Countries all over the world continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic as best as they can. Most of these countries are in various degrees of lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. Australia is no different, though each region follows its own rules depending on how severe the disease is within its boundaries. Melbourne, for instance, is currently experiencing a Stage 4 lockdown. While there is a long and complicated list of rules to follow under Melbourne's lockdown, this article will help you figure out the do’s and don’ts of car servicing during Stage 4 lockdown.
What’s the General Rule on Stage 4 Lockdown?
The Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, Victoria is ongoing. Authorities will review the lockdown periodically to decide whether or not they should lift it, depending on how many active cases there are in the state. Under the Stage 4 lockdown, metropolitan Melbourne is currently imposing a curfew from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am. Residents may still leave their homes during the daytime but only for four reasons – to go to work, to exercise, to provide care to those who need it, and to buy essentials.
As such, open businesses include essential ones like supermarkets. More importantly for car owners, petrol stations and workshops are still allowed to open to provide certain types of car servicing.
For workshops to operate during this time, they must only be those that provide critical and essential vehicle services (repairs, servicing, maintenance). These workshops must also have a COVID Safe Plan in place to protect both the workers and the customers that come through.
What Is Allowed For Car Servicing During Stage 4 Lockdown?
To answer the question, "Can I get my car serviced during Melbourne's Stage 4 lockdown?" the answer isn't so simple. It depends on whether or not you're an essential worker, as well as the servicing that you need from a mechanic or shop.
Firstly, to prove that you're an essential worker, you will have to bring with you a Permitted Worker document. You can carry it in any form by printing it or showing an electronic copy photographed or scanned on your mobile device.
Assuming you have all of your paperwork in order, you can set up an appointment with your mechanic.
Aside from those, there are a few more limitations to what you can and can't do when you're at the workshop. Under Stage 4 lockdown rules, you can only get urgent or critical repairs, maintenance, or servicing on your vehicle.
What that means is that you cannot head to the workshop to get some routine or scheduled maintenance done on your vehicle as a standalone service. You can only do that if you're already bringing your car into the workshop for critical repairs.
Here’s the catch: under Stage 4 lockdown rules, you cannot travel more than 5 km away from your home. If your trusted mechanic is located beyond that distance, you’ll need to find another workshop nearby.
What Are Other Car Servicing Alternatives For Essential Workers?
If you're an essential worker and need to get your car fixed, you don't necessarily have to drive to the workshop yourself. After all, you're on the frontlines of the battle against the pandemic, so you have very little time left for things outside of work. Thankfully, there are services available to help you out.
First, you could reach out to a mobile mechanic to come to you wherever you are. They’ll work on your vehicle on-the-spot so that you never have to leave your place of work.
Aside from that, many workshops offer a pick-up and drop-off service. They’ll take the car from you while you’re at work and drive it to the workshop.
How Do You Maintain Your Car During A Lockdown?
During the lockdown, you are going to use your car a lot less than usual. That's especially true as Stage 4 lockdown only allows you to leave your home for one of the four reasons (shopping, caregiving, exercising, working). Even though car servicing might not be possible for the time being, there is still a lot you can do to care for your car in the meantime. Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible:
If you're not driving your car for an extended period, be sure to park it somewhere safe. If at all possible, park your car under the shade or in a sheltered parking lot. If you're going to leave it outdoors, you could invest in a car cover to prevent dust from building up so quickly all over the vehicle.
If you don't drive your car for a long time, your battery will naturally drain itself out. To keep it charged up, be sure to start your engine up every other day to keep it in good working order.
People will often tell you to warm up your engine once in a while, at least for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. There is some wisdom in that. By warming up your machine, you'll give it a chance to circulate the engine oil and other fluids to keep everything running smoothly.
When you park your car in the same spot for an extended period, your tyres will experience uneven wear. That's because, throughout that time, the entire weight of the car presses down on just one part of your tyres. Ideally, it would be good to move your vehicle around from its parking spot every few days, just so the weight will rest on different parts of the tyre.
Keep Yourself Updated With What’s Going On
The world is in crisis, and you need to be in the know. To keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the automotive industry across Australia, check out Carpart.com.au’s Blog. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about car servicing in general and much more! You may even find the car part you've looking for through our Car Part Finder. Locate an auto part now!
By Ray Hasbollah