Maintaining Your Car Whilst In Lockdown Or If Unused

If your car has been sitting for a long period of time without being driven, it will affect your car’s performance. Here are some suggestions you should take into consideration and be aware of issues that might arise. Good maintenance should be performed on your vehicle to ensure it will operate properly when needed.

Taking Care Of Your Battery & Brakes

Anyone who has ever experienced losing their brakes while driving knows how frightening that is. People who have experienced this, know how critical it is to care for and keep brakes in good condition. If your brakes have not been used for quite some time, the brake discs will begin to corrode. Left unattended, your brakes will seize up requiring a mechanic to make repairs. Once in a while, you can help by rolling your car back and forth a few metres but only if it’s safe. Also, moving your car back and forth will protect your tyres from developing flat spots.

If your brakes start to erode it can cause your handbrake to freeze up as well. Consider parking your vehicle on a flat surface that sits on level ground. If so, you probably should not use your handbrake as it can make your vehicle immobile. In this situation, your better option would be leaving your car in gear. This option is only for parking on level ground with a flat surface. If you are parked on a slope or on a public road, there’s a risk of someone hitting your car.

Top Up Antifreeze

Another important step is maintaining and caring for your battery. If your car will be sitting for more than a week or two, pay attention to how your battery is operating. Keep in mind, your car’s immobiliser and alarm are leading culprits for draining your battery very quickly. If you park your car in a private, safe area, consider getting a battery maintainer or charge to keep your battery in good working condition and have your mechanic check it from time to time to find out when it should be changed out.

About once a week, run a lead to your car, start your car up, and let it run for approximately 15 minutes. This will allow your battery to totally recharge and circulate the oil fuel around the engine. This will prevent the engine from flooding in petrol cars.

While your car is running, turn on the air conditioning to help maintain the seals in the unit and prevent mould from developing in the system.

Never, ever repeatedly turn your car on and off. Remember, the starter motor needs power from the battery each time you start your car. Starting and stopping your car will not restore your battery until it’s given time to recharge. Never, ever leave your car unattended when it’s turned on and running.

Also, if you allow your battery to totally drain, you run the risk of damaging it. The acid in the battery will turn into crystals on the lead. Under normal circumstances, these crystals are removed as the battery is used. On the other hand, if the batter is not being used, the crystals will remain on the lead and permanently reduce the charge the battery can hold. If your battery is getting old, you will probably have problems turning your car over. Replace it as soon as possible.

Keeping Your Car Safe On The Road

If you own a car, a motorcycle, or a van, you probably have MOTs due but have been given a six-month extension for testing, you are still expected to keep your vehicle safe on the road.

If you are driving, here are some important thoughts to keep you safe:

Always check your car’s fluid levels including the oil, engine coolants, and brake fluid to guarantee the levels are correct. Also, ensure your screen is clean for viewing everything around you.

Check Car Oil Level

Before getting on the road, apply your brakes, gently, to make sure they are working properly. If you experience crunching or grinding, you might have a build-up of corrosion within the first mile or 2. If this continues or you feel a vibration from your pedal, you might have warped brake discs. You should get to a mechanic as quickly as possible and get them checked out.

Also, before taking off, make sure your lights are working properly. Ask someone to help you check the brake lights when placing pressure on the brakes. If you don’t have someone to help, park in front of a window then test your lights in your rearview mirror.

Inspect your tyres for the right tread depth and there are no defects. For your information, in the UK the minimum legal tread depth should be 1.6 mm. This is very easy to check by placing a 20p coin into the groove. If the outer band of the coin is hidden by the tread block, your tyres are way too low and not considered legal to drive.

Always check your tyres for proper inflation. If not inflated properly, you will use up too much fuel and it will affect the performance of the brakes. Take advantage of your car’s manual to ensure you have your tyres at the correct inflation level.

Many newer vehicles have a monitor for tyre pressure, giving you a warning that your tyre pressure is low. You can check your tyre pressure at your local petrol station or you can go online a purchase a pressure gauge from many retailers including Amazon.

If you don’t know, many garages are allowed to remain open for essential repairs so you will always have an avenue to make sure your car is roadworthiness. It’s always good practice to get your vehicle checked in a timely manner. Also, many garages offer a free vehicle health check. Take advantage of free checks once you are back on the rod to prevent any serious issues.

Make Sure You Have Your Tax & Insurance Up To Date

You are responsible for keeping your road tax and car insurance up-to-date in order to remain legal on the roads.

There is one exception, the statutory off-road notification or SORN. If you do have this option, you will not be allowed to drive your car even for essential or emergency trips. You can claim back the value of any full months of taxes remaining on your vehicle and you will not be obligated to insure it.

