You will likely not be using your pride and joy as much as normal at the moment, and therefore may be worrying about the impact of leaving it sat on your drive for too long.
We have put together a handy list of advice to keep your car in top condition from home, so that when it is time to stretch its legs in the future, your car will be raring to go.
1. Think about where your car is kept
If your car isn’t being used every day and is outside, then consider whether investing in a car cover would be worthwhile this winter. A cover will protect the paint from dirt or snow, keep your car dry and also, depending on the one you decide on, could stop your glass icing over as much.
Of course, keeping your car inside sounds preferable in the cold weather, so if you are lucky enough to have a garage for your car, make sure that the area is ready and safe for your car. Take the time to check the floor and surrounding areas for anything that could puncture your tyres or damage your paintwork. We have more tips on how to keep your car safe while it is at home here.
2. Start with a clean slate
Throughout winter it might feel like cleaning your car is a thankless chore with wet weather and dirty roads, but your car will thank you when summer comes around and your car is in better condition than ever! Start with a thorough deep clean which will then make it easier to keep your car looking spotless going forward.
Remember to start at the top and work your way down, using the two bucket method where possible and regularly rinse your wash mitt! After you have your car looking spick and span, watch out for any dirt or bird poo which makes its way onto the paint work and clean this off as soon as possible to avoid any damage. We have more tips here on how to get your car looking its finest.
Don’t stop with the outside of the car - make sure the inside is ready for colder weather and less journeys too. Check the door pockets, seat compartments and boot for anything that has been left behind which would be better off in the house. Remove any valuable items that are on show in your car. If you won’t be using your satnav or dash cam for a while, take them inside.
3. Tricks of the trade
For some cars after a few days of being static, the electrical system will shut down to protect itself. However, you can invest in a trickle charger to keep the battery topped up and therefore keep your car in the best working order.
This one might sound very obvious, but remember to lock your car when you aren’t planning to use it. We have all come in from the shops, shut the boot and forgotten to go back and lock the car. If the car isn’t locked, the alarm won’t be active and the control units won’t turn off. So you will be more at risk of the battery running low and at risk of the car being stolen.
4. Start your engines
If you don’t have a trickle charger and want to avoid a flat battery, then make sure you routinely start your engine and get your car up to running temperature. It is recommended to leave the car running until it reaches the operating temperature of 90c which will take approximately 10 minutes and get the oil circulating through the engine.
Taking your car for a short drive will help to dry out the brakes to avoid corrosion, so if you have more than one car to run, make sure you rotate which one you use if you are making an essential journey, for example to the shops.
5. Carry out a visual inspection
From your driveway you can easily check your lights, levels and tyres are in good condition, so make sure you keep an eye on these and top up your fluids when required. If you notice anything which you aren’t able to fix yourself, then you can still book your car in for service work under the current Government guidelines.
6. Get your car ready for future journeys
Take this time to make sure your car is fully equipped for future trips. It is recommended to have emergency items such as a first aid kit, blanket, high vis jacket, torch and an empty fuel can in the car in case you ever run into any trouble. You can also make sure that any important documents are up together in your glovebox. Make sure your car manual, details for a breakdown service and the number for the Bodyshop at Dick Lovett are all at hand in case you need them in the future.
We hope you have found these tips useful. Remember, our Dick Lovett dealerships are still open for Service and MOT work on your car as this is confirmed as essential under the latest guidelines. If you have further questions about caring for your car, you can contact your local dealership by phone or email.