Your car has suffered after a year in Lockdown. With the MOT extension, a lack of driving and at least one missed service (if not more!), the chances are it’s in no state to reliably get you to your UK ‘staycation’ destination. Yet, with the Stay at Home order now lifted and the freedom to stay overnight in certain settings from April 12th, you’re itching to go somewhere.
Yes, under stage 2 of the Government’s ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’, confirmed this week by Boris Johnson, UK spring holidays are back on the table.
But your family ‘staycation’ won’t be a smooth one without taking proper care of your car first. That’s why we’ve created the perfect 6 step Roadmap for your car. It’s so simple to follow and will help you avoid a stressful, expensive breakdown.
Follow these steps to avoid your car letting you down, so that nothing gets in the way of your fun.
Our ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ is Here For Everyone
We recommend following every step on our roadmap that applies to your vehicle. That’s all 6 for diesels, and all except step 5 for petrol vehicles. This will ensure your car is in top condition and stands a much better chance of getting you where you want to go. If you’re worried about a large repair bill, you can book these services across several appointments or filter garages near you by price to find the cheapest deal in your area. Most franchise dealers (look out for the SecretService deals!) also offer pay monthly plans should you require any unexpected work.
Of course, if money is tight, an Oil and Filter Change and Vehicle Safety Check are the bare minimum. Prices start from just £70 when booked together and Emergency Workers can book our comprehensive Safety Checks for free. These two essential services are absolutely necessary after your car has spent a year in Lockdown. We’ll explain why later on.
Whatever you choose, you stand a better chance of making it to your destination safely and without issues. Although we can’t promise a lack of traffic jams, we can help you avoid mechanical disruption this Spring.
Here’s BookMyGarage’s 6 Step ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ to get your car back on the road.
Step 1 – Book an Oil and Filter Change
An oil and filter change is the most essential form of car maintenance. It consists of a full drain and refill of your engine oil and an oil filter change.
Engine oil needs to remain clean to work properly. Due to debris and dust entering your car’s engine, that’s not always possible.
That’s where the oil filter comes in. Engine oil passes through the filter which traps bits of metal, dirt or dust particles which have got caught in the oil. This keeps your oil working as an efficient lubricant for as long as possible.
If you don’t change your oil and oil filter regularly, your vehicle will suffer. Your filter can become clogged and blocked by all the debris it gathers. Any blockage will reduce the amount of oil that can pass through it, causing severe damage to your engine. What’s more, it can also trigger the red engine management light – the last thing you want to see en route to your UK ‘staycation’ destination!
No matter how clean and well-maintained you think your car is, your oil will always become dirty. This affects the quality of your oil and, as we’ve mentioned, running on dirty oil damages the interior workings of your car. Stagnant oil also contributes to this, especially if you start running the engine on it.
For many of us, our cars haven’t run as much this past year and so the oil quality won’t be that good. If your engine isn’t run frequently, the dust and debris can settle in the oil. This makes it difficult for the oil filter to remove, reducing the efficiency of your oil.
Don’t risk engine damage by running your car on dirty, inefficient oil and a clogged oil filter.
The average oil change cost in the UK is £100 but, by comparing garages on BookMyGarage, you can find an even cheaper deal! Prices start from as little as £50.
Step 2 – Book a Vehicle Safety Check
Our Vehicle Safety Check is a 16-point car check to give you peace of mind quickly. During the check, an expert mechanic inspects the most essential parts of your car to ensure they are still in safe working condition. It’s the best way to make sure you get from Point A to Point B on your ‘staycation’ journey.
Here’s what the mechanic checks during your Vehicle Safety Check:
- Instrument Warning Lights
- Screen Wash Top Up
- Engine Oil
- Brake Fluid
- Tyre Pressure
- Tyre Tread
- Condition of Tyres
This car check costs just £19.99 and is FREE for Emergency Workers or with any service. Find out if you qualify for the free check, and more detail about the 16 safety checks, here.
The average UK full service price is £182.40, so a Vehicle Safety Check is over 9x cheaper while being just as thorough on the essential checks. Our Vehicle Safety Check gives you confidence in your car. What might have caused a breakdown during your ‘staycation’ becomes a much cheaper, simpler repair when caught early.
Save yourself money and keep moving smoothly this Spring. Book a Vehicle Safety Check for just £19.99 now. FREE for Emergency Workers and with any service.
Step 3 – Book a CV1 Shot, Car Disinfectant
Cleanliness is extra important to us all right now. While a mechanic will always use protective gloves and other PPE during every step on our ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’, you still don’t want to take any chances.
Regardless of exposure to the Coronavirus, your steering wheel is 9x dirtier than a public toilet! That’s a lot of germs and bacteria lurking in your car.
Introducing the CV1 Shot! It’s a car disinfectant that’s 99.99% effective against all bacteria and viruses. What’s more, it’s also recommended by the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) for use against COVID-19! It’s predominantly made of Benzalkonium Chloride and contains 90% alcohol. It also completes its work in less than 7 minutes. After that, you get a completely disinfected vehicle, residue-free. That makes a CV1 shot more appealing than many conventional cleaning methods!
Once activated, the CV1 shot aerates your cabin, cleaning important touchpoints. These include the steering wheel, door handles and seats. The CV1 shot also covers 8 cubic metres of space, so it’s perfect for all vehicles, including vans and HGV’s.
