As the UK coronavirus restrictions are eased, many of us are itching to get back behind the wheel to experience the freedom we once had.
But before you set off on your travels, it’s important to carry out some simple checks to ensure you don’t run into unwanted trouble.
How to Prevent A Flat Battery
It’s probably fair to assume your car has only left its drive for the odd shopping trip over the last few months. If so, the lack of activity may have contributed to a battery fault.
Two main reasons a car battery can fail are lack of use and cold weather, and we’ve all experienced a bit of both recently! To prevent a flat battery, it's advised to take your vehicle out for at least a 30 minute drive to allow it to sufficiently charge, or failing that you can invest in a trickle charger.
If you experience the worst case scenario, and your car refuses to start, you have a couple of options. You could try a car battery charger which, once plugged into the mains - your battery should restart if there is some residual charge left within it. Failing that and your battery has completely run out of charge, you can jump start your car using jump leads and a donor car.
Check Your Tyres
Whether you’re driving your car or not, tyres will naturally lose a little pressure each day so it’s best to give them a once over before you start driving regularly again.
Start by getting up close to the tyres and checking for any debris, slits or cuts that could eventually cause a puncture. Next up, time to check your tread depth. This can be easily done using a 20p coin - simply, place the coin on the main tread channel of your tyre. If you can see the outer band of the coin face, your tread depth is too narrow. The legal limit is 1.6mm.
You should also check your tyre pressure using a pressure gauge or at a local petrol station with a tyre inflator, where you can top-up ait at the same time.
Top Up Fluid Levels
Your engine oil and coolant levels are crucial for ensuring the smooth running of your vehicle - before you set off check your levels are sufficient. If you notice they’re slightly low, simply top them up and leave your engine running for a few minutes before setting off. This allows the liquids to circulate properly and ensure the vehicle is properly lubricated.
Check Your Bulbs
As we enter into the lighter evenings and longer days you may think checking your lights isn’t an important step. But no matter what time of year it is, properly operating lights are always important. To check them, switch on all of your lights and walk around your vehicle checking that all are working correctly.
Disinfect Your Car
In our current climate, it's important to make sure your vehicle is clean, especially focusing on the areas that experience the most contact, both on the inside and outside of the car.
Key areas to focus on are; the exterior and interior door handles, steering wheel, gear stick, touchscreen, indicators, seat position and window controls. Don’t forget your dashboard and door mats too.
As restrictions ease, we hope you enjoy the freedom of driving again.