Car Care

Getting your car through the lockdown

As different parts of NZ are affected by various lockdowns, it’s important that we ensure our cars remain fully operational.

There are a number of times when people need to store a vehicle for a short period of time. It may be the case that you have everything you need in walking distance and won’t be using your vehicle at all to access essential services, or even as an essential services worker during a lockdown. You might also pack your summer cruiser away for the winter months.

Here are some important tips you should consider to ensure your vehicle remains mobile and to prevent the likelihood of mechanical hassles later on if you won’t be using it in the short term.


A well maintained vehicle and a battery in good condition should not feel any effect of not using it for a few weeks.

But if you are unsure and want peace of mind, where possible give it a half-hour run in your local neighbourhood at least once a week to ensure the battery is topped up.

It could even be a matter of just leaving your vehicle to idle. Always make sure the vehicle is in a well ventilated area if it’s stationary while running. Idling your car for 30 minutes will allow the engine oil and coolant to be circulated, which is good for your engine’s health.

If you own a maintenance charger, which are available from most parts retailers, these are very useful during a lockdown. They are designed to be plugged in and left and send a small amount of electricity to your battery to keep it healthy while it's being stored for long periods of time. These will switch on and off as required to keep the battery topped up.


The correct tyre pressure is extremely important in order for them to maintain their shape and prevent flat spots. If the vehicle is being stored for a long period of time, it is best to inflate all tyres a bit more than usual when you’re next at your service station.

This is important as it will ensure that the adequate pressure remains even if a small amount leaks out over time. Many years ago, car tyres were particularly prone to flat spots and vehicles were raised on blocks to prevent this from happening, for shorter periods this step is not necessary with a vehicle.

Quick service check

If your vehicle does very little mileage and is laid up for a month or so, it is recommended that from time to time you check the oil and water levels. If your vehicle is overdue for a service, you should still have this checked by your local AA Auto Centre as soon as the you are able to do so.

All AA Motoring sites are open and services continuing

All AA Auto Centres are open at Alert Level 3 contactless. For more information and to book online, click here or call 0800 456 654.

AA Vehicle Inspection, Testing and Entry Compliance sites are open and AA Pre Purchase Inspections are continuing. To book an AA Pre Purchase Inspection click here or call 0800 500 333.

Previous post
Next post
Most popular used cars in 2021
Read more
Smarter, stylised, stronger: Updated MG ZS EV revealed in Europe
Read more