Cars may breakdown due to parts failures after lockdown – avoid repair bill with tips
Motoring specialists say it is “vital” motorists keep their car in a good working order during the crisis to keep vehicles in a healthy state. Road users may suffer issues with their batteries, tyres or engines after the lockdown if their cars have not been used for a long period of time.
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This could force motorists to spend hundreds of pounds on car repair bills after the crisis has ended for simple errors which may be avoided.
Gunnar Peters, Head of Telematics at Admiral car insurance said: “While car journeys haven’t stopped completely, there are some drivers who have dramatically reduced their car usage and there will be many cars parked up and undriven for longer periods than normal.
“In these cases, it’s important to keep your car maintained and healthy so that when you do come to drive it again, it’s ready to go without any problems.
“With MOT exemptions now in place, it’s also vital that whether you’re driving your car or not, you are keeping it in good, working order and that it’s safe to drive.”
Garages are allowed to remain open during the crisis for essential repairs but many motorists may not check for issues due to MOT exemptions in place.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed motorists must keep their car in a roadworthy condition if they plan to use their cars during the lockdown.
Police may issue fines of up to £2,500 for driving a car in a dangerous condition so drivers are encouraged to ensure their car is kept in a good condition during this period.
Avoid battery issues
According to Vix Leyton, spokesperson for motor retailers carwow, batteries could become flat if they are not used regularly.
To avoid the problems, motorists have been urged to start their vehicles and let them tick over on a drive as often as possible.
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Another option would be to purchase a trickle charger which will top-up the vehicle with a steady stream of power while a vehicle is off the road.
Admiral says the battery should be cleaned to prevent any further issues if any corrosion has begun to form.
Prevent severe engine issues
Motorists could avoid expensive engine damage and potential breakdowns by simply keeping their oil topped up during the lockdown.
Road users are warned by Admiral that even too much or too little oil can lead to engine issues and urge road users should always keep an eye out for any leaks.
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Admiral has also urged road users to check their coolant levels regularly to avoid their engine overheating.
Experts at Select Car Leasing have warned diesel drivers need to run their vehicles to prevent their diesel particulate filter (DPF) from becoming clogged.
They warned the UK could be set for a DPF failure epidemic if vehicles are not used which could result in costs as high as £3,500 if the part needs to be replaced.
Keep doing regular tyre checks
Motorists can use the time off work to conduct important checks on their vehicle’s tyres for signs of cracking.
Carwow spokeswoman Vix Leyton said: “ There should be no cuts, nicks or cracking visible on the tyres, and they should have at least 2mm of tread as the legal limit is 1.6mm.
“There will be a marker in your tyre’s tread pattern to show [what] the minimum level is.
“Quick tip, you can use a 20p coin to check tyre tread as the border of a 20p piece is exactly 1.6mm deep – if you can see any of the border then they’re below the legal limit.”
Admiral has warned road tyre issues are also dangerous and could put yourself at higher risk of suffering a car crash.
They say motorists who need a replacement should wait until they can go to a professional tyre fitter so specialist equipment can be used.
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