Your car service or repair: what you need to be asking

Mr Windscreen Covid-19 People first

For most of us, the easing of travel restrictions signals a return to a normal of sorts, and for many that means a return to gain employment for that car which has been in the driveway since early March. That in turn will turn our attention to our annual car service which we may have put off over the crisis.

While cars have been sitting idle, workshops and service centres across the world have been changing their practices to keep step with Covid 19 protocols surrounding how your car is cleaned after servicing or repair. Indeed, some insurers have put the sanitisation of serviced and repaired vehicles at the top of their priority lists.

So what exactly do you need to be asking as you hand over your car to your local garage?

You should check with your workshop or service centre that their car cleaning teams are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as well as using disposable gloves. You might also enquire as to processes when it comes to washing hands in between cleaning shifts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US even recommend that vehicle cleaning teams use disposable gowns.

Scientists are still learning a lot about COVID-19, but the likes of the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that the virus can live on surfaces for several hours and even days. You want your workshop or service centre to use a product that kills viruses and germs on surfaces, and a solution that contains 70% alcohol is typically fit for this purpose.

But even here, it’s important to bear in mind that many products contain additional substances, such as glycerin, which can damage the interior of your car.

You should also ask your service centre or workshop to make sure that they are using an approved product. There are already many antimicrobial products for use against SARS-CoV-2 that are in circulation around the world and which can be used to disinfect vehicles.

There is a general absence of legislation surrounding sanitising products, with many foggers and spray cans out there not fully disclosing all their ingredients.

Expect this to change.

In reality, it’s not easy for Joe Public to ascertain the safety levels prevailing in any workshop, or indeed even to ask questions about something he or she typically knows precious little about. This is about trust, and this is a time where a body like the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (or SIMI for short) comes into its own as a mark of trust. They’ve been doing good work to ensure their members are equipped to deal with the threat of Covid in a customer-friendly way. Best to look out for their symbol whenever you hand over your car for some work.

For our part, at Mr Windscreen we’ve produced this infographic to make clear the practices we’ve adopted at our centres across Ireland to keep you safe. Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.