On the flip side, this option is not available for those who have access to off-road parking. If you don’t have this option, make sure you park your car in a safe place but do not use your handbrake. You can leave your car in gear if you have a manual gearbox. If your car is parked on a slope, use the handbrake.

Overall, keep up with your car’s maintenance, check your manual for any issues you might be experiencing, and go to your local mechanic for any problems you are experiencing.

If you need more information, or you would like to book your car in at one of our local branches in , , or our Van Centre please get in touch, use the booking form below or give us a call onOldham –  0161 624 5060, Bury0161 761 3030, Van Centre Oldham0161 628 5270. We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a courtesy car so you’re routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced.

Arranging Your Service

Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.

Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.

Courtesy car
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.

Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.

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Our Latest Google, Facebook & Trustpilot Reviews

  • Amazing customer service, couldn't do enough for me, very friendly and eager to help. Car went in for major service and MOT at 8am and by 2pm had a phone call to say was ready to collect. The car did need work doing which they did within this time frame! Speedy turn around. Marie and Danny contacted me to explain the faults found thoroughly and nothing was too much of a bother for them; so so helpful! Thank you so much to you both! Could not fault you or this garage at all. Highly highly recommend.

    Lauren Osborne Avatar
    Lauren Osborne
    06/04/2021

    Always friendly, honest and gets the job done.The staff treats you and your vehicle like it’s their own, Great professional and friendly shop. Very passionate about supreme customer service/satisfaction.. If you are in need of automotive care, please consider Volksmaster LTD ,Great facility with dealer quality service and competitive pricing. Awesome service.!!!

    Hamid Masud Avatar
    Hamid Masud
    29/03/2021

    Very professional. Main dealer knowledge and customer care but way way cheaper. Second time we've used them for our cars. For Vw/Audi/Skoda etc they know anything that can go wrong and the cost effective way to fix it. Very useful to have them on board. This time it was our Audi S3 which is back to as-new condition. Thank you to the team. Highly recommended.

    Joseph Kotrie Monson Avatar
    Joseph Kotrie Monson
    27/03/2021
  • Great service. They advised they could book me in on a Thursday after my Audi Q7 had a suspension failure. I dropped the car off on a Tuesday because it was virtually un driveable and by Wednesday they had given me a price and repaired the car.

    I'll be dropping the car off for a full service in the future. Natalie and Nathan were great!

    Frank Griffin Avatar
    Frank Griffin
    17/03/2021

    Top service, very knowledgeable staff. Definitely go back next time the van needs a service.

    John Nichol Avatar
    John Nichol
    17/03/2021

    I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of the staff at Volkmaster. Used for the 1st time and was totally confident that they would get me back on the road, and they did. Level of service is great, friendly and polite staff. Cheaper than dealerships and a great service from the staff.

    Thank you Volkmaster 👍👍👍👍👍

    Tariq Ismail Avatar
    Tariq Ismail
    17/03/2021
  • I was extremely impressed with the professionalism of the staff at Volkmaster. Used for the 1st time and was totally confident that they would get me back on the road, and they did. Level of service is great, friendly and polite staff. Cheaper than dealerships and a great service from the staff.Thank you Volkmaster 👍👍👍👍👍

    Tariq Ismail Avatar
    Tariq Ismail
    17/03/2021

    What an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish.
    Ryan even goes to the trouble of taking pics to show you without being asked. Having had my last car looked after by a main dealer (not the best experience) Volksmaster is like a breath of fresh air!

    Billy Menace Avatar
    Billy Menace
    15/03/2021

    What an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish.Ryan even goes to the trouble of taking pics to show you without being asked. Having had my last car looked after by a main dealer (not the best experience) Volksmaster is like a breath of fresh air!

    Billy Menace Avatar
    Billy Menace
    15/03/2021
  • Absolutely spot on service as always from Volksmaster, I've always taken my Audi's to them and the work they have carried out has always been perfect and I'll definitely continue to take my car there. thanks for the excellent service Volksmaster.

    Jack Lancashire Avatar
    Jack Lancashire
    12/03/2021

    Absolutely spot on service as always from Volksmaster, I've always taken my Audi's to them and the work they have carried out has always been perfect and I'll definitely continue to take my car there. thanks for the excellent service Volksmaster.

    Jack Lancashire Avatar
    Jack Lancashire
    12/03/2021

    I would highly recommend Volksmaster , very knowledgeable and fairly priced, I like the fact that time is taken to explain what any faults are and keep the defective parts to sow you,and that no unnecessary work is carried out without talking to the customer firs.
    Great bunch of lads
    Thanks Volksmaster.

    stephen cooper Avatar
    stephen cooper
    05/03/2021
  • Excellent service from the team especially Nathan who kept me up to date with my GTI and also car mini valleted in the lockdown period.

