We want to keep people updated with our decisions and how they might challenge our customers, particularly now that green shoots are possibly emerging. We have decided that we will continue the full lockdown as we feel this benefits the locality the most in the long term. It is not an easy decision and we are aware of the frustration it causes us and our customers alike.
In the meantime, the government has granted MOT tests a six-month extension to the expiry so there is no need to panic to get it done.
We have also listed a few helpful and practical things that can be done by you at home, during these extended periods of non-use of your vehicle.
If you want to keep your vehicle roadworthy for essential journeys, or are concerned about the impact of not driving it at all for a while, I am going to give you some maintenance tips to see you safely through the coronavirus crisis we are all facing.
Unless you’re driving for one of the essential purposes outlined by the government – including essential work, food shopping or medical reasons – you should avoid driving at all for the time being.
For many of us that means our vehicles will parked for long periods of time. A vehicle that is left unused can develop problems that will prevent it working properly when you come to need it. There are sensible measures you can take to ensure your vehicle remains both safe and legal.
A vehicle's brake discs can begin to corrode if not driven for long periods. This could eventually lead to the brakes seizing to prevent this from happening, I would suggest driving your vehicle up and down your road once a week. This will also help prevent your tyres from developing flat spots. If possible, avoid using the handbrake and leave your vehicle in gear, which prevents it from moving. However, caution must be taken if you are parked on a slope.
It’s also important to keep your battery maintained, and you can do this by simply just running your vehicle for about 15-20 minutes once a week. This will give the battery time to increase its charge.
While the vehicle is running, turn the air conditioning on. This will help maintain the seals in the air conditioning system and reduce the chance of mould developing in your vehicle’s air circulation system. Most importantly never ever leave your vehicle unattended when it’s switched on.
Vehicles with MOT’s due from 30 March 2020 have been given a six-month extension however, drivers are still expected to keep their vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition. If you need to drive for essential reasons check the following.
- Check all fluid levels including oil, engine coolant, brake fluid and screen-wash to ensure they’re at least at minimum recommended levels.
- Check all your lights and get someone from your family to check the brake lights are working.
- Make sure your wiper blades are not split and are clearing your windscreen
- Check that the tyres have sufficient tread depth and no defects like cuts or bulges. The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. You can easily check by inserting a 20p piece into a tyre groove. If the outer band of the coin is not obscured by the tread, they’re too low and illegal to use.
- Ensure tyres are properly inflated. Under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption and can affect the braking performance of your vehicle. You’ll be able to find the recommended tyre pressures for your model in the owner’s handbook or in some cases on the inside near the lock of either of the front doors.
- Gently try your brakes when first setting off to ensure they’re working properly. They may build up corrosion, which creates a crunching or grinding noise for the first mile or so, this will soon disappear once you have used the brakes 2-3 times at it will only be surface rust which occurs naturally.
We all want to return to normal as soon as possible but it must be done safely and responsibly without undoing all the good that has been achieved by lockdown to this point.
We cannot wait to help you on the other side of this crisis.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and hope it has helped even a little.
You can still email us at any time. You will receive an automated response but we are monitoring and working through these as fast as we can.
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