If you are on the road you will no doubt have noticed that traffic is at a minimum. No surprise really, as citizens grapple with the seriousness of the situation, more people are remaining in their homes, only venturing out for essential items like groceries or medicine. So, what happens to the some 19.5 million or so registered vehicles which will sit idle in driveways and garages across the country?
Your car or truck or indeed whatever vehicle you have is an investment and it’s really important it remains at optimal health. By guaranteeing it’s properly maintained, you’ll improve its performance, lessen the cost of future maintenance, extend its life and preserve its value.
Below are a few helpful tips on what to do to ensure your car is well maintained and in running condition for when you get it back on the road.
Clean it up
If you do decide to put the brakes on driving your vehicle, first things first. Give your vehicle some extra love by cleaning it up before leaving it parked in your garage indefinitely. Eradicate dirt, debris and any hard-to-remove stains such as bird droppings or sap. If these stains are left on your vehicle, they can cause long term damage to the paint job.
Run the battery
A vehicle’s battery is just as important as the petrol that keeps it running. Without a working battery your vehicle has no charge, and without a charge, it has no way for the engine to run. If you leave your vehicle unused for even just a few weeks, there’s a chance it will be difficult to start. To avoid this, run the engine each week to keep the battery running.
Top up fluids
An important step to take before giving your vehicle a break from the road includes topping up the fluids. This includes changing the oil, engine coolant, windshield wiper fluids, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and any other fluids. The reason why this is so important is because old and used oil contains corrosive elements like moisture and muck, making new oil a much safer option for your dormant vehicle.
If your car’s going to be sitting for a long period of time, the temperature may change, and the tyres can slowly lose pressure. Considering tyres are possibly one of your vehicle’s most important safety features, for this reason, it’s a good idea to check them regularly and inflate them to the recommended air pressure. And remember, you’ll want to repeat this process if you start driving it after it’s left unused for a long period of time.
Get regular servicing
To keep your car in tip-top condition, regular servicing schedules are important to extend the life of your vehicle. Service times are based on the kilometres you’ve driven or a schedule like every six months. Checking your car’s handbook is an accurate indication of when you’re four wheels is due for a check-up at the mechanic.
Keep it covered
If you don’t have a garage or have one and use it more as an extension of your garden shed, consider investing in a car cover or clearing out your garage to make room for your car. In most cases, keeping your vehicle parked in a secure garage reduces the cost of your insurance premium and keeps it safe, clean and out of the harsh elements of changing weather conditions. It also reduces the risk of theft and accidental damage from passing vehicles.
If you do need to make a claim during this time, we are always here to help. We are however making changes to help minimise risk for you and our network of suppliers (like assessors and repairers).
During this time when wait times over the phone are longer than usual, it’s fastest to log in to make a claim for your home or car.