Motorists urged to start their vehicles

SHARE
AA Auto Centre Dunedin service manager Shaun Fairbairn checks a car battery to make sure it is fully charged. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

Motorists in lockdown are being urged to start their vehicles at least once a week to ensure they work when they are needed.

AA Auto Centre service manager Shaun Fairbairn said it was important to run the engine for about 30 minutes, otherwise people might find their battery was flat when they went to use it.

“Generally, that should keep the battery well topped up.

“It also gets a good heat cycle going through the car, which stops the spark plugs from getting fouled up.”

He said it was also crucial that people removed their vehicles from their garages when they ran them, to avoid the build-up of toxic gases.

“Even if you just open the garage door, it can still build up, and if you have internal access to your house, it can go upstairs.

“Do it outside.”

Another tip was to remove the keys from the vehicle.

He said many people who had internal access to their garage left the keys in their car, which could drain batteries more quickly.

“In a lot of modern vehicles, there is a chip inside the key.

“The car’s computer picks it up once it is inside the vehicle and it is looking for a start signal.

“So sometimes computers can stay live, which can accelerate battery drain.

“If you remove the key from the vehicle, the computer turns off.”

Mr Fairbairn said AA centres and vehicle inspection sites around New Zealand were closed to the general public during Level 4.

However, they were available for appointment-only warrants of fitness and urgent repairs for vehicles involved in essential services, and their supply chains.

Otago Daily Times