Find the best tips and advice for your car from the experts at Michelin.
Tyre Maintenance During Lockdown
Tyre maintenance during lockdown is essential. Tyres, naturally, lose some of their pressure. This is usually at around 1 psi or 0.07bars per month however, it can be accelerated by other factors, including a puncture, a damaged valve, or the valve cap. Inflation pressures should be set at the normal level for the vehicle. If the tyre is underinflated by up to 7psi, without any signs of visible damages, such as cuts and bulges to the sidewall, they can usually be re-inflated.
If, however, the tyre pressure is underinflated by more than 7psi, the tyre should be removed and inspected by an expert to ensure that structural damage has not occurred. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended tyre pressure and inflate to that value. For this you will need both a tyre pressure gauge and a pump.
Avoid parking on stones or objects that might dig in and damage the tyre wall. Similarly, avoid parking in pools of water or oil and, if possible, shelter tyres from continued direct sunlight with covers. We advise you to check your tyre pressure at least once per month and certainly before use, if the vehicle hasn’t been used for any significant length of time.
How to Avoid A Flat Battery During Coronavirus Lockdown?
A growing concern for many motorists has been their vehicles refusing to start when they need them again, post-isolation. If you use your vehicle to carry out essential journeys, such as picking up shopping and medication, this will provide the sufficient maintained charge that your battery requires, provided that the shops are a few miles away
Alternatively, you could invest in a battery charger but, before doing so consult the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines.
The timeframe of which a battery will last depends on a range of different factors including the climate on which the car operates in, how regularly the car is driven, and how well both the car and battery are maintained. Therefore, it is difficult to predict how long a battery will last.
Ensure that you have turned off your lights, as these will, inevitably, drain your battery.
If, when you go to use your car again, the battery has gone flat, contact a mechanic for further advice.
Brake Maintenance During Lockdown
When a car remains stationary for an extended period of time, you may find that the brakes have built up corrosion on the surface thanks to moisture, something you will be able to see on the exterior of the brakes discs and, similarly, hear when driving. Usually, this is not a cause for concern and will disappear once the car has been driven. However, if the problem persists, contact a mechanic, as seized calipers can cause extensive wear and damage.
If the handbrake is engaged fully, and the car remains stationary for an extended period of time, you could experience issues with the handbrake cable. If you are parking your manual car on a flat surface on a driveway, engage first gear, and apply the handbrake to its half potential. A pair of wheel chocks will help prevent the car from rolling.
Using your car sparingly will keep components lubricated and fully functioning.
How Can I Charge My Electric Vehicle During Lockdown?
Refueling at an electric charging point will often involve the use of an app, meaning that no face-to-face communication or interaction is required. That said, when refueling, you must remember to take the precautions necessary to limit your chance of infection, including using gloves, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands at the nearest convenience.
Like every other aspect of life in current times, try to plan your visit to an electric charging point at a time which is not busy.
Are Garages Still Open During Lockdown?
Garages have been deemed an essential service and, therefore, will remain open, at the business’ discretion, despite lockdown measures and social distancing. Check out our advice on commuting with care during self-isolation.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps noted: “We must ensure that those on the frontline of helping the nation combat Covid-19 are able to do so. Safety is key, which is why garages will remain open for essential repair works.”
Take into consideration, however, before taking your vehicle to a garage the importance of the vehicle at this current time and its use. Are you a key worker or need your vehicle for essential journeys?
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