Today we called in to Chequers Garage in Aston Tirrold to speak to Matt, contributer and supporter of Wallingford Radio.

He gave us a quick interview about the work local garages are providing in order to keep key workers on the road, as well as a run down on the MOT rules changes recently announced.

One of the major issues that local garages have been dealing with is with discharged batteries, given that most people are not making regular journeys at the moment due to the lockdown.

With everything from the alarm, radio, ECU and more using small amounts of power, an idle car can completely discharge its battery, leaving it static when you do come to use it. 

Matt recommends turning the engine on for about half an hour once every ten days – either using the car to go to the shops, or just sit in it and listen to the radio.

With the cars sat idle though, it’s a great time to check all the fluid levels, as well as the tyre conditions. The current MOT rules have been relaxed, with automatic extensions being granted to cars with MOTs due since the 1st of April. However, this doesn’t reduce the need for drivers to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others.

Tyre tread should be at least 1.6mm, although this is the absolute legal minimum. Don’t forget that those four pieces of rubber are the only thing keeping you on the road!

While the workers at Chequers are all furloughed, owner Matt is continuing to support key workers and their vehicles, as are countless garages across the county. Matt also wanted to point out that the MOT extension isn’t set in stone, and doesn’t mean you won’t need one – as soon as lockdown is finished, all the expired vehicles will need testing. So if you are affected, it may be a good time to do some basic checks, and to maybe nab an appointment, so you’re not left at home when we are allowed to leave for work.

Chequers Garage is in Aston Tirrold, or online at Matt, the owner, is a contributer and supporter of Wallingford Radio.