How to Keep an Unused Car Healthy
If you don’t drive your car very often in Phoenix, you may worry about its health. After all, when you do need to make a trip to Glendale, you want to feel confident that your vehicle is going to be safe and reliable. While you don’t have to drive a vehicle every day to keep it healthy, it should see the road at least once every couple of weeks, ideally for at least 30 minutes and at speeds above 50 mph. The longer you let your vehicle sit unused, the more issues there are that can quietly creep up. Ensure your car is always ready to go when you do need it by picking up tips for how to keep an unused car healthy with Rocky's Auto Credit.
How Fast Will a Car Battery Die if the Vehicle is Unused?
How long is too long before a car battery dies completely? That depends on the age of the battery and whether it’s been properly maintained. Here are some quick tips to provide you with more information:
- Newer vehicles contain a lot of advanced technology that uses multiple computers. Those computers are always on, even when you’re not using the vehicle. If your car sits long enough without being driven to recharge the battery, the computers could drain the battery completely in only two weeks’ time.
- Even if you don’t drive your car, starting it and allowing it to idle once per week for 5–10 minutes can help maintain the battery.
- If you’re going to let the car idle and it’s parked in a garage or poorly ventilated area, make sure you open the garage or find a more open space to allow for proper ventilation of fumes.
- There are battery tenders on the market that can be plugged into a standard household outlet to maintain your battery’s voltage. These are great because they minimize the worry of a dead battery when you need your car—just don’t forget to unplug it when you do go for a ride.
Will My Brakes Fail?
Another issue that can arise when a vehicle isn’t driven often enough is the brake rotors rusting over. Without the lubrication they’d receive while driving, a rusty film can start to form that can damage the brakes and cause brake failure, especially if your car is parked outside.
Driving your car around Tempe once per week or once every other week will help keep your brake system lubricated, in addition to maintaining the battery voltage. If you park your car on an incline and the parking brake is always in use, you should also release it periodically to reduce the tension on the cable.
Will My Tires Lose Air Pressure?
Your tires shouldn’t be at risk of going completely flat, unless there’s a leak or puncture you’re unaware of. Still, changing temperatures outside can cause the tire pressure to rise and fall periodically, so you should check it routinely and get your tires to the proper level when they’re off.
If you know ahead of time that your car won’t be moving for a while, sometimes it’s best to overfill the tires in anticipation of the fact that they could lose 5–10 psi without use. It will also help avoid flat spots where the tires are in contact with the ground.
Will My Gas Expire?
Technically, gasoline can go bad over time. But, this shouldnt pose an issue for most car owners, as the fuel system is sealed in order to minimize this very problem. A full gas tank helps prevent the gas from going bad, as well as tank condensation. And if you follow the tips above, you’ll always be ready to go when you do need to drive your car.