Monday, 30 March 2020

Caring For Your Car While At Home

With the country in a state of lockdown, many of us find ourselves looking for ways to pass the time - particularly during the weekends when our work is done.

I've heard from so many friends that they've checked off all of their DIY to-do lists around the home already! (No such luck here, sadly!) But one important task that you may be overlooking is caring for your vehicle.

There's no better time to give your car that extra bit of TLC now that you're probably using it far less!

I know that our car certainly doesn't get looked after the way it should - with 3 young children it resembles something more akin to a mobile toy wagon than anything else! (Do anyone else's kids insist on taking toys in the car with them, then dropping them on the floor and forgetting all about them?!)

We're looking forward to heading for our first visit to Scotland soon on a driving trip, and so we want to be sure that our car is in good condition for the long journey.

Here are some things you can do to make sure that your vehicle is pampered and ready to go when lockdown is finally over and we can enjoy going out for a drive again! 

1) Check Your Fluids

Now is a great time to check that your oil and water levels are topped up, and your wiper fluid too. We realised that our wiper fluid was out during a long distance trip recently, and it was pretty worrying - I'll be much more careful to check the levels before we travel in future.
RAC have stated that 1 in 3 cars they help at the roadside are dangerously low on Oil, so it's well worth checking! 

2) Check Your Lights & Electrics

There are plenty of electrics in your car – from headlights and fog lights to the battery, and they all need to be regularly checked to ensure your safety.
Perform a walk around the car with the lights switched on to make sure they're all working, and be sure to check every one - even  the number plate lights, as you can be fined if those are out!
You should also check your battery by ensuring the terminals are clean and tight (cleaning off any corrosion with hot water and applying petroleum jelly) and that the engine starts correctly.

3) Check Your Tyres

If you have one at home, bring out the pressure gauge and make sure your tyre pressure is correct (check your vehicle handbook for guidance on this).

You should also take the chance to make sure that your tyre tread meets the legal safety guidelines (Minimum tread level is 1.6mm, although in winter it’s advisable to have 3mm of tyre tread to help with traction and grip.), after all - you don't want to be out driving on the winding Scottish roads and find yourself with a damaged tyre in the middle of nowhere! (Though if this happens, you can buy your new tyres in Stirling from  Fife Autocentre (phone number: 01592 631211)

You should also make sure that your spare is in good condition for travelling and give your wiper blades a check, too.

4) Interior & Exterior Clean

One thing we need to do more often is tidy up the interior of the car as, like I mentioned earlier, my children have a bad habit of dropping toys and empty cartons on the floor. It can be incredibly dangerous if a bottle or ball rolls under the drivers pedals while driving, so be sure to do a regular sweep of the car floor - checking under the seats for anything that may have become lodged.

And then go to town on the hoovering and polishing! You could even rope the kids in to washing the outside of the car too - it's a great way to earn some pocket money and keep them entertained!

Your car will be shining like a new pin, ready for that first venture out that we're all looking forward to when lockdown is over.

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