Maintaining Your Car During Lockdown Or If Not Used

If a car sits for too long without being driven it can have issues that will affect the driving performance. Here are some issues you should be aware of and make sure proper maintenance is performed to ensure your vehicle will operate correctly when needed.

Caring For Your Battery & Brakes

Portable Car Battery Jumper

If your brakes have not been used for a while, the brake discs will start to corrode. If this continues, your brakes will seize up requiring a mechanic to repair them. You can prevent this from happening by rolling your car back and forth a few metres once in a while, as long as it’s safe to do so. Also, moving your car back and forth will prevent your tyres from forming flat spots.

If the brake discs corrode, it can cause the handbrake to freeze or stick. If you are able to park your car on a flat area that is on level ground, you might consider not applying your handbrake. If you use your handbrake, keep in mind this can lead to the brake making the car immobile. Instead, consider that leaving your car in gear might be the better option. Again, just make sure your car is parked on a level flat surface. Never use this approach if you are on a slope or parked on a public road, running the risk of someone hitting the car.

Maintaining your battery is another important step you must pay attention to even specially if the vehicle is left unused for more than a week or two. Your car imobaliser and alarm can drain your battery prettty quickly. If your car is parked in a private and safe area you should consider getting a battery maintainer or trickle charger to keep your battery in good condition and maintain its charge.

If it’s not possible for you to run a lead to your car, you should start your car up at least once a week and let it run for approximately 15 minutes. This will allow your battery to totally recharge and circulate the oil and fuel around the engine. This can prevent engine flooding in petrol cars.

While your car is running, turn on the air conditioning to maintain the seals in the unit and prevent mould from developing in the system.

Never turn your car on and off in rapid succession. Keep in mind, the starter motor needs battery power each time you start the car. Starting and stopping the car quickly, will not restore the battery unless its given time to recharge.

Never leave your car unattended when it’s turned on and running.

If you allow your battery to completely drain you run the risk of permanently damaging it. The acid in the battery will form crystals on the lead, in ordanary use these are removed as the battery is used. Without regular use these crystals can remain on the lead permanently and reduce the charge the battery can hold. If your battery is a quiet old this could stop you from being able to recharge the battery at all and you will need to replace it completely with a new battery.

Keeping Your Car Roadworthy

Top Up Car Fluids

Whether you own a car, a van or a motorcycle and have MOTs due by 30 March 2020 and have been given a six-month extension for getting the test completed, you are still expected to keep your vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition.

If you must drive, please read the following information:

Check fluid levels including oil, engine coolants, brake fluid, and screen wash to meet any minimum recommended levels.

Always apply your brakes gently when first taking off to make sure they are working properly. If there is a build-up of corrosion, you will probably experience crunching or grinding for the first mile or so. If this continues or you experience vibration through the pedal, you might have warped brake discs. You should get it checked out as quickly as possible.

Before taking off, check your lights to ensure they are working properly. If possible, ask someone to help you. They can watch when you check the brake lights by applying the brakes. If no one is available, park in front of a reflective area, such as a window, and then watch for the lights in your rearview mirror.

Check your tyres to ensure you have the right tread depth and there are no defects. In the UK, the minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm. This is actually easy to check, just place a 20p coin into the tyre groove. If the outer band of the coin is not obscured by the tread block, your tyres are too low and not legal to drive on.

You should check your tyres for good inflation. Under-inflated tyres will use up more fuel and affect the performance of your brakes. You should look in your car’s owner handbook to make sure you set your tyres at the right pressure.

Many newer models have a tyre pressure monitor that will warn you when your tyre pressure has dropped. You can check your tyre pressure at your local petrol station or purchase a portable pressure gauge from retailers such as Amazon.

Garages are permitted to remain open for essential repairs so if you are worried about your car’s roadworthiness, get your vehicle checked out as soon as possible. For good peace of mind, many garages now offer a free vehicle health check. Take advantage of these free checks once you are back on the road to prevent any serious problems.

Make Sure To Maintain Your Tax & Insurance

Car Insured

While car owners have been given a 6-month MOT exemption so garages can take care of essential repairs, you are still responsible for keeping your road tax and car insurance up to date so your car will remain legal on the roads.

There is one exception to this, if you have a statutory off-road notification or SORN. Keep in mind if you do this, you will not be allowed to use your car even for essential or emergency trips. You can claim back the value of any full months of tax remaining on the car and will no longer be obligated to insure it.

The downside, this option is not available for those who do not have access to off-road parking. If you don’t have off-road parking and must leave your car on the street, make sure you park in a safe area and remember to not use your handbrake and leave your car in gear if you have a manual gearbox or your car is on a slope use the handbrake.

Are you in or around Birchwood, Warrington, Winwick, Risley, Partington, Padgate, Newton le Willows, Lymm, Lowton, or Irlam? Lowton Motor Company Birchwood is the solution your car needs for any engine issues and problems that may arise with your vehicle if it has been left standing and unused for a while. With over 25 years of experience, we will be able to find and fix the problem quickly and get your car back on the road. As the largest garage in Birchwood we provide a convenient and affordable service.

For all types of car service and repairs, book your service using the simple booking form below. You can also call us on 01925 330468.

Our Customer Reviews

  • I didn’t manage to find reception too easily, but I did manage to get a car with a good history at a good price. Came with a fresh MOT, service and valet. No issues with the car so far, but if I end up stranded on the motorway next week, I’ll update 😉

    Jay Avatar

    Fantastic service from these guys! Smooth process from start to finish, will use them again.

