Checking your car – one of many necessities that are more difficult in 2020.
The impacts of COVID-19 have once again resulted in government restrictions to prevent spreading the virus. While social distancing limits our movements which affect our daily activities, it’s much more difficult to get out and run our errands like usual.
With the public and local authorities having to prioritise safety above all else, more of us are working from home, meaning less of us are commuting, and travelling, in general, is heavily restricted.
As a result, MOTs were made unavailable by the government, as they prioritise other societal necessities. The decision to postpone MOT tests was made by the government during the previous lockdown, with any MOT expiring between 30th March and 31st July being deferred for a further 6 months.
For those whose MOT has expired during this period, the positive is that it may save you a costly appointment until a later date. However, an MOT appointment is only costly when there are issues which require some attention. In this case, they may exacerbate overtime…
Will MOTs be postponed again during the second lockdown?
Thankfully, there’s been no announcement to suggest so. It is widely believed that MOT centres will remain open for the foreseeable (and let’s hope they stay open!), which should give some peace of mind to drivers and garages alike.
However, 6 months without an MOT check can leave drivers feeling a little anxious on the road, especially with the cold & dark of winter approaching. So, a means of checking your car in the comfort of your own garage (or driveway) is essential!
Though you won’t get a full MOT service, there are certain aspects of a vehicle check you can carry out on your own. Yes, in your garage.
However, it would help if you had the knowledge and guide of an expert to do this successfully, so that’s the purpose of this article!
Checking your car easily during the lockdown
A free car check doesn’t have to be performed by a garage!
Firstly, you can perform a car history check by entering your vehicle registration into Rapid Car Check, just so you have an idea of any previous issues to look for.
Check Your Horn
Start checking your car by inspecting your horn. En
sure that your horn is functioning properly. It should be loud and clear when you sound it from the steering wheel.
Another important aspect of an MOT service is checking your lights. Check if your lights are in good working condition. These lights include the indicator lights, brake lights, fog lights, rear lights, and hazard lights.
The chances are that some bulbs have blown. If so, then check if the fixing is what you can do. Contact a professional to carry out the fixing for you.
Dashboard Warning Lights
To check for these lights, you need to know how your dashboard warning lights function when working correctly. To save you time, take out your car handbook and compare the lights that should come on or off when functioning correctly. If there are any lights on the dashboard that do not correspond with what you have in the handbook, that shows that some parts of your car are faulty.
Check and repair faulty parts of a car immediately that any dashboard warning light pops on. This is important in preventing major faults.
Dashboard warning lights on the dashboard include the engine oil, tire pressure, airbags, and brake warning lights.
Now, it’s time to check for the level of your brake fluid. Open your bonnet and locate the master cylinder. The master cylinder contains demarcations for ‘min’ and ‘max’. If the fluid level in this cylinder is below the ‘min’ mark, it’s time to top up the fluid.
However, topping up this fluid requires a recommended brake fluid for your car make and model. This information should be available in your handbook.
It’s also a part of your task when checking your car during lockdown to check if your mirrors are intact. Obligatory mirrors include one interior mirror to view the inside of your car and one offside mirror.
Ensure that neither of these mirrors are cracked or showing any signs of damage. If you find any mirrors with cracks, it’s wise to fix them or get an aftermarket mirror in a local store.
Ensure that your windscreen and windows are void of marks. If you find any mark larger than 10mm, ensure you fix them. There are products in local stores that you can use to prevent small cracks from expanding.
Car batteries are prone to diminishing when not used for a while. Check if the battery is in good working condition. It’s also a part of your task to check the level of electrolyte and clean the cables. You can also change the battery completely if found unworthy.
How we can help
If you’re struggling with your vehicle during the lockdown period, we have plenty of used cars available to see you through the winter months!
For tips on what vehicle to purchase, see our 5 handy tips for buying a used car.
For any other help & advice with your vehicle, contact All Car Ways today!