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Top tips to keep your car from breaking down in lockdown

PUBLISHED: 15:03 03 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:03 03 May 2020

Green Flag is expecting an increase in breakdowns. Picture: Good Garage Scheme

Green Flag is expecting an increase in breakdowns. Picture: Good Garage Scheme

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A breakdown cover company has warned that more cars could breakdown after the coronavirus lockdown if not maintained properly.

Batteries are vulnerable to going flat. Picture: Getty ImagesBatteries are vulnerable to going flat. Picture: Getty Images

Green Flag has created an essential checklist for a vehicle to save customers having to call a mechanic out.

Cars could have laid dormant for several weeks, potentially more, by the time lockdown is lifted and the provider said it is essential cars are being looked after to avoid the risk of breakdown when back on the roads.

Flat batteries and cracked tyres are among the top issues drivers could face from not maintaining their cars.

Battery

When a car sits unused for a long time, its battery can go flat.

That will mean the starter motor cannot do its job and start the engine. During Covid-19, the car should be started once a week and let the engine run for 20 minutes to charge the battery.

A newer battery should be able to go unused for a few weeks without losing all its charge, but older batteries will need some charging during the pandemic.

Tyres

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If possible move the car backwards and forwards once a week during its lockdown. Tyres rely on use to move the oils they contain to stay supple. If left for months in one position the rubber will degrade and flatspots could develop.

Brakes

Corrosion building up between the brake pads and discs makes them stick on.

Moving the car backwards and forwards at least once a week should prevent this happening.

Air Con

Air conditioning that features in most new cars uses the coolant to cool the inside of the car.

If the air con is unused for a period, those seals can dry out and cause leaks. When starting the car to charge the battery, make sure the air con is switched on too.

Fuel

The fuller a car is with fuel when it’s left, the better.

Both petrol and diesel can degrade when left for long periods


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