    Martina O`Brien Avatar
    Martina O`Brien

    Pulled up late today with a screw in the tyre! Muzzy was really helpful and repaired my tyre on the spot! Highly recommend this place:)
    Got me out of a hole, cheers guys😎

    mick bunyan Avatar
    mick bunyan
  • Good service, all things explained and I will be returning.

    Garry Cassidy Avatar
    Garry Cassidy

    Warning lights on car while travelling on motorway. Took first possible exit to find garage or similar. Lawton Motor Company sorted problem instantly. Extremely helpful, exemplary service, right balance of professionalism and friendliness. Thanks Paul to you and your staff.

    Val Packer Avatar
    Val Packer

    Just bought myself a Jaguar F Pace from these guys and it was so easy. They'd only had the car one day, I sent a couple of emails asking for details and the company director contacted myself personally, sort out some photos and now it's mine. Very easy people to deal with, helpful and willing to sort anything out. Will use again

    Neil Roberts Avatar
    Neil Roberts
  • Just recently bought a Nissan qashqai from this company the service was outstanding and would definitely recommend for anyone who is looking to buy a car .

    lacey hayes Avatar
    lacey hayes

    With all the Covid regulations in place i was concerned about my visit to the dealership..I was dealt with in a professional and curteous manner by Sam and Ian.Which i appreciated

    David Power Avatar
    David Power

    Excellent service

    Zzz Pip Avatar
    Zzz Pip
  • Car failed its MOT got repaired and retested for free within a few hours.. at a fair price... Highly recommended... Wish I could afford some of the cars on sale here as well, absolute beauties..

    RustySausage Avatar

    Car failed its MOT got repaired and retested for free within a few hours.. at a fair price... Highly recommended... Wish I could afford some of the cars on sale here as well, absolute beauties..

    PullMyFinger Avatar

    Car failed its MOT got repaired and retested for free within a few hours.. at a fair price... Highly recommended... Wish I could afford some of the cars on sale here as well, absolute beauties..

    Darryl Walker Avatar
    Darryl Walker
  • Car failed its MOT got repaired and retested for free within a few hours.. at a fair price... Highly recommended... Wish I could afford some of the cars on sale here as well, absolute beauties..

    Lord Walker Avatar
    Lord Walker

    With all the Covid regulations in place i was concerned about my visit to the dealership..
    I was dealt with in a professional and curteous manner by Sam and Ian.
    Which i appreciated

    David Power Avatar
    David Power

    I am a new customer using LMC, and aI am extremely happy with the service I received from all staff in the reception and especially from Lough who carried out the work on my keeping me informed of what needed attention

    Peter Gurney Avatar
    Peter Gurney
  • Quality

    Manchester Avatar

    Bought a car from them very happy with the service I received. Also service manager is very helpful and will not hesitate to help in any way he can.

    David Melton Avatar
    David Melton

    Had quite a few issues when I purchased the car but young San sorted them. Thanks.

  • Superb service from start to finish will definitely use again in the future

    Stephen Gault Avatar
    Stephen Gault

    Easy to book over the phone.Car brought in in the morning for MOT and interim service.Car collected at the end of the day.No faults noted. Didn't try and upsell me on anything. Seems like a good dealership.

    Mark P Avatar
    Mark P

    Friendly staff and a good service I will go back again thanks

    Lee Hancock Avatar
    Lee Hancock
  • Recently booked my car in for an MOT and service and they were able to fit me in at very short notice which was great! Great value and excellent service provided. All staff were very helpful and friendly on arrival and pick up. Would def recommend

    jan johann Avatar
    jan johann

    Bought my car off them this week great set of Lads nothing to much trouble quick and efficient service thanks very much To y & Les


    Excellent company, professional non pushy salesmen, very knowledgeable on all the cars available, upfront and honest on the deals and purchase price for my car, aftersales also excellent.
    Would recommend the birchwood sales centre we will definitely be using them again, fantastic that they also have a service centre and mot centre on site to continue the high standard of care for the car purchased.

    Rebecca Wood Avatar
    Rebecca Wood
  • Had my MOT booked here.
    Quick and efficient service, will definitely come back for future services.

    Ryan Lee Avatar
    Ryan Lee

    Very pleased on all counts. They couldn't have been more helpful.
    And they do a great coffee ☕ 👍👍

    Graham Sutcliffe Avatar
    Graham Sutcliffe

    Amazing ,Loue (mechanic) kindly pushed my car around to their service area( broken down on way ) for checking to why not starting ?
    The battery was the fault he ordered a new one and fitted it at a reasonable price,Thankyou to the receptionist whom looked after me whilst waiting....
    A big Thankyou to Loue 😊

    lynne frodsham Avatar
    lynne frodsham
  • I bought my new car, sale went through smoothly.

    David Mckeown Avatar
    David Mckeown

    Took my car in at 9am as arranged for mot, it was done on time and whilst I waited was shown courtesy and politeness would not hesitate to recommend and I will definitely use again for my up coming service

    kevan jones Avatar
    kevan jones

    I was very satisfied with the level of service I received last week from Lowton Motor Company. They traced a leak in my air conditioning unit, obtained a replacement radiator and topped up the gas within there estimated time scale and price

    peter standing Avatar
    peter standing

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