The UK's first end-to-end online car maintenance service provider, Fixter, is keeping cars in running condition during the coronavirus lockdown by offering expert car maintenance advice on its website.

"While some people, such as key workers, are using their cars more than before, most are isolating at home and simply don’t need their vehicles," said Limvirak Chea, co-founder and CEO of Fixter. "We’re sharing our knowledge in partnership with some of our trusted garage partners, to make sure everyone has a safe vehicle to start using again when the time is right.

The service highlights a number of potential issues, like battery protection, with cars sitting idle for an extended period of time leading to car batteries going flat. To prevent that, Fixter says that car owners should check on their car's battery weekly, and if the car's engine is struggling to turnover, plug it into a top-up.

Mechanic uses multimeter on car battery

CW Vehicles, a Brimingham-based Fixter partner recommends that engines should be turned over at least once a week and ran for a few minutes. Not only would that help keep the battery in good shape, but it would also prevent components in the engine from being blocked by carbon, a common problem with cars that are usually driven often and suddenly parked for a long time.

Another issue for cars parked for an extended period of time is when moisture gathers in an empty petrol tank. This can cause rust to build up inside it. To get round this, simply filling up the tank completely, or even adding a stabiliser fluid to that petro; to keep it fresh will be enough.

Cars could also be parked with chocks under the wheels, with the car in first gear and with the handbrake released, but if this can't be done Fixter experts at Trinity Diesels in Manchester and Wimbledon Service Centre in London recommend testing the brakes for stiffness during an initial test drive.

Pouring fluid in windscreen washer fluid tank

Other advice includes keeping an eye on what components may need replacing, checking fluids, keeping vents clear of fallen leaves, and lubricating moving parts like door handles and locks.

"Not everyone is fully clued up when it comes to car maintenance," said Richard Creed, garage account manager at Fixter. "At Fixter, we want to make sure car owners understand the importance of keeping their car roadworthy at all times.

"With the help of our garage partners, we want to make it as easy as possible for drivers to spot problems or avoid them entirely, now and for when lockdown ends."