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Be Road Ready with the John Clark Motor Group

Car Maintenance Hints and Tips​

As we come out of lockdown, we’ll all start using our cars again, which may have been parked up for some time. It’s important to check your vehicle before driving to ensure it’s still roadworthy. We hope these handy car maintenance tips help keep you safe and keep your car in perfect working order, but if you need any help please do not hesitate to contact us.

Battery – There is nothing more frustrating than getting in your car to go somewhere and the engine won’t start. Battery issues are the number one cause of breakdowns throughout the year, but when your vehicle has not been used often, there is a much higher risk of a flat battery.

If you know what you’re doing and feel confident to do so, use a trickle charger to maintain your vehicle’s battery health. This allows the battery to be recharged slowly over a long period to a fully charged state. Or if you’re in a hurry and the battery is flat, use jump leads to give your battery a boost from another vehicle. If not, give your breakdown service a call.

Most batteries have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, so if yours is getting a little tired, you may need to replace it. If this is the case just give us a call.

Tyres. When a car isn’t being used it’s normal for the tyres to lose around 10psi a month. This has a detrimental effect on grip, fuel economy and tyre life. Therefore check your tyre pressures with a pressure gauge and inflate them to the correct level. You will find the correct pressures listed in your vehicle handbook, printed on a label inside the driver’s door, or inside the fuel cap.

Since 2014 many vehicles have a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted, and if this is the case, a warning will appear on your dashboard. Inflate your tyres to the correct pressure, following instructions to record the setting via your onboard computer ordesignated dashboard button. If the light remains on, please refer to your handbook for guidance. If you have any queries about this, we will happily assist you.

If you have a flat tyre, you can safely change it yourself if you wish, or call your breakdown service who will assist. If your vehicle doesn’t come with a spacesaver or spare wheel you may have a bottle of tyre sealant instead. Refer to the vehicle handbook for instructions on how to use this. Remember to contact us to replace or repair a damaged tyre as soon as possible.

Brakes. Don’t be alarmed if you hear noises from your brakes when you begin driving. Brakes can become rusty and seize whilst a vehicle has been sitting for long periods. Drive the vehicle as normal, and provided it is safe to do so, gently apply pressure to the brake pedal for about 4 car lengths. Do this a few times and your brakes should be back to normal. If the noise persists, give us a call and we’ll take a look.


Window Glass. If your car has been sitting underneath or near a tree, then your glass will likely be coated with tree sap and other contaminants. As soon as you start to use your wipers they will screech and judder. Apart from the noise driving you mad, it also increases wear on your wiper blades and linkages. Use a car glass cleaner to clean your screens as well as the wiper blades. This is also a good time to top up your washer fluid with a good quality screenwash.

Engine Warning Lights. If a modern diesel or petrol car is only being driven short distances at low speeds, many of the features designed to make the car more environmentally friendly become clogged and will result in a warning light appearing.

In these circumstances we recommend you take the vehicle for a long drive. At least 20 minutes on a A road or motorway at the speed limit will get it warmed up and this process should regenerate the system. However, if the soot level is too high you will need to bring it to us and we will use our cleaning treatments to get your car back to being environmentally friendly in no time at all.

Get Your Car Road Ready
Get Your Car Road Ready
Get Your Car Road Ready

Air Conditioning System. If you have any concerns about your vehicle’s air conditioning being contaminated, we recommend you use an Air-Con Bomb as this will remove any germs. Please contact us if you would like to purchase this treatment.

Just like your tyres losing air when a car is not used, your aircon gas will also naturally escape from the system over time. If you think you have problems with your aircon, we will happily organise a convenient time for your car to get a system re-gas.

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Get Your Car Road Ready