How to maintain your car when not driving regularly

How to maintain your car when not driving regularly

With the country in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may not be able to get out and about in the car as much as you’re used to. Many will be wondering what to do with your car if you aren’t driving it on a regular basis.

What to do with your car, and how to maintain it, depends on how long you’re leaving your car idle. For example, you may be using it to top up on food and supplies or driving it if you work in an essential job or industry. But for many, you may not need or want to use your car for a lot longer, maybe even months.

Remember that even if you’re not using it, you’ll still have to insure your car unless you make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). You can only make a SORN if the car’s being kept off the road.

Here are some commonly asked questions and answers:

How long can you leave a car without starting?

How long you leave a car without starting can depend on the condition of your car’s 12-volt battery. Most modern cars with a fairly healthy battery should last at least 2 weeks, without needing to be started up to re-charge the battery. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the battery, start it once a week just to be safe.

What happens if you don’t drive a car for a long time?

Even if you haven’t driven for a while your car should be fine. If it’s been regularly started and run for 15-minute periods, the battery should work. The tyre pressures should be checked and adjusted before driving. The brakes may have some corrosion on them, especially if the car was wet when it was parked up. Drive carefully and test the brakes as soon as possible. Make sure you use your brakes for the first few miles to clean off any corrosion.

Is it bad to leave a car unused?

Cars are made to be driven but with good care it should be fine. If it’s left unused follow our guidelines.

Can I leave my car parked for a month?

Yes, but it’s best to follow these guidelines to keep the car ready to drive.

How long can a car sit before the battery dies?

As we’ve said above, there are many factors that can affect this. The age of the battery, how the car’s been used and the temperature all affect the performance of a battery. If you follow our guidelines your battery shouldn’t let you down.

What if my MOT expires?

The government has announced a 6-month exemption from the MOT test, although your car must be kept in a roadworthy condition.

Here are a few simple tips on how to keep your car lasting longer and ready to use when you need it again.

Leaving your car parked for up to a month
  • Fuel – Before parking your car up for a long period, it’s a good idea to top up with fuel. Not only will this help with other measures, but a full tank doesn’t attract condensation, which could cause issues if allowed to build up over time.

  • Battery maintenance – If you can, connect your car’s battery to a mains-powered battery maintainer. If you can’t, start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition. It’s important to allow the engine to run for this long so the battery can charge properly. In the case of petrol engine cars, it also helps to prevent engines from flooding with fuel. Never leave your car unattended with the engine running.

  • Brakes – Sometimes when a car’s parked up for a long period with the parking brake on, the brakes can seize. To prevent this it’s good practice to release the parking brake and move the vehicle a short distance back and forth, at the same time as running the engine. You shouldn’t leave the parking brake off unless the vehicle is on private land with the wheels securely chocked.

  • Electric vehicles – EVs and hybrid vehicles have 12-volt batteries, the same as conventional cars. However, they charge differently. Pressing the start button, so the ready light comes on, will operate the charging system. Doing this for 10 minutes once a week should keep the 12-volt battery topped up. Some electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles can maintain their 12-volt batteries if they’re plugged in to the mains charger. Check your vehicle handbook for details on this.

  • Garages – Don’t run a car engine inside a household garage as the exhaust fumes can be toxic. If you keep your car in a garage, pull it out onto the drive to run the engine to charge the battery.

  • Tyres – Before driving the car after a long period parked up, check all of the tyre pressures and inflate if needed.

Full advice from The AA is available HERE

Driving and MOTs extensions

Link to the new DVLA guidance HERE

Published 25 March 2020

From 30 March 2020, MOT due dates for cars, motorcycles and light vans will be extended by 6 months. This is being done to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

There’s separate guidance about what to do if your MOT due date is up to and including 29 March 2020.

There are different temporary rules for MOT tests for lorries, buses and trailers.

What you need to do

You do not need to do anything to extend your vehicle’s MOT expiry date if it’s on or after 30 March 2020. However, you must keep your vehicle safe to drive.

Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption. This will extend your current MOT expiry date by 6 months.

ExampleYour vehicle’s MOT was due to expire on 3 April 2020.

This will automatically be extended to 3 October 2020. You will need to get your MOT by this date.

You can check your MOT history to see when you have been issued an exemption. It will not be updated straight away, so keep checking back if your new due date MOT is not yet showing.

