November 4, 2020General Car Maintenance
With remote working becoming common practice amongst workers in the UK, vehicles are being driven a lot less, which can, in fact, impact our cars’ overall health and performance.
So to ensure our vehicles are in tip-top condition for when we do need them, read on to find how you can perform general car maintenance.
Things to look out for and check if your car has been stationary for a while
The most common pests found in stationary vehicles are rats and mice, which are known for nesting underneath a car’s bonnet. Be sure to check under here periodically and look out for chewed wires, belts and droppings. Other areas to check for pests in vehicles include the engine, heaters, air vents and around your wheel wells.
Noticed flat-spotting? This is where the tyres flatten under the weight of a vehicle in an isolated area. Flat-spotting realistically isn’t very likely to occur in a couple of weeks but when left in poor conditions, it’s likely you may notice flat-spotting in a month or so.
Low tyre pressure and very cold weather conditions can also play their part in flat-spotting, so we would advise you to check the pressure of your tyres and return them to their factory specification if found with low pressure. If you’re at all unsure what the pressure should be, refer to your car’s user manual or even better, contact your local garage, Treadfirst, for assistance.
When left for a long period of time, brake discs can develop surface rust. This can also happen if you leave your parking brake engaged as it can allow the brake pads to join to the discs. This should not be an issue over a couple of weeks but if you are planning on parking your car for over a month, it’s advised that you leave your car’s parking brake off; only do this if it’s on a flat surface and where it is safe to do so.
it’s possible for a brand new car with a full battery charge, when left stationary, to still be able to run after 12 days, however, this is not good for your car’s battery. After a month or two, your battery will become flat, meaning that you won’t be able to start the engine. If you find this, you’ll need to jump-start the vehicle.
If you know that your vehicle isn’t going to be used for an extended period of time, plug it into a battery saver or disconnect its battery.
A vehicle’s fluids can become a long-term issue if left untouched whilst in storage, and unlubricated hoses and gaskets can become dry and brittle and can break too. So it’s important, where possible, to run your vehicle periodically.
Wiper blades can scratch your windscreen if fitted incorrectly so be careful during any removal or replacement process, for storage pop them inside the vehicle or place a thin, microfiber cloth underneath them.
Cars left parked outside will gather dust, be a target for bird droppings, rust and water spots, and other contaminants such as tree sap. When left, these elements can cause stains on your vehicle’s paintwork – which is why we would suggest parking your car under shelter and if this is not possible, try using a weatherproof car cover. If you do notice bird droppings or tree sap on your paintwork, use a spot cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove.
Upholstery and interior trim
Give your vehicle’s interior a thorough clean if you don’t intend on driving it for a while. Take out damp padding or carpets and hang them out to dry. Use high-quality conditioner on leather or vinyl upholstery. If your vehicle has a sunroof, leave the top up as this will stop the material from creasing and shrinking.
Take it for a quick spin
If this preparation seems too impractical to keep on top of, there are other options. You can cover your car with a protective coat and take your car out for a 20-minute drive once a week to keep the battery running, reduce condensation, prevent flat-spotting and rust, and to keep the vehicle’s fluids moving nicely throughout its vitals.
If you require assistance with your vehicle, whether you need an MOT, new tyres, general maintenance or repairs, contact Treadfirst today. We have a wealth of experience and a dedicated team of engineers on hand to help you with a first-rate service.