5 Essential Car Checks To Do If You’ll Need To Start Using Your Car Again

As we’re sure you’ll be aware, the government has recently reviewed the Coronavirus restrictions and has made some changes.

For some people this may now mean you will start to use your car again after a longer period of being parked up or used a lot less than usual. If that is the case, you will likely find that your car may struggle to start or has other issues that will prevent it from performing optimally. Like humans, it needs a little stretch when it comes out of slumber!

However, there are a few checks you can do now to help ensure your car is safe and ready to set off again.

5 Essential Checks To Ensure Your Car Is Ready To Drive

  1. Battery & Electrics
    If your vehicle hasn’t been started periodically then the battery is likely to be flat. Firstly, insert the key into the ignition and switch to the first position, and if no lights come on, it’s very flat, if when you try to start the engine, the light flickers and you get either a slow turn of the engine or a rapid clicking, then the battery is too low on power.If you are not comfortable with or are unable to get help jump starting the battery, book an inspection with ClickMechanic for a technician to come out and help.
  2. Engine
    If you are fortunate and the engine starts, allow the vehicle to idle for 5 minutes before driving off. This will allow things to warm up gradually, belts to ease back into life and the cooling system time to circulate.
  3. Wheels & Tyres
    Whilst the engine is idling and warming up, it is a good time to check your tyre pressures as under-inflation will cause damage to the sidewall if you drive with low pressure in them, as well as being dangerous!
  4. Suspension
    During the tyre pressure check, take a quick look at the gap between the top of the tyres and the wheel arches and make sure it is even on both sides. If not, it could be a clear indication that a spring has broken whilst the vehicle has been stationary.
  5. Brakes
    Finally when you are ready to drive off, dab the brakes a few times and gently depress the clutch pedal a few times if it is a manual.If you haven’t driven your vehicle, inevitably your brake discs will gain a coating of rust. This is quite normal and in most cases once the car is moving and the brakes have been applied a few times, this will clean off. It may be a bit noisy to start with, but it’s ok!Hopefully, your handbrake will not have stuck on. However, if, as you drive off, the wheels drag or the car won’t move but instead rises up, it has stuck on! Do not under any circumstances simply try and keep driving it to release it as you can damage the brakes. Book a mechanic to come out and do it safely.One last word of advice, give your windscreen a wash as it’s likely to smear quite badly at the first few swipes so it’s best to do that before you set off!

If you are concerned that your vehicle may have become unsafe, unreliable or something has happened to it, book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for our contact-free mobile mechanic service.

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5 Signs Your Car Battery Needs Replacing

5 Signs your car battery needs replacing

Finding out when your car battery needs replacing can be tricky. Over time the battery in your car will inevitably deteriorate. Especially winter can put increased strain on your battery as it has to work much harder. Come spring you may find that your battery’s condition has become so bad that it can’t keep the car running properly. Sometimes the battery will simply stop working from one day to the next. Often, though, there will be signs which can point to a deteriorating battery.

Signs Your Car Battery Needs Replacing

Dimming headlights & interior lights

One tell-tale sign of a weak battery is dimming lights in and around the car. If the battery just isn’t powerful enough the strength of your lights will be weaker. The headlights may not be powerful enough which would prevent you from seeing properly in the dark. Make sure to get help from a mechanic immediately to get this resolved, to stay safe on the road.

Slow start of the engine

If it takes a long time to start the car then in most cases it will have something to do with the battery. Try starting the engine, if the starter motor isn’t able to ‘crank over’ over the engine, then often it is a case of a drained battery.

Battery leak

Batteries contain battery fluid which can leak. Usually, the leaks can appear on top of the battery around the battery terminals, but a damaged casing can also lead to leaks.

If the battery fluid leaks then the ability to charge and provide power will decrease. It will lead to a less powerful battery. Take care to address this in time if you notice it. Battery fluid is nasty stuff and will cause corrosion around the battery.

Check Engine Light

Sometimes something as simple as the check engine light coming on can point to a problem with the battery. It usually comes on when the battery is weak.

Bloated Battery Case

Whilst this may sound peculiar, your battery case can expand over time, especially if it has overheated. In turn, the battery will deteriorate and battery life will decrease.

If you’re not quite sure if your battery needs replacing it is advisable to get help from a professional mechanic who can do a battery check. A mechanic will be able to find out if the battery really needs replacing. Make sure to also follow manufacturer guidelines on battery replacement intervals.

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Happy driving!

Where Is My Car Battery Located?

carbattery

Batteries can be one of those car components that can be an absolute pain. Sometimes they can inexplicably die or become flat, or the battery terminal can corrode. Perhaps it is no surprise that battery checks and replacements were among the most requested jobs by our customers last year. Remember, getting to the bottom of battery problems will always be tricky with out professional equipment. But where can you actually find the battery in your car for a quick preliminary check?

INSTANT QUOTE

On most cars the battery is fitted in the engine bay at the front of the car and to the side of the engine, either on the right or the left. On some cars, though, the battery is fitted in the boot for better weight distribution. On cars fitted with an engine in the middle or the rear of the car, like the Porsche 911 or Boxster, the battery may be found in the luggage compartment at the front of the car.

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Usually the battery will be a small black boxlike component with wires sticking out from the top, which are the battery cables that feed the car’s electrical system. The cables are attached to the battery terminals, there is a positive and a negative electrical terminal, the battery after all provides a direct electrical current.

If you’re not sure what battery problem you have always make sure to have the situation checked by a professional. For more information check our battery repair page.

Ps. and remember, always stay safe with batteries!