To help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the government has extended MOT expiry dates (for due dates on or after 30 March 2020) for 6 months.
At the same time however, the government’s directions are also clear about vehicle owners’ responsibility to make sure that their vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). “Get unsafe vehicles repaired or risk hefty fines” is the message on the dedicated web page.
So, whether you are a key worker driving your car more frequently (to avoid public transport), or you are in self-isolation driving sparingly (only to do food shopping), or your car is in lockdown on your driveway for the foreseeable future, here are some tips to put safety first and to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition.
Don’t extend repairing the advisories on your last MOT certificate
If your MOT date falls within the 6 months extension granted by the government, and you haven’t sorted out the advisories on your last MOT certificate, consider that a year will have passed since these repairs were advised and ignoring them for much longer will not just pose a safety risk, but may well cause a knock-on effect and cause even greater damage to other parts of the car, making it unroadworthy and dangerous to drive. And risking fines as well as accidents and (god forbid) lives!
To be reminded of the results of your last MOT test, use the MOT history checker on the government website.
Don’t stop looking after your car during the lockdown
You may not be able to drive your car at all, or only very sparingly, while the restrictions are in place, and unfortunately, when it comes to inactivity cars are a bit like humans, who are said to rust if they rest too much. So, here a few simple tips to avoid a breakdown during lockdown:
- A healthy car battery is the lifeline of your car. To prevent it from discharging due to limited use it’s good to check its outer condition (e.g. for acid and grime build up) regularly as this effects performance and durability, and to prevent it from going completely flat, it’s good to keep a trickle battery charger at home now. Your car battery is also the lifeline for the central locking by the way! So, if you want to avoid getting locked out altogether, do check your car battery. Or otherwise that the keys would fit in the lock to open your car manually.
- Tyres also don’t like not being used. They can lose pressure, over long periods even their shape, and they can also develop flat spots or cracks. Simply checking the inflation and ensuring the pressure level on the tyres is correct can help prevent flat spots and cracks in the sidewall as well.
- Another one is pollen and oil filters, which can get blocked on a stationary vehicle as well, especially at this time of year. And when it comes to fluids such as engine oil and brake fluid beware that these will also need replacing as their quality and ability to lubricate deteriorates.
- Last but not least, why not give your vehicle simply some TLC with a good wash and inside-out clean. Your car will thank you for it and we promise, it will make you feel good :)
A wide range of mechanical repairs and three levels of car servicing
Whether you need to get the advisories on your last MOT sorted or service your car, we are open and offer a wide range of mechanical repairs and three levels of servicing. Find out more here…
Here is also further information on the precautions we are taking, and don’t forget to call Mike on 020 8830 0476 to discuss your needs and make an appointment.
Keep safe, strong and healthy.
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