Car Maintenance

While on Holidays

If you are going to leave your car unused for a while, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure that it will be in good condition and ready to use when you get back. What you will need to do depends on how long the vehicle will be left unattended. For example, if the vehicle is being left unused for a short period of time you should leave the windows partially open for ventilation – but only if the car is in a secure garage. For longer periods or expensive cars you should consider using a commercial storage company. Keep your car keys in a safe and secure place to prevent car theft in an event of a break in.

Before You Set Off

If you doubt the car battery's ability to remain charged consider investing in a 'smart charger'. These only charge the car battery when necessary and can be left connected without risk of overcharging. Pump your car tyres up to their maximum pressure – this keeps the tyres in good shape and avoids flat spots which may occur after a long time standing. You could also arrange for someone to use the vehicle once a week in dry weather – providing its motor insurance, vehicle tax and NCT etc. are in date.

If you are traveling for a period of up to three months, you should make sure that you prepare your car for this. Clean and polish the car – hose under wheel arches to remove mud but make sure it's dry before putting it away. If the car is in a garage, make sure there's plenty of ventilation. Check things such as the tyre pressure, the car bonnet or that nothing has chewed through the pipes/hoses. Try as best as possible to leave the fuel level low prior to your travels as stale fuel could be a problem when trying to start your engine when you get back.

When You Return Home

Once you return from your vacation, re-tighten any drive belts loosened when the car was put away. Before restarting your car, check all car fluid levels beforehand and change the oil once the car is running. Check brake operation including the handbrake – the brakes will probably be seized on if the car's been left with the handbrake applied. Try engaging a gear and driving gently, otherwise dismantling may be necessary. It is also strongly recommended that you get a full car service to confirm that there are no issues with your vehicle when you get home.

Whether it’s a few weeks in the south of Italy or three months backpacking through Asia, it is still crucial that you do whatever is best to ensure that when you come home, your car is as efficient as it was before you left. This doesn’t only benefit your vehicle, it also takes a weight off your shoulders. At Chill Insurance we love nothing more than making your life a lot easier. So why not give us a call on 1890 30 20 20 or visit our website and get a quick quote with us today?