How to Care for Your Car When You’re Not Using It

Those of us who live in Bucks County and the surrounding areas have been housebound for weeks now. While we’re stuck indoors cursing the coronavirus, our cars have sat in the garage or driveway, hardly being put to use. Just like being idle for long periods of time isn’t good for your wellbeing, the same can be said for your car’s health.

How Long Can a Car Sit Without Being Driven? 

We recommend that you don’t wait more than two weeks to operate your vehicle. It may seem like a short amount of time, but due to today’s technology, when a vehicle sits there is internal components that draw on your battery. As well as, today’s fuel doesn’t have a long shelf life and can cause damage to your fuel system. 

Temperature changes outside also affects the amount of air in your tires over time, which will cause premature tire wear.

What happens when you’re finally ready to take your car out for a spin? Let’s just say it may be a bumpy ride, or it may not start at all. It all depends on how long it’s been sitting without use. 

What Happens to a Car That Isn’t Being Driven?


How Often Should You Start Your Vehicle?

Make sure you start your vehicle weekly if you want to avoid serious damage. Let it run for at least 20 minutes as it heats up all the fluids and burns the water out of your exhaust system, preventing premature rusting of the system. Be really careful where you do this if all you plan to do is start the car, but not actually drive it anywhere.

Don’t box yourself in an enclosed area, as the exhaust gas released from the car will quickly fill up the space and endanger your health. Only start your car if you’re in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, so you can be safe.

If you want to keep your car in good working condition, just don’t start it and let it sit — you’ll need to take it out for a drive. At least once a week, put some miles on your car. This will wake up all the important components and drive them to their full potential, from the brake pads and rotors to the engine and transmission. 

How to Take Care of a Car That is Rarely Driven

Here are some final tips from the professionals at Rob’s Auto and Collision Center to help keep your car in good shape, even when you’re not using it.

  • Keep up with regular fluid maintenance. Change your oil and other fluids based on their service dates, not mileage.
  • Start the car weekly and take it for a drive at least once a week.
  • Clean the car inside and out. A clean interior will keep nasty rodents away, and a sparkling exterior will keep the paint looking brand new. 
  • Store your vehicle indoors to protect it from harsh weather elements, if possible.
  • If you notice the tires are getting a little flaccid, make sure you fill them up with air as soon as possible.
  • We recommend keeping your fuel tank full while sitting to prevent moisture from accumulating, causing premature rusting of the fuel tank and other issues.  

We hope this article has given you a little clarity and peace of mind on how you can keep your car healthy until everyday life becomes normal again. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact our truck repair shop in Bristol, PA. As an automotive car shop certified by over 14 automobile manufacturers, we know exactly what it takes to keep your car healthy, and we’ll be more than happy to share our tips with you. Contact us today to learn more!