You may not be driving your car as much as you used to, but, according to the experts, that doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of it.  

We spoke to Dean, service manager at Taylor’s Service Centres, who shares everything you need to know to keep your car in top condition during the pandemic.

Q: Do I still need to get my car serviced?

A: The last thing you need is your car breaking down or having to fork out for a costly repair. Catching these signs early could stop minor issues developing into bigger ones and in turn, save you money. Regularly servicing your car will give you peace of mind that your vehicle is safe to drive.

Q: What could be wrong with my car after a long period of inactivity?

A: Cars are designed to be used regularly. Your battery and brakes are the first things to develop problems due to inactivity. Your car is most likely to run out of battery. As you drive, your vehicle’s alternator will recharge your battery, which is often why it can run for years without depleting its energy. If a vehicle is parked for a long time, the battery isn’t able to recharge and will likely go flat.

Q: How often should my car be serviced?

A: Most manufacturers recommend that a car should be serviced every 12,000 miles or every 12 months, whichever comes first. Regular servicing can help to keep your car running smoothly and reduces the risk of breakdown. If you are subscribed to Taylor’s Service Centres, we will send you a message when your next service is due.

It is recommended that you get your car serviced regularly – either every 12,000 miles or every 12 months. – Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Q: What is included in a full car service?

A: This all depends if the vehicle is petrol or diesel. A full service will usually include everything that’s in the interim service plus extra checks and changes of other filters, spark plugs or oils.

All services will involve visual checks to your car, like looking for damage to your car’s body or wheels. They’ll also include manual checks to things like your brakes and gearbox to make sure they’re working as they should. If you have an electric or hybrid car, the checks will include your charging port, cables and connections.

Q: What about my MOT – can this be extended again, or do I need to meet my normal deadline?

A: Garages are allowed to continue to operate during this third lockdown according to the new safety guidelines. This means it’s unlikely that a new MOT extension will be introduced.

If your vehicle requires an MOT certificate, it’s illegal to drive it without one and your insurance may be invalid if you do so. You can put your registration into the website to find out your MOT’s exact expiry date.

Q: When should I book my car in for an MOT?

A: I would always recommend booking your car in for its MOT sooner rather than later. Although we are efficient, there are only so many MOT’s we, or any other garage, can do in a day! Booking your MOT in well before it is due gives you peace of mind and ensures that you don’t miss the deadline.

Taylor’s Service Centres has over 30 years’ experience in the vehicle service, maintenance and repair industry. – Credit: Taylor’s Service Centres

Q: What impact has Covid-19 had on car garages?

A: We are most definitely busier than usual; we are working our way through the backlog of vehicles that we were unable to service or MOT for six months during the first lockdown. If you require either or both, please contact us well before they are due.

Q: How safe is it to visit Taylor’s Service Centres?

A: As we navigate COVID-19, our biggest commitment is keeping our employees, customers and community safe. To do so, we have made adjustments to our operations to accommodate this. We ask that you sanitise your hands from the dispenser provided at the entrance door. Our reception is fitted with Perspex screens and clear floor markings of a two-metre distance to allow for social distancing. Seating is also arranged at two metres distance. Our reception team and technicians are wearing masks, and vehicles are wiped down before and after they have been worked on. Keys are also sanitised before they’re returned.