Keeping your Car in Tip Top Shape Under Current Restrictions
Most of us aren’t using our cars as much as normal these days, but hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re back behind the wheel once more. In the meantime, we've put together some tips to keep your car ticking over.
If your car is off the road for now
Fill up your tank. The last thing you need is rust or condensation forming during your car’s staycation. Don’t forget to always make sure you give your hands a good scrub before and after using petrol pumps and lash on the hand sanitiser while you’re at it.
Keep your battery charged. Just like yourself, your car needs a good recharge too. Each week turn on your car for about 15 minutes to give the battery a good charge to make sure all is in order when needed again. Make sure you disconnect any devices in your car to save the battery too.
Keep Cool. If your car has air conditioning turn this on while running also to clear the vents and save condensation and mould build up in the circulation system.
Never leave your car unattended when it’s switched on or when keys are left inside. Only attempt to turn on your car when you are safe and able to do so.
Electric Car owners. Looking after your Electric Vehicles battery will vary depending on your manufacturer. Check your vehicle’s manual to find out what’s recommended. According to RAC the main high voltage battery should not be left on charge permanently. It is generally recommended these should be maintained at around 50% charge but not allowed to drop below 30% if the vehicle is not in regular use
Wax on… Wax off. Give your car a good clean and wax before you park it up. This saves damage to paintwork should your friendly neighbourhood birds decide to use your car as their own personal bathroom. A good clean inside would be advisable also to get rid of any food residues or dirt that might attract insects or vermin and any other nasty surprises that might await you when you return. Make sure doors and windows are completely shut when you’re finished.
Gear Up. Which offer a tip if your car is parked on a level surface, you could take off the handbrake and leave the car in gear once switched off. This will prevent your car from rolling and save the handbrake from sticking. Do not use this tip if parked on a slope or on a public road where other vehicles could tip your car.
An Post Insurance offer free policy suspension during this period: Usually, in certain circumstances, there is a charge for customers who suspend their car policy, however during this period, 100% of the refund due will be provided to customers. Monthly payments will be required to keep the policy in force but once the suspension is lifted, any monies due will be returned to the customer. (All other usual terms and conditions for Policy suspensions apply, customers should refer to their policy booklet for more information).
If you are using your car for essential journeys (also good tips for when you get back on the road after being off it).
Keep up your fluids. Check fluid levels including oil, engine coolant, brake fluid and screen-wash to ensure they’re at least at minimum recommended levels.
Light Up. Check that all your lights are working properly. Which have a great idea, if you are alone try parking facing a reflective surface such as a window so you can see if your lights are working. Turn the car around and use your mirrors to check your brake lights.
Don’t forget your tyres. Check that tyres have sufficient tread depth and no defects. Minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm in Ireland. Check out RSA’s guide here for tyre safety Information including a tyre tread depth gauge.
Garages are an essential service and therefore allowed to remain open for essential repairs, so if you have any concerns about your vehicle’s road-worthiness, get it checked out as soon as possible.
In no time at all, we will be back cruising the roads!