Nitto - INVO 255/45R20 101W
We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!
During and after lockdown, you've probably taken time to look after you and your families' mental health as well as any vulnerable parents or neighbours. But don't overlook your car. Here are our tips for getting your car back up and running after a period of inactivity.
If your car has stood around for a while, without moving, the tyres will need inspecting.
You'll want to give your brakes a once over. If you have brake discs, these can form a thin layer of surface rust on the exposed metal. That should get scrubbed off as you brake normally and won't affect the performance too much. You could always move the car backwards and forwards on your drive to clean them off. If you notice little rust spots after braking though, then you've got what's called pitting, where the rust has eaten a little deeper into the disc. If you have brake drums, make sure they haven't become seized through lack of use. You may need a mechanic to unstick them for you.
If the pedal feels spongy or squishy when you push it, then you should also have the brakes professionally checked, in case any water has worked its way into the system.
If your car has an oil leak or slight coolant leak, the levels will have dropped and you'll need to check their levels. If the oil drops too low, the engine can overheat from lack of critical lubrication and be irreparably damaged. The same can happen due to insufficient coolant, which regulates the engine's operating temperature. Check your owner's manual to find the location of your oil dipstick and coolant expansion tank. If you feel up to the task, top them up as needed (but don't overfill them).
This is optional, but if the fuel has been sitting for some time in the tank (it feels like we've been using about a litre every two months in a small hatch), you might want to drop in an octane booster or additive to help the car properly combust the fuel. This is because fuel can go off or settle in the tank. One fuel brand says the storage life is as little as one month. Dropping in a dose of fuel additive can help improve combustion and make life a little easier on your car.
There are all kinds of additives available, from octane boosters to injector cleaner, fuel system conditioner, turbo cleaner and even a DPF cleaning fluid. Make sure you buy one that is compatible with your car.
Modern cars are chock-full of electronic gadgetry and tech. These can all put a drain on the battery and, if the vehicle has gone without regular running (which in ordinary use tops up the battery), it could have gone flat throughout lockdown. Some estimates say the battery will discharge by 1% daily.
Your initial reaction might be just to jump-start the engine, but there are inherent risks with the sudden power jolt and the possibility of user error.
CTEK, a producer of battery management products, recommends purchasing a smart battery charger like their MXS 5.0.
This charger is connected to the terminals and left alone. All the while, it'll keep the battery optimally charged. Then, when you need to start the car, you detach the charger and away you go! If you have a lithium battery, CTEK warns you'll need a different product, like the Lithium XS charger.
The brand's Asia Pacific Director of Sales and Marketing, Robert Briggs, cautioned that we shouldn't forget our car batteries.
"Naturally, our vehicles haven't been top of mind for many during the pandemic, but a car battery charger provides a simple, hassle-free solution. Regularly hooking your vehicle up to a battery charger and maintainer is essential to ensuring your car starts when you return to it", Briggs stated.
There's a legend that owners of one particular high-end sports car wouldn't use their car much, leaving them in the garage and really babying them on the rare occasion they drove the car. The engine would start running rough, so it would be taken to a mechanic. Their solution was to take the car out, drop it into a low gear and basically drive it hard. This helps the engine get up to temperature and clear out accumulations of soot and carbon.
Because it seemed to happen to Italian-brand sports cars, it was dubbed the Italian tune-up.
Whether that's true or not, modern cars do have emission-reducing systems that require certain conditions to be met so they can perform a rejuvenation cycle. This won't happen on infrequent and short trips around town to the supermarket. These components include Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs). They need to reach a certain temperature or road speed for a set number of minutes (though on some vehicles, like the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series, they have a manual cycle button) to burn off the deposits. The best way to do this is to get on a long county road or highway and get the car to operating temps. You may even see a light on the dashboard indicating the car needs to do a regen cycle.
If you've carried out the above-recommended steps, then you can think about starting the engine. If possible, start the car and stay with it (leaving a running car unattended is dangerous, illegal and insurance-voiding), leaving the motor to warm up slowly and without much stress. This should put some juice back in the battery and also help you spot any leaks that have formed. The oil pump forces lubricant around moving parts, coating the inside with the protective liquid. If everything looks good, you should be ready to start driving in the world of "new normal".
If things are looking a bit dusty, be kind to your car by treating it to a wash. Tidy out and wipe down the interior, it'll be a pleasant and hygienic cabin to sit in then. We've published a more in-depth COVID-19 car cleaning guide.
Is your car looking, or running, a bit rough following the unexpected isolation lay-up? Dealers are currently running some sweet EOFY car deals, especially for businesses, with up to $33,000 in free extras on some new and demo models, or over $10k slashed from the drive-away price. Also, you could take advantage of the limited-time $150k asset write-off by purchasing a vehicle for your business.
If you're going to buy a car with finance, make sure you do your homework and compare different car loans. Doing so could save you hundreds of dollars, freeing up your precious cash.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Images: Getty Images and supplied
The 2021 Nissan Navara is widely viewed as the best Navara Nissan has made, outright. It's got excellent specs, an extremely attractive design, fantastic load-lugging and carrying capabilities, and an eager powertrain.
Kia's Sorento PHEV hybrid combines a long electric-only range with the convenience of a petrol engine. Here are the specs.
Would you know what to do if you were involved in a car accident? This guide looks at the steps to take after an accident has occurred, from securing the scene to making a claim with your insurer.
The future is here for the hatchback, but is the fully electric Hyundai IONIQ as enjoyable to drive as it is efficient?
The MG HS brings to the medium SUV space hybrid performance at a petrol price, and it does so with the full suite of modern features. It lacks a voice that’s truly its own, but does enough to demand a test drive.
In 2020, the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail all outsold the Kia Sportage. That's not to say this is a bad car; in fact, the motoring media reviewed it favourably.
SPONSORED: Fuel is an unavoidable cost for drivers, right? Well, yeah – but there are ways to make it more manageable.
MG's HS is a convincing mid-size SUV. It offers undeniable value, a well-designed interior, ample practicality and is a genuinely attractive car from the still fledgling brand.
Toyota popped the bonnet on its highly anticipated 2022 Toyota Landcruiser 300 series 4WD in June 2021. Here's everything you need to know.
If you’re after a large SUV, you’re spoiled for choice. However, if you’re looking for a large SUV that attempts to reduce its footprint on the planet your options are considerably less. Enter the Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid ...
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.88% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money here.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.