Mechanics will safely initiate the CV1 shot, using protective gloves and masks to insert and remove the canister from your vehicle. Your blowers or air con system will be switched on during the appointment to ensure every inch of your car is completely disinfected. With the safety precautions in place, there is no additional threat from COVID-19. Plus, you get a fully cleaned car and that fresh ‘new car smell’ for the journey ahead.
What’s more, the CV1 shot is just £25 and takes a mere 7 minutes from start to finish! With this car disinfectant, it’s quicker and easier to get a sanitised cabin interior. Reduce your exposure to germs and viruses today. Get peace of mind with the CV1 shot – just £25!
Step 4 – Book an Air Conditioning Regas
Warmer weather is just around the corner and you don’t want to get caught in a heatwave without working AC to ease your discomfort.
Air conditioning keeps you cool thanks to refrigerant gas. Your car sucks fresh air in through the vents which is then cooled using this air con gas. The cooled air then gets released into your cabin. Fresh, ice-cold air can bring great relief when your car is hot and sticky – but around 10% of this refrigerant gas escapes every year! The less your system has, the less effective your air con is.
You should book an air con regas every two to three years to ensure your system is in perfect working order. Not only can a poorly serviced air con system bring discomfort, the pipes can crack, and harmful mould and bacteria can develop within the system. This creates a health hazard for you and your family!
Nearly every modern car comes with air conditioning as standard. Take care of yours this year and book an air con regas through BookMyGarage as part of your car’s ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’! Enter your reg and post code to compare and save on air conditioning service prices in your area. Filter thousands of fastfit, independent and franchise garages near you by price, distance, reviews or availability to find the best deal on your air con recharge today!
Step 5 – Book a Diesel Particulate Filter Flush & AdBlue Top Up for Diesel Vehicles
Diesel doesn’t combust in the same way as petrol, so your car would produce more harmful NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) emissions if the DPF didn’t trap them as soot. It makes your car more eco friendly and helps it meet the EU’s Euro 6 emissions standard.
If your DPF stops working, or can’t complete what’s known as ‘regeneration’ (the process of burning the soot away as cleanly as possible), you can run into some serious problems. A blocked DPF can cause an MOT emissions test failure or, if the soot level is too high, a breakdown. If you have done lots of short, stop-start journeys over the last year, your car could enter ‘limp home’ mode before you get very far on your way to your ‘staycation’!
This limits your vehicle’s power and performance, allowing you to get home or to a garage safely. When you car enters ‘limp home’ mode, you can’t exceed 2500 – 3000 RPM or 40 mph. No matter where you’re trying to drive, this is not ideal.
Avoid this disruption. Book a professional DPF flush instead. You can compare local garage deals through BookMyGarage, with DPF cleaning prices starting from just £99. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint on your next long journey, you remove the soot blockage, allowing your car to breathe again! A blocked DPF is much less efficient at reducing the NOx fumes your car produces. These lead to 40,000 excess deaths in the UK every year!
A £99 DPF flush should also reduce the chance of a £1,000+ DPF replacement! Don’t let your diesel slow you down this Spring. Book a DPF Flush now.
AdBlue is integral to diesel vehicles. It’s a colourless Diesel Exhaust Fluid which works alongside your DPF to reduce your vehicle’s emissions. In fact, AdBlue can reduce your NOx emissions by up to 90%!
Your vehicle carefully injects AdBlue into your exhaust gases. The ammonia in the urea breaks down the NOx emissions through a series of chemical reactions. This means your car releases Nitrogen and water vapour into the atmosphere instead of toxic, polluting fumes.
If you own a diesel car with a 1.6 litre engine or bigger, that was registered after 2015, you need to pay attention to your AdBlue. These vehicles all have the tank fitted as standard. Given its importance to passing the Euro 6 standard, your car won’t run without it.
While the engine won’t cut out as dramatically as it would if you run out of fuel, it will enter ‘limp home’ mode, just like with DPF problems. However, once you switch the engine off, it won’t restart until you fill up your AdBlue tank.
An AdBlue top-up takes just a few minutes to complete and can be done during your DPF flush appointment. With BookMyGarage, it costs just £20, up to 10 litres. This should be enough to completely fill your tank.
Your Roadmap may vary, but every step is designed to get your car back in top condition for less. That way, whatever you book, you get the peace of mind that nothing is going to get in the way of your long-awaited ‘staycation’.
Which brings us to step 6!
Step 6 – Book your UK ‘Staycation’!
Once you’ve got your car in shape, you can think about where you’re going to go this Spring. There are plenty of dazzling UK ‘staycation’ destinations, so where should you start? What trip is most worth the year-long wait?
Well, stay tuned to the BookMyGarage blog next week and we’ll run you through our top UK ‘staycation’ ideas!
Once you’ve booked your UK ‘staycation’, all that remains is to get excited, pack and drive to your destination. If you follow our ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’, you’ll avoid a dreaded breakdown along the way. Don’t let anything stand between you and the holiday you deserve. Book a garage appointment on BookMyGarage before you travel! Compare. Save. Job done.
Mandy is an ex-mechanic, with 22 years’ experience in the motor industry. As an in-house motoring expert, Mandy is the go-to woman for any relevant questions that our customers have; both garages and drivers. From specific problems with your car to general maintenance, Mandy is a reliable source of information and advice. Her passion for motoring is a huge factor to her success and the huge wealth of knowledge that she has. She now uses her remarkable grasp of the industry to write regular content for our readers to help drivers understand their car better, avoid being ripped off by garages and save money on their motoring requirements.