Blocking the coronavirus has caused many of us to no longer drive to work.
According to an investigation by the RAC, approximately one in 10 people has stopped using their cars entirely since the blockade was introduced in March.
Some people have not used their cars for weeks, while others have only made occasional short trips to shop at the supermarket.
As a result of not being used, car batteries may be depleted or the parking brakes may jam.
RAC Patrol Ambassador Ben Aldous has compiled a practical guide on how to care for cars during the crisis.
Here are some of his best tips.
Car batteries can be depleted if they are not used regularly.
They may lose charge and not have enough power to start the engine, especially if the essential trips have only been short.
Old batteries are more likely to fail, but even new batteries can run out if not used.
It can also cause a discharged battery if it has been depleted by accessories such as dash cameras or if a radio was turned on while washing the car.
According to the RAC, its patrols have been dealing with more dead battery faults in the home than ever before, with the number of calls compared to the days before the blockade doubled on April 14 this year.
To reduce the chances of a battery failure, car owners can use a charger or battery conditioner to keep it running.
This is the most effective way to maintain a healthy battery for long periods of time with little or no use.
It will also prevent other energy-depleting components from draining the battery completely.
However, using one of these may be impractical if your car is parked on a street, as cables may have to go through the pavement.
The coronavirus outbreak has left many people in Greater Manchester struggling for access to food, staples and other support. Many of them isolate themselves, often in fragile health and alone.
The utilities have been working hard to find and help them, but we know they are too busy and working 24 hours.
So Manchester Evening News and Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity have launched Covaid-19, a fundraising event aimed at supporting those most in need, from elderly people without a support network to homeless families living in hotels.
The money will be distributed through the charity of the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
You can donate by visiting our JustGiving page here.
If a slow-charge charger isn’t available, your best bet is to make sure you’re using your car regularly to keep your battery in good shape.
RAC experts say that you are unlikely to start a car once in a while and leave it running, in fact this can drain your battery.
To make sure the battery stays healthy, consider driving the car for 15-20 minutes, at least once a week, to recharge the battery charge.
For people with two or more cars in their home, it would be a good idea to alternate essential trips with them.
If your battery has run out and the car is not starting, quick start might be an option.
However, be sure to take the started car right away for around 20 to 30 minutes of driving to make sure the battery recharges.
If quick start is not an option, you should contact your car’s breakdown cover for help.
However, in some cases, it may be necessary to completely replace the battery, which may involve a trip to a nearby open garage.
Cars that are left for long periods of time can experience loss of tire pressure.
You can check the pressure yourself at home with a tire pressure gauge or at a nearby service station.
If they have dropped, they should inflate to the levels recommended in the vehicle manual.
Tire pumps are available at gas and service stations.
Tires can also suffer flat stops and lose their round shape if not in use for a while, especially if they are older.
Oil, coolant, washing liquid and lights.
It is recommended to check the oil, coolant and whether the lights work properly to avoid unnecessary breakdown when you start driving regularly again.
The RAC advises keeping spare bulbs if you can, as it can be difficult to find the correct bulbs for your car due to store closings.
Cars have been exempt from needing a MOT during lockout, but drivers could still be prosecuted if their car is deemed unsafe.
The RAC warns that there is a possibility that the parking brake or parking brake will jam if not used for long periods.
To prevent this from happening occasionally, turn the parking brake on and off, but only when the car is on a completely flat surface and chock two wheels if possible.
If you keep your car in a garage, be sure to shift into first gear, or P in an automatic, and chock around the wheels to keep it from rolling.
Vehicle owners were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing due to blocking of the coronavirus.
It means that people can travel to work when this cannot be done from home or buy essential items.
All cars, trucks, and motorcycles that generally require a MOT have been exempt from needing proof as of March 30, 2020.
The government cautions that vehicles must be kept in safe, moving condition and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can still be prosecuted if they drive unsafe vehicles.