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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  • 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

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    Craig Taylor

    Annual service, reliable good service as always from Mike and his team 🤗 thanks, Annette

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    Ettenna Rebrab

    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.

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    JVW Car Sales Ltd
  • A very friendly, informative and amazing service
    Very professional
    I would recommend Volksmaster
    Thank you

    Jane White Avatar
    Jane White

    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 🙂

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    Sonja Butterworth

    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.

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    John Lees
  • 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.

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    laura puddephatt

    Honest, top notch garage!! I use Volksmaster for the servicing of my Audi A6, and prior to that for my Audi A4. Absolutely first class service. Honest and transparent pricing, no flannel from cigarette wielding grease-monkeys with Tourettes, constant updates should other works be required.For the first time in my life, I can feel that I have found a garage I can trust...and your car is valeted prior to handing it back!! That doesn't sound a lot, but for me shows an attention to detail that makes a huge difference.


    Collection/Drop off for the car for a service is an excellent option and the drivers always on time and professional. Good quality work. The car always comes back cleaner than it went! Thank you

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    Liane Keeling
  • Friendly and honest garage. All mechanics have great expertise and the level of service and attention to detail is always first class. I would thoroughly recommend Volksmaster as they provide a service as good as a main dealer without the dealership high rates. I’ve taken my Audi’s there in the past and now my BMW and the workmanship has always been faultless.

    Chris Kay Avatar
    Chris Kay

    Had a full service and suspension upgrade. Fair price and kept up to date. There was a slight problem with a mix up on the booking date,but it was rectified without too much problem.

    Gregory Lynch Avatar
    Gregory Lynch

    Excellent service. Did the job on time and within estimate. Delivered the car back home.

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    Martin Coupe
  • Excellent service. The technician talked us through the service in a clear, professional and understandable way. Will return.

    Edward Taylor Avatar
    Edward Taylor

    These guys know their stuff. They previously diagnosed a tricky issue and on my DSG.This time diagnosed a misfire in the coilpacks. When you need a specialist, you won’t find better.

    Paolo Avatar

    Finally found a garage that does what it says on the tin.
    Explain what’s required, no hidden costs, and do what they say.
    Now they have my custom.

    B B Avatar
    B B
  • Thanks very much to all the people who work here fantastic job on my car

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    Paul Duffy

    I can not recommend Nathan @ Volksmaster van centre Oldham enough, bloody excellent service.

    Excellent customer service, amazing knowledge, shares what he knows to help me understandable make an informed decision.
    He understands that if my truck is off the road I am not earning so he fits my sporadic availability in to suit me not him.. this is so helpful.

    If there were more stars they would get them..

    I would advise anyone to completely dismiss VW Manchester van centre and go for Volksmaster, they are just better all round and totally honest with you unlike VW Manchester.

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    Andy Carson

    First time I have used this garage it… First time I have used this garage it was recommended by a friend... excellent service very professional and knowledgeable mechanics v6 Touareg went in with injector seal leak was advised to replace all ... the mechanic showed me the old ones let’s say it was good advice as they were all ready to leak ... very happy with the garage indeed

    nigel elliott
  • Fixed a problem that Audi couldn't and always polite.
    Thank you.

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    Eamon Fitzpatrick

    Great service everytime, very helpful and friendly, well recommended 👍

    Tom Ford Avatar
    Tom Ford

    Refreshing to find an honest, straightforward but thoroughly professional service centre, at reasonable prices, and friendly attitude

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    Mike Hamnett
  • Fantastic and professional customer service from Ryan and the team there! I've used Volksmaster on numerous occasions over the last couple of years now for my Audi and been well looked after. I absolutely recommend them!

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    A Google User

    Fantastic and professional customer service from Ryan and the team there! I've used Volksmaster on numerous occasions over the last couple of years now for my Audi and been well looked after. I absolutely recommend them!

    Daniel Kenny Avatar
    Daniel Kenny

    Booked car in for quite a bit of work whole process was easy and quick can't recommend enough need your car fixing hit them up!

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    spooky x
  • Took my RS3 to Mike with a EML on worked out to be a timing issue which on a RS3 is a major job. Parts on back order for 2 weeks and Mike stored my car there so i didn’t cause any damage to the engine.. Got it back running perfect 100% recommend and won’t be taking my RS anywhere else.. Thanks Mike 👍🏽

    Mark Bolton Avatar
    Mark Bolton

    100% satisfied with this garage, from customer support to service, you will not be disappointed. Highly recommended!

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    Gary Stockton

    Took my RS3 to Mike with a EML on worked out to be a timing issue which on a RS3 is a major job. Parts on back order for 2 weeks and Mike stored my car there so i didn’t cause any damage to the engine.. Got it back running perfect 100% recommend and won’t be taking my RS anywhere else.. Thanks Mike 👍🏽

    Mark Bolton Avatar
    Mark Bolton
  • My car had been back to VW Oldham twice and they couldn’t sort out the fault with my air con. Took it to Volks Master and they fixed it and it is working better than it ever has. Fab garage and really helpful staff. Highly recommend

    Caroline Schofield Avatar
    Caroline Schofield

    I've used Volksmaster for years. they are good mechanics, who explain what is wrong and what are the options. prices are reasonable (much cheaper than a dealer) and service is friendly.

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    A Google User

    I've used Volksmaster for years. they are good mechanics, who explain what is wrong and what are the options. prices are reasonable (much cheaper than a dealer) and service is friendly.

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    Andrew Booth

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