Looking after your car in lockdown

With the country in lockdown to help manage the Coronavirus, it may be the case that you are not using your car regularly or even using it at all. Here are a few simple tips to keep your car maintained for essential journeys.

Battery and charging.

Even when your car is switched off, electrical items are still running in the background (such as security devices). We recommend starting the engine and letting it run for around 15 minutes every 2 weeks. Not only will this give the battery time to charge properly, but it will also circulate oil and fuel around the engine. Be sure that your car is outside when the engine is running and not to leave it unattended.

If you have an electric car you’re not using for some time, the batteries’ State of Charge (SOC) should ideally be maintained at 50% and shouldn’t drop below 30%. You don’t need to charge the 12-volt battery as this is supported through charging of the High Voltage (HV) Battery.

Brakes.

If your car is left for a while in wet or damp conditions, a thin layer of surface oxidisation can build up on the surface of the brake discs, which may mean they sound a little noisy at first. This is perfectly normal, just gently applying the brakes when driving will help clear this.

Tyres.

If you haven’t driven in a while, we recommend checking the pressure of your tyres. If you do not know what the pressure of your tyres should be the recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found on the inside of the fuel or charge flap.

You can also view the current pressure of your tyres by pressing the left or right arrow keys located on your steering wheel within the Instrument Cluster. Once you have found the “Service” tab, use the up or down arrow keys to find “Tyre Pressure” and press “OK”.

Fuel.

If you’re currently not driving your car for a long period of time, it’s worth considering filling up your tank to full to reduce the likelihood of any condensation building up.

Servicing.

To support you at this time, Mercedes-Benz are temporarily extending the overdue service limit, so that you can bring your car in when the Government says that it is safe to do so. For more information on this please click here.

MOT.

As per government guidance, if your car’s MOT is due on or after 30 March 2020, its expiry date will be extended by six months, but you must keep your vehicle safe to drive. More information can be found on the government website here.

Getting back on the road.

If you need to drive for essential reasons, follow the below before starting your journey. This is also a good checklist for when it is safe to go back to driving after the restrictions:

· Check your MOT and tax are still current. If not, follow the above steps and book in with your local Mercedes-Benz Hertfordshire dealership.

· Check your tyre pressure and that they have sufficient tread depth and no defects.

· Check that all of your lights are working properly.

· Check fluid levels including oil, engine coolant, brake fluid, screen-wash and top up where required.

· Gently test your brakes to ensure they’re working properly.