    Mohammed Imran Avatar
    Mohammed Imran
    03/03/2021

    Got my CAM and crank correlation faults repaired. Supplied and fitted inlet manifold gasket, valves, magnets, housing and gaskets. Great service and done the job really quick. I had the car back in half a day. Highly recommended top technition Dave & Nathan.

    U J Avatar
    U J
    02/03/2021

    Fantastic service by Nathan and the team. Solved the problems other garages couldn't. Great communication, prompt, conscientious, and pleasant. Don't go anywhere else, whatever make and model your vehicle is.

    Urban Haus Avatar
    Urban Haus
    24/02/2021
  • Nathan’s expertise and customer service is second to none! The team are fast and don’t mess about with getting your car safely back on the road.

    Marcus m Avatar
    Marcus m
    22/02/2021

    I’d like to thank Ryan for an outstanding service today for the following reasons:
    - Clarity of pricing and work to be carried out
    - Competitive prices compared to dealers
    - knowledge of audi vehicles and knows exactly what the car needs
    - work carried out efficiently and on time
    - Courtesy car provided
    - Car washed and vacuumed when collected

    Thank you - 5 stars from me. See you next time.👍

    Usman Ali Avatar
    Usman Ali
    15/02/2021

    Brought my car in a few days ago and everything from atmosphere and respectful manner to me as a customer was absolutely bang on. The price doesnt justify the quality of work. I got my car back looking as good as new 10/10

    Paul Marshall Avatar
    Paul Marshall
    06/02/2021
  • Great service from the start, very professional and communicative.

    Felt at ease leaving my Audi A6 in their hands, will definitely use again in the future 😎👍😀

    richard carroll Avatar
    richard carroll
    05/02/2021

    Another pleasant visit to Volksmaster Another pleasant visit to Volksmaster. Keeps costing me money but way better value than VW dealer!! Customer service is fantastic and the pride in their work is obvious from the feedback on repairs.

    Simon Turgoose
    04/02/2021

    Fantastic Can’t believe it !! not one of the best garages Its the best I’ve been to , no bull or extortionate prices , hey every one has to earn a living, got quoted a mind boggling price from a main dealer for my VW golf with so much crud and spin thrown in with it !! God if I was suicidal I would of fed myself to the crocodiles at the zoo. All I can say these guys especially Ryan was honest to the bone respect to him and Volksmaster on Oldham road , not going anywhere else - peace Pat

    Mr PATRICK GOODRIDGE
    02/02/2021
  • We bring both our cars here for all servicing, MOTs and repairs (BMW and VW). Mike is great- really nice friendly guy who you can talk to as well, with no mechanic jargon. Feel comfortable talking to him and asking anything about the cars or what something means on the service report.
    Would highly recommend and I’ll never go back to the dealer. Thanks Bury gang, cars are both great after the parts fitted.

    C M Avatar
    C M
    23/01/2021

    Recommended by a pal and did a great… Recommended by a pal and did a great job on my vw golf mot and service carried out and good price to defo be using them again

    Phil Eaves
    22/01/2021

    We as a company use Volksmaster all the time and the service is second to none very methodical in diagnosing cars and very efficient Ryan always pulls the stops out in accommodating us and that’s why we will continue to use them great company and fantastic set of lads

    Craig Taylor Avatar
    Craig Taylor
    13/01/2021
  • Annual service, reliable good service as always from Mike and his team 🤗 thanks, Annette

    Ettenna Rebrab Avatar
    Ettenna Rebrab
    07/01/2021

    Excellent garage, Explained everything very clear and didn't give up on fixing the car, which was a difficult fault to diagnose! Thanks again lads, Would recommend to anyone.

    JVW Car Sales Ltd Avatar
    JVW Car Sales Ltd
    16/12/2020

    A very friendly, informative and amazing service
    Very professional
    I would recommend Volksmaster
    Thank you

    Jane White Avatar
    Jane White
    14/12/2020
  • the team at Volksmaster - Bury have always been amazing from services to saving the day when new tyres were needed. They are professional and efficient with a personal touch. I can not recommend them highly enough.
    Thank you 🙂

    Sonja Butterworth Avatar
    Sonja Butterworth
    11/12/2020

    Went in with a problem for which VW were going to charge an extortionate price to fix. Nathan diagnosed the problem and came up with a different solution, which was carried out for much less than VW's option. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these guys. Professional and honest.

    John Lees Avatar
    John Lees
    09/12/2020

    New to the area and completely forgot my mot and service was due they were able to get me in quickly and did a great service for a brilliant price. Glad to know there is a good garage near my new house that I can rely on.

    laura puddephatt Avatar
    laura puddephatt
    03/12/2020

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