You will not get a paper exemption certificate.

If your vehicle tax is due, you can tax your vehicle as soon as your MOT due date has been updated.

If your vehicle’s first MOT is due

Your vehicle will be automatically given a 6-month MOT exemption from the date its first MOT was due.

If your first MOT was due before 30 March 2020 and your vehicle did not pass

Your vehicle will not get an extension to its MOT due date.

Your vehicle will need to pass an MOT before you can drive it again.

The government is allowing MOT centres and garages to remain open. So you can still get an MOT if you need your vehicle:

  • to shop for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • for any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Read the full guidance on staying at home and away from others.

Keep your vehicle safe to drive

You must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended.

Find out how to check your vehicle is safe and read the rules about vehicle maintenance, safety and security.

You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

You should still take your vehicle to be repaired at the nearest open garage. The government is allowing them to remain open.

Levenshulme Station Improvements

March 13 report from Afzal Khan on improvements to Levenshulme Station.

“Last week I attended a site visit to Levensulme Station with representatives from Northern and Network Rail, as well as one of the local councillors. In the past few years there has been a number of issues at the station including flooding, poor lighting, and overall lack of cleanliness. I was therefore delighted to be walked through the improvements that are due to take place in the Spring. 

These include:

  • Removing existing wall and ceiling cladding in the subway, including gutters and existing redundant and temporary light fittings
  • Deep clean and refurbish newly exposed glazed brick subway walls and fittings
  • Replace existing tiled subway floor with new concrete floor slab and resin floor finish
  • Install new lighting in the subway
  • Install new drainage channels along both subway walls to accept discharge from gutter downpipes, and any surface water from the subway floor
  • Remove existing ceilings above station entrance and platform stairs and install new boarded ceilings

While I was incredibly disappointed that Levenshulme Station wasn’t awarded any Access for All funding from the Department for Transport, despite submitting a very strong bid backed by a great community campaign, I will be continuing to explore other funding options to improve accessibility at this busy station.

However, I am very pleased that stations elsewhere in Manchester Gorton have been awarded Access for All funding. Work will start soon at Belle Vue and Ryder Brow railway stations to improve safety and accessibility.”

LCA General Meeting February 2020

****NEW DATE 15th FEBRUARY****

The next LCA General Meeting will be held as follows:

14.30

Saturday 15th February

Community Studio

Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre

Yew Tree Avenue, Manchester, M19 3PH (on Stockport Road)

Topics to be discussed will include:

  • Levenshulme Community Directory
  • Levenshulme Bee Network
  • Village Green Living Tree
  • New Identity and Branding for Levenshulme
  • Fallowfield Loop £4.9m improvements
  • Review of 2019 Election Hustings and plans for Local Elections 2020
  • Christmas Lights Switch On Event and A6 Lights Thanks
  • Updates from members and forthcoming local activities

Fallowfield Loop £4.9m investment

£4.9 million investment announced for the Fallowfield Loop

Fallowfield Loop enhancements (£4.9m)
This scheme will create a 24/7, orbital cycle and walking route connecting Chorlton to Gorton. It is proposed to introduce new lighting and to improve access points along this 12km, traffic-free cycle path.

More information available HERE

https://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/8328/manchester_announces_new_walking_and_cycling_schemes_as_mayor_and_commissioner_call_on_government_for_long-term_funding_commitment

Save Our Train Services

Emergency meeting about cuts to train services.

Levenshulme Community Manifesto Meeting

Come along and find out about the new Levenshulme Community Manifesto on Wednesday 28th February at The Klondyke. Developed by and for our community it is a statement of what our community wants for the future of Levenshulme.

Road resurfacing

Resurfacing works are going to commence on Milwain Road week commencing 15th January 2018 and on Broom Lane, Broom Avenue and Crayfield Road week commencing 22nd January 2018.

What Is Your Vision For Levenshulme?

Everyone is welcome to a meeting to discuss the future of Levenshulme at 7.30pm on Wednesday 27th September at The Klondyke (1Burnage Range).

This will be the first of a series on public meetings and consultations where we can all suggest ideas and priorities for how we want Levenshulme to develop over the next few years.

There is no set agenda as this is something driven by us all but discussion will be guided and notes kept so all views are valued. This is an initiative by our community for our community.

