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8th March 2021

Car health checks to take after a long break from driving

Follow just a few simple checks to make sure your car is still road-worthy after lockdown 3.0.

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Have you not used your car as much because you’ve been working at home, self isolating or simply avoiding crowds by not going out? As lockdown relaxes and you begin to venture back on to the road again, here are some safety checks you should carry out on your car before your trip.

1. Make sure your battery isn’t flat

If you haven’t been using your car as much, it might be a good idea to test the car battery before the end of the lockdown so you’re ready to drive when you can.

In the event your battery is flat, try jump-starting your car if you have the right cables and someone with a car that has the same battery voltage as you. You could also give us a call if you’ve taken out breakdown cover with us as we offer a home start service.

How to prevent a flat battery

If you aren’t planning on driving just yet, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent your battery from going flat before making your first trip. For starters, you could disconnect your car’s battery to ensure it doesn’t go flat. We do strongly advise that you check with the manufacturer before doing so, as this can cause problems to some modern vehicles.

Many also start the car once every couple of days and let it idle for some time. This will also keep your battery from depleting. You can also turn the air conditioning on while your car is idling so any dust gets blown out.

2. Give your car a good clean

Image source: Pexels

Your car might have been sat in your garage or outside in the elements for a while, in which case it might be time to give it a clean before you start driving again. This can also help to expose any damage or rust to your vehicle.

How to prevent your car from getting dirty

Make sure your car is parked in a safe covered area. If you don’t have covered parking, then keep the car covered. This will protect it from bird droppings or sunlight that could damage the paint. Also, ensure you remove all litter or food items from your car that might leave a bad smell and may attract rats or mice.

3. Check your petrol levels

This is one of the most important car health checks on the list as the last thing you want is to start your car for that first trip only to find out that you don’t have any petrol in the tank. It’s wise to check your fuel levels in the days or weeks leading up to your first journey.

Getting a full tank can help prevent you from having to make extra trips to the petrol station for top-ups, which will in turn help you remain safe. Doing so can also help prevent condensation in your fuel tank, which could potentially lead to rusting.

4. Stock up on your car essentials

It’s a good idea to make sure you have all the items you need to stay safe and hydrated in the event of a car breakdown.

The following items should ideally be kept in your car all year round:

  • water bottles
  • gloves
  • safety blankets
  • first aid kits
  • booster cables

5. Ensure your tyres are in good condition

Your vehicle’s tyres will deflate over time, even when your car’s just sat on your driveway. As a result, it’s always a good idea to check that your tyres are properly inflated at the right level of pressure and that there aren’t any cracks or other forms of damage on the sidewalls.

How can Sterling help you get back on the road after lockdown 3.0?

If you’re worried about breaking down during lockdown, read our guidance on what will happen if you breakdown during the pandemic.
No matter what vehicle you have,  Sterling has you covered. We offer various insurance policies to help you stay safe during these unprecedented times. Whether you need standard car insurance or something a little more niche, give us a call on 0344 381 9990 for a quote. And to prevent any mishap from your car breaking down, you can always add breakdown cover to your policy too.

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