The guidance includes specialist advice for hybrid owners.

South Korean car maker Kia has revealed “official” guidance on the actions drivers should take to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy after leaving it for a long period. The guidance comes as the UK endures its third week of lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Since March 23, citizens have been urged to stay inside unless exercising, food shopping or heading to medical appointments. Only those in essential jobs who cannot work from home are allowed to commute.

As a result of the lockdown, Kia says vehicles are more likely to develop problems caused by underuse. The company says maintaining battery health is the most important factor, alongside vehicle security, fault avoidance and safety.

Kia’s guidance in full

  1. When leaving your vehicle for extended periods, always ensure that all doors and tailgate are closed fully, interior lights are switched off and the car is locked with the remote transmitter. This will not only ensure the vehicle security but also minimise drain on the battery.
  2. Try to avoid running the petrol or diesel engine for short periods only and switching off while still cold. Whenever the engine is started, it is preferable to keep it running until full temperature is achieved.
  3. If suitable battery charging equipment is available, charge the 12v battery at regular intervals (recommended every two weeks). Alternatively use an intelligent charger which can be connected permanently and will periodically monitor / maintain battery condition. Refer to the Owner’s Manual for further guidance, paying particular attention to how and where to connect charger leads. The Intelligent Stop Go (ISG) system (where fitted) can be damaged if chargers or jump leads/packs are incorrectly connected.
    N.B. the charging advice does not apply to Kia Niro self-charging hybrid models with a 12v lithium-ion battery.
  4. If you are not able to use a battery charger, start the engine and allow it to idle for 20 minutes. Switch off all unnecessary electrical items (e.g. lights, heated rear screen, fan, heated seats, etc.). Please ensure that you remain with your vehicle during this process to ensure safety and security. It is recommended that the engine is run in this way at least every two weeks.
  5. Should you find your 12v battery has already discharged, recharge the battery using a battery charger if available. If you use a jump pack or jump leads to start the vehicle, refer to the Owner’s Manual for further guidance, paying particular attention to how and where to connect leads. The Intelligent Stop Go (ISG) system (where fitted) can be damaged if chargers or jump leads/packs are incorrectly connected.
    N.B This too does not apply to Niro self-charging hybrid models equipped with 12v lithium-ion batteries.
  6. Niro self-charging hybrid models (‘18 model year onwards) are equipped with a 12v lithium-ion battery and a battery reset switch. You can help preserve your 12v lithium-ion battery charge by operating your vehicle in accordance with the information provided in Point 4. On no account should a charger, jump pack or jump leads be attached to your vehicle. Instead, if the 12v lithium-ion battery is discharged, it can be reset by pressing the battery reset switch. Please refer to the Owner’s Manual for more information. All other Kia vehicles are equipped with a conventional 12v battery which should be maintained as detailed previously.
  7. For electric & plug-in hybrid vehicles it is recommended that the high voltage battery is left in a fully charged state.
2018 Kia Niro