  • How do you want to see Levenshulme develop?
  • What are your priorities for the future?
  • What are the main issues that need addressing?
  • How can we work together effectively to make our community what we want it to be?
  • What is your vision for Levenshulme?

HS2 Tunnel Under Levenshulme

The government has released an update to its preferred route for the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail route. Properties in Levenshulme should not be directly affected as the route from Manchester Airport to Manchester Piccadilly will be in a tunnel.

MEN article HERE

HS2 information HERE

Friends Of Levenshulme Station Access Petition

Friends of Levenshulme Station (FoLS) have organised a petition for better access at Levenshulme station.

The summary is below and you can go to the petition HERE

Levenshulme Train Station Needs Accessibility For All

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against users in respect of disabled access to transport, such as buses and trains.

Currently Levenshulme train station does not meet these requirements at all. Access onto the station and station platforms is not possible for anyone who is disabled or has limited mobility, parents with young children in prams and passengers with bikes.

Friends of Levenshulme Station have made numerous attempts to communicate with Network Rail and Northern Rail to understand the timescale for accessibility improvements to Levenshulme station. We have been assured that it is indeed a priority station, but are no clearer as to what that means for access improvements.

The only offered solution at present is calling Northern Rail customer service 24 hour in advance for a taxi to be booked and paid for, but even this is only offered to passengers with a registered mobility disability.

This is not reasonable and is not in line with 21st century public transport travelling aspirations. The growing population of Levenshulme deserve more!

Let’s persuade Network and Northern Rail to make our train station ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL. Let’s encourage them into the 21st century!

Thanks for helping the Friends of Levenshulme Station. Spread the word!

Transport Card On Hold After Failure by TfGM And Atos

A single transport card for Manchester is on hold following a complete failure of the Atos company to deliver the system for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

The scheme – similar to the Oyster Card system in London – is being rethought after it became clear Atos was completely incapable of delivering the system. The MEN reports that according to TfGM all costs incurred (£15m) have been refunded by Atos and TfGM will now explore how to get the failed project moving again.

There does not appear to be any comment from Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester Mayor, who is responsible for transport across Greater Manchester.

Read the MEN report HERE

What’s Your Vision For Levenshulme?

Levenshulme Neighbourhood Planning Forum would love to hear your ideas for how you want Levenshulme to develop. What’s your vision for our community?

14.00 today in the Community Studio at Arcadia Library and Leisure Centre.

This isn’t just bout dull planning matters, this is bout what we want our community to be and to look like.

Everybody welcome.

  

Petition To Control Speeding On Manor Road

A petition has been set up by Levenshulme resident Sue Millichap to stop the excessive and dangerous speeding on Manor Road.

The petition text says:

“Manor Road is a residential street in Levenshulme, Manchester. The road runs alongside Greenbank Playing Fields – a large open park where children and families play. Manor Road is very long, wide and straight and it connects two main roads together. As such, drivers use it as a ‘rat run’ and incessant speeding has led to a large number of pet fatalities and near misses with children. Some residents have tried to take action by gesturing to drivers to slow down in order to protect our children and pets but have been faced with abuse and threats. We need speed calming measures that actually work. We want speed bumps that span the full width of the road. We have to act now before a child is killed. Enough is enough. 

We are aware that there are many roads in Levenshulme that are suffering this issue but residents from all areas of Levenshulme use Greenbank Park.”
You can view and sign the petition HERE

  

World Record Conga Today

It’s not every day a world record attempt happens in Levenshulme.

A world record attempt at the longest distance conga will set off from Manchester Piccadilly at 11.00 heading for Stockport Train Station, going through Levenshulme past our lovely Market around midday.

  

Friends of Levenshulme Station Visit

Friends of Levenshulme Station are having a visit to Levenshulme Station this Saturday 6th June 2015 at 11:30am (gathering just outside) followed by discussion over coffee nearby.
The visit and chat are to discuss issues of the station, get ideas and feedback.

Stockport Road Resurfacing and Redesign

£2 million funding has been secured to resurface Stockport Road from the Appollo to McVities.

The stretch of Stockport Road running through Levenshulme in particular is in a dire state of repair and has been in desperate need of attention for some time so this is great news.

We understand the project will include new cycle provision and redesign of the road to improve access and usability. Residents’ groups and businesses will be included in consultation about the exact design.

The project is scheduled to start this summer (2015). Further details will be reported when available.