Lockdowns, working and schooling at home, and other Covid-related lifestyle adjustments have resulted in less need for us to be out on the roads. Many vehicles that normally see daily use have been sitting idle, some unused for long stretches of time over the past couple of years.

Like humans, vehicles tend to perform better with regular exercise, and lack of it can lead to problems:

  • The battery is susceptible to inactivity-induced problems. Today’s high-tech vehicles often have multiple computers that are always monitoring the car’s systems. They absorb energy, but if a car sits idle and not recharging, the battery can die.
  • Rust can form on the brake rotors, especially if the vehicle is exposed to the elements.
  • Proper tyre pressure is important for performance, safety, petrol mileage, and helps your tyres wear evenly. Tyres naturally lose air, and cars that are stationary for prolonged periods are at risk of developing flat spots on their tyres.
  • Driving less does not necessarily mean you should push back your oil change interval. If a vehicle sits idle, the oil deteriorates due to temperature fluctuations.

The auto shop experts, of which there are many in Browns Bay on Beach, Anzac and Bute Roads, say that the number one thing you can do to take care of your stationary vehicle is to drive it. If it has not been out on the road for a while, book it in for a check up and service at a local workshop to ensure it is roadworthy.

Before hitting the road, check the Warrant of Fitness and your driver’s license are current. NZTA granted a temporary extension for NZ driver licenses that expire between 21 July 2021 and 31 May 2022 to be renewed by 31 May 2022 – just around the corner.

Here’s what the experts say you should look for when choosing a repair shop:

  • Listen to what people are saying. Check Google reviews and visit the workshop. If it is busy, the chances are the mechanics are making their customers happy enough to keep coming back. A clean, tidy workshop is generally an indication of pride in their work and environment.
  • Ask for warranties on parts and labour. No good mechanic will put a faulty part in your vehicle, but it can malfunction on rare occasions. Cover yourself for the “what if” scenario.
  • Ask about the options for having your vehicle repaired as there are often different ways of reaching the same outcome. Obtain quotes for the options.
  • If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut and don’t skimp on quality trying to save a few dollars. Reasonable cost and good quality usually reflect a workshop of experts who have passion for what they do.
  • Check for the MTA logo. MTA assures accredited garages are reliable, and their mechanics adhere to local laws that are in place to give customers peace of mind.

Browns Bay’s automotive repair industry started in the late 1950s, even before the Auckland Harbour Bridge opened and the town’s transformation from a holiday destination into a suburb really began. The number of auto shops has grown steadily ever since, with many operators being independent, locally-owned, and passionate about their work. Their hobbies even revolve around vehicles – drag racing, rebuilding engines, classic motor bikes, etc. When talking to some of the workshop owners recently it was clear that they don’t compete with each other, they co-exist and complement by cross-referring customers, and utilising each other’s products and specialisations. And, of course, some healthy competition keeps their standards high. All to the advantage of their customers. They are proud of their patch, and of being able to offer the community a choice of workshops that consistently deliver honest, friendly, quality service at reasonable prices.

Thanks for choosing local to keep your vehicle on the road.

Bays Car Painters & Collision Repairs  |  Caltex  |  Bridgestone  |  Browns Bay Panelbeaters  |  Discount Tyres  |  Browns Bay Auto Electrical  |  Browns Bay Automotive  |  Anzac Automotive Bosch Service Centre  |  The Hobby Shop Automotive Servicing  |  BAS Brake & Auto Services  |  Bute Collision Panelbeating & Car Repairs   |    Albany Toyota Browns Bay  |  Dale Nixon Automotive  |  Holgate Panelbeaters  |  GP Auto Centre  |   Safe Drive Vehicle Testing  |  Repco  |  Megatyre  |  Pit Stop  |  Browns Bay Mags & Tyres / The Shock Shop  |    Sam’s Motors  |  Steve Roos Motor Services  |  Nifty Customs VTNZ


First published, and permission to post, by ShoreLines Magazine, April/May 2022, p.34-35