How To Maintain Your Car When You’re Using It Less
At the moment, many of us have our cars parked up on the driveway or in the garage with little need to use them. The Coronavirus pandemic has seen the world grind to a halt, and as a result, vehicles are hardly being used. Whether your car is idle because of the current UK lockdown, seasonal downtime, extended travel, or something else entirely; long periods of not using it can lead to problems. Even when your car isn’t racking up the miles, regular maintenance is still required to prevent issues down the road.
So, what can you do to help your car, when it’s spending less time on the roads?
One of the biggest concerns of an idle car is the battery, and this really depends on whether the vehicle will be driven at all. Vehicles that are driven periodically might not need additional battery maintenance. If you can get out, then a short drive that gets the oil temperature up will help to keep the battery topped up. If you can’t drive it at all, then investing in a trickle charger can be worthwhile. These devices can determine the exact type of battery your car has and then charge them appropriately.
Tyres And Flat Spots
Tyre pressure should be checked regularly to make sure that they are in line with manufacturer recommendations. If a car hasn’t moved for a long period of time, then tyres can get flat spots. It is often worth rolling the vehicle and resituating the tyres every couple of weeks to avoid deterioration. You can use jack stands to take the weight off the tyres if you are storing the vehicle for a long time.
When a vehicle isn’t used regularly, it can lead to the oil deteriorating because of temperature changes. If you are storing your car, aim to change the oil every six months, even if you are driving it occasionally. We always recommend changing the oil before your first proper drive out after storage, to make sure there is no water condensation in the oil.
If your car is going to be sitting stationary for a long time, then it is best to fill up the tank first. This helps to reduce condensation, which can be caused by changes in temperature. A full tank will last about six months, and it can be worthwhile investing in a fuel additive at this time too.