If you haven’t picked up your car keys in a while, you should be aware of these nine things that can happen to your car.
The battery loses its charge
It might come as a surprise, but your car is still working even when you’re not driving it. “Just like your laptop or cell phone, your car battery is running the computer inside your vehicle at all times,” joe Akers, director of operations at Cowless Nissan in Woodbridge, Virginia.
If you’re not going to be driving your car for a few weeks, Akers recommends placing your vehicle on a trickle charger. “These chargers continue to supply power to a car battery when the vehicle is not in use,” Akers says.
Also, remove the phone charger, dash-cam, and any other power-consuming devices plugged into the cigarette lighter port.
Tires get flat spots and lose pressure when you don’t drive.
“The weight of the car constantly putting pressure on the same part of the tires create a dent It’s something you’ll definitely feel when you get back in the driver’s seat.
Tires lose pressure when they sit too—about one to two PSI per month. A quick spin around the block once a week will help avoid this problem,” Akers adds.
Remove all garbage, mainly cold drink cans, food, snacks, as they will attract ants that will find a way to get inside.
The fluids in your car are essential for many components. For example, brake fluid is pressurized and gives you the power needed to brake. Without power steering fluid, it would take a lot of muscle just to turn the steering wheel. When a car sits for a long time, fluids get stale and can pool in certain areas. The oil keeps the metal components lubricated, so you don’t get that ticking noise of metal hitting metal, or worse, the engine overheating. Run the engine every two weeks for about 10 minutes to keep things under the hood lubricated.
Air conditioning seals can dry out when you don’t drive your car, which leads to integrity issues, and you can lose freon. No freon means hot and sweaty car rides in the future.
Consider your gas tank
Gasoline is a fickle thing in your tank. “If you leave the fuel tank near empty, it builds up moisture, which isn’t ideal. However, if you fill up to the brim before parking it long-term, it will overflow if the weather gets warmer as the gasoline can expand. Additionally, gasoline goes bad after a short time.” Yuvali.
If it’s sitting with half a tank, fill it up with fresh gas when you start driving again. Or add an enzyme fuel stabilizer to the gasoline to prevent stale gas; think of it as a probiotic for your gas tank.
You still need auto insurance even if you’re not driving your car very much or at all. The good news is the car insurance industry is promising discounts, rebates and deferrals. While each insurance company is responding differently to COVID-19, you can also expect providers waiving non-sufficient funds and extending the length of coverage as well.