Vehicles are designed for frequent use. If a car sits for long periods, special care should be taken before it can perform properly, since parts can rust and fluids can break down. So, if you plan to drive a car that’s been over-rested, follow these guidelines to prepare it for a much-needed spin.
Check for Critters
An unused car becomes a perfect, quiet retreat for insects and other small creatures. Before anything else, look around the grille and remove leaves, grass or other debris that these inhabitants use to make life cozy. Although soft and inviting for mice, these elements become flammable in a hot engine.
Check the Oil and Cylinders
Low or dirty oil negatively affects an engine’s performance, so ensuring your car is topped off with clean lubricant will go a long way in getting it started. Also, an inactive engine causes oil to drip into the drain pan, drying out the cylinders. To fix the issue, remove the spark plugs in each cylinder and spray them with lubricant before reapplying.
Check Coolant and Brake Fluid
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a theme here – fluid. Making sure these necessary liquids are in good condition and at the appropriate levels keeps your car in safe driving condition.
Maintenance Tips for a Rarely-Driven Vehicle
If you have a car that gets taken out only on special occasions or seasons, you should care for it differently than one you use daily.
- Estimate Time Over Mileage – Infrequent use means you won’t rack up enough mileage for regular maintenance, but parts still age with time. As such, experts recommend using a timed calculator instead of mileage to anticipate service.
- Crank it Up Weekly – Every few days or at least once a week, turn on the ignition for a few minutes. This action keeps fluids working through the system, preventing pooling, sustaining lubrication, and keeping your battery fresh.
- Disconnect the Battery – If you know a vehicle won’t be used for a while, you can prevent corrosion by disconnecting the battery.
- Keep it Clean – This tip also works for long-term storage, since having a clean interior and exterior can help prevent damaged paint (from sitting dust and debris) or built-up odors (from leftover food or trash in the cabin).
Taking precaution before a long period of rest can help your vehicle run more smoothly when the time comes for a care-free drive.
For all your vehicle’s maintenance and repair needs, call MMW Repair in Marietta at 770-214-4688 and schedule an appointment today!