WITH more businesses reopening, people returning to work and being able to socialise more, life is slowly returning to normal in the UK and this is evident with the increase in the number of vehicles that are on the roads.
The roads have been very quiet during lockdown and many motorists have significantly reduced the amount of driving that they are doing.
The dangers of prolonged immobilisation
Having a vehicle sat idle for 2/3 months is actually not very good for it and some motorists are now finding that they are encountering a range of issues when they go to start up their vehicle.
Prolonged immobilisation can lead to a few different issues so read on to find out what these are and what action you can take to overcome each problem.
Even if you have not used your vehicle during lockdown, it will still be using the battery to power small electrical systems like the clock and security features. Therefore, if your charge was low prior to lockdown then you might encounter a flat battery and have difficulty getting started. You can rectify this situation with jump leads for an immediate fix, but you can also replace the battery yourself which is a straightforward maintenance task.
It is possible for tyres to lose pressure even when the car is not in use, so if you have not used it for a number of weeks then you might find that you have a flat or two. You should check your tire pressure before driving for the first time and use a home tyre inflation kit if you need topping up at all (a handy piece of kit to have at any time).
Low Fluid Levels
Another common issue that motorists are finding is that they have low fluid levels, especially engine oil which can drain down into the system into the sump if a car has not been moved for a long time. Be sure to check up your vital fluid levels and top any up if necessary. This will include engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power-steering fluid and transmission fluid.
Buildup in Particulate Filters
For those that drive diesel, it is important that you are wary of buildup in particulate filters especially if you have been making short trips during lockdown.
These filters prevent harmful particles of soot being emitted into the atmosphere and the buildup is usually burned off when the exhaust system warms to peak temperature after around 20 minutes, but this will not achieved on shorter trips so you must look out for the symbol on the dashboard.
In addition to physical problems, you will also want to make sure that you still have coverage in place before you hit the road. As an example, you might find that your warranty expired during lockdown in which case you will want to arrange a new one from somewhere like Warrantywise.
It is great to see life slowly return to normal in the UK, but motorists need to be wary that their vehicle may need some maintenance as there are a few issues that can occur from prolonged immobilisation.