the fuel system, adding fuel stabiliser to your fuel will extend its lifespan by preventing oxidation and chemical breakdown, as well as lubricating valves to keep everything running smoothly. Fuel stabiliser can keep your fuel fresh for around 12 months — hopefully more than enough time for lockdown!