With most vehicle owners working from home or simply spending more time at home due to stay-at-home orders, many vehicles are now sitting idle for many days or even months at a time before they will be used again. We recommend starting your car at least once per week and that you continue to keep up with routine auto care so that you can prevent future maintenance issues.
Just like it’s recommended that you go outside and stay active, your car should also get some activity. If you leave your vehicle to sit idly for too long, then a number of issues can occur. The battery could die, the tires might develop flat spots and the engine oil can start to go bad. Taking your car out for a short drive once a week, and doing a little maintenance will help keep your car running safely.
When you start your car weekly, you should let it run for at least five minutes. If your vehicle will be started in a garage be sure to open the door so that you have plenty of ventilation. We also recommend that you continue to monitor the following areas if you leave your vehicle idle for a long time.
Many vehicles today have several computers that are always running, even while the car is turned off. So, if a car is sitting too long without recharging, this could cause the battery to die within a few weeks.
Maintaining the proper tire pressure will help you improve your vehicle’s performance and gas mileage. This is also important for your vehicle’s safety. Checking your tire pressure often is more important when your car is parked for a long time. Vehicles that are left sitting idle for too long can develop flat spots, so taking your vehicle out for a brief drive once in a while will help to prevent these spots, and it will also help recharge your battery at the same time.
Modern fuel systems can help preserve the life of the gas in your tank, and they can also help prevent fuel oxidation. Keeping your tank full with gas helps limit gas-tank condensation. If you are still worried about the gas in your tank going bad, then you can use a fuel stabilizer to help you extend the life of your fuel.
If your car sits idle for too long, your oil can start to deteriorate. You should continue to change your oil at your regularly scheduled times, even if you won’t be driving your usual mileage. It is always good to check out your owner’s manual for the maximum amount of time that you should wait between oil changes.
If your car sits idle, rust can start to form on the brake rotors, especially if your car will be parked outside. Driving your car at least once a week will help to prevent this rust build-up.