7 Tips for Maintaining Your Car When You’re Not Driving It Much

Posted on: September 4th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to our lives. One unexpected impact has been a reduction in driving. Many people have traded their daily commute for remote working and Zoom meetings, and many leisure activities are currently on hold as we figure out how to safely reopen businesses. This has caused many vehicles to sit idly in driveways for extended periods of time.

It’s important to understand that your car still requires maintenance, even when you’re not driving it often. Otherwise, you may develop expensive issues down the road. The following tips will help you keep your vehicle in good shape while you’re driving less frequently.

Avoid Flat Spots on Tires

Over time, your tires will gradually lose air pressure. When the vehicle stays in one place for too long, this can result in the development of flat spots on the region where the rubber touches the road. These flat spots can develop within a month of the car not moving.

Unfortunately, flat spots may result in a need to replace the tires faster than usual. To avoid this issue, check your tires regularly to make sure they’re properly inflated. If you’re not driving at all, move the vehicle forward and backward periodically to change the part of the tire touching the road. This will help you avoid flat spots.

Adjust Your Oil Change Schedule

car sitting in driveway not being used during COVID-19 pancemicWhen you drive on a regular basis, oil changes are scheduled based on mileage intervals. If you’re not using your vehicle, this will result in a very long time period between oil changes. Condensation and temperature fluctuations can cause the oil to deteriorate over time. To avoid this, you may want to consider switching to a time-based oil change interval. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum amount of time your vehicle should go without an oil change. Make sure you change the oil before this time period elapses, even if you haven’t driven the mileage necessary to typically require an oil change.

Keep Your Battery Charged

Your battery will slowly discharge over time when you don’t use your car. You may find that if you try to start the vehicle for the first time in several months, the battery may be dead. There are two ways to avoid this problem:

  • Start and drive the car at least once a week – You don’t have to drive the car for very long. A short trip to and from the grocery store will be sufficient to keep your battery charged.
  • Use a trickle charger – If you’re not able to go for a short drive periodically, a trickle charger is a great way to keep your battery from draining. This device connects to your battery’s terminals and can be plugged into a standard wall socket to generate the charge necessary for your battery to function properly.

Keep Vehicle Parts Properly Lubricated

When your car sits idly without being used:

  • Oil settles
  • Fluids separate
  • Seals begin to dry out

This can result in serious problems with many of the mechanical parts in the vehicle. If the engine, transmission and brakes don’t stay properly lubricated, you may face costly replacements once you start using your car again.

To avoid this issue, make sure to take the car for a short drive at least once a week. This simple action can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Top Off Your Gas Tank

If you know you won’t be driving for an extended period of time, make sure to fill up with gas before letting your car sit. This will reduce condensation inside the gas tank. You may also want to consider using fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from degrading over time.

Pay Attention to Where You Park

If possible, try to avoid parking under a tree for extended periods of time. If you must park under a tree, make sure it doesn’t drip sap. Sap will wreak havoc on your paint job. In addition, birds tend to congregate in trees, and bird poop can damage your car’s exterior in a short period of time.

Use a Car Cover

Your car can sustain more exterior cosmetic damage than you would expect when it doesn’t move. Accidental scrapes, UV damage, abrasive dust, sap from trees, bird poop and harsh weather elements can have a devastating impact on your vehicle. A car cover is an inexpensive way to prevent this damage to your car.

Accurate Auto Body Can Help Restore External Vehicle Damage

If your car has suffered external damage from sitting around during the pandemic, Accurate Auto Body can help. Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed a reputation as one of the top auto body shops in the Denver area. At Accurate Auto Body, we’re committed to delivering the exceptional service you deserve. You’ll benefit from our exclusive Focus on You Service System™, which provides you with:

  • Unparalleled levels of personal attention
  • Faster turn-around times
  • Auto repair consulting to ensure you’re properly informed about your options
  • Guaranteed pricing and delivery dates
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Repair update options to address your unique preferences (phone, text, email, web)
  • Full auto insurance coordination

Please contact us to get a free repair estimate. We serve customers in Denver, Aurora and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

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