Among the many benefits of lockdown has been a move away from cars. Since we’ve been able to work from home, and many of us have elected to spend more time running, walking or cycling, there’s not been much cause for us to start the engine and take the car for a spin.
But an abandoned car will tend to have deteriorated, even if it’s just a little bit. As workplaces across the country open up once again, it’s worth performing a spot-check on your vehicle, to make sure that it’s fit for all the miles it might be asked to suddenly put in once again. If you can’t get it in good shape, or it’s looking a bit worse for wear, then you might look at leasing a new car.
If your tyres have been bearing the weight of a ton or so of metal for twelve months or more, then it’s almost inevitable that they’ll have sagged a little bit. Moreover, you might find that they’re lower on one side than the other, especially if you’ve been parked on a kerb.
Either take the car to your local petrol station and get them re-inflated, or do it at home. It’s easy once you figure it out, so don’t be intimidated.
Your car relies on a series of specialised fluids, each of which performs a different function. Making sure that you have enough of each is critical if your car is going to work safely and efficiently. Check your levels of oil, brake fluid and coolant. You can find out where these are located using your car’s manual. Finally, top up the screen-wash. The latter you might find ready-mixed, or in concentrate form. You might find that it’s cheaper to buy screen wash during summer, when it isn’t really needed.
Your boot should be as empty as possible for maximum fuel-efficiency. With that said, there are a few essential items that you’ll want to carry around at all times. These include a first-aid kit, a blanket, a warning triangle and a car jack. If you get stranded, then you’ll be grateful that you included each of these, for different reasons.
When you’re driving around in the daytime, you might not notice that several of your headlamp bulbs have gone – until it becomes a big problem! Make sure that you test your lights before heading out and ask for someone to help so they can see if your brake and front lights still work as they should be.
Over months spent dormant on your driveway (or in your garage), your car’s battery will slowly lose its charge. It’ll get that charge back after a little bit of driving, in most cases, but you might want to give it a head start by leaving the engine running for a few minutes before you set out. If it’s flat, then you can use some jump leads to get it started again. In some cases, the battery might need to be replaced entirely, as total drainage isn’t good for it, especially if it’s near the end of its natural lifespan anyway.