With the country in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s highly likely many won’t be out and about in the taxi as much as they used to be. Some will be wondering what to do with their cabs if they aren’t driving it on a regular basis.
What to do with your taxi, and how to maintain it, depends on how long you’re leaving your cab idle. For example, you may be using it to top up on food and supplies.
But for many, you may not need or want to use your cab for a lot longer, maybe even months. With the help of the AA, here’s a few tips on leaving your car parked for up to a month.
Before parking your cab 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before driving the car after a long period parked up, check all of the tyre pressures and inflate if needed.