How Should You Care For Cars Not Driven For Extended Periods Of Time
Whether you have a car that’s been sitting in storage or just in your driveway, it’s important that you follow a few simple steps before getting it back on the road. A vehicle that has not been driven for an extended period of time may need a little bit of extra TLC. If your car has been sitting for a few months or even years, follow these helpful steps to ensure that your engine will run smoothly and the vehicle will operate safely.
Have the Fluids Replaced
Depending on how long the car has been sitting, there are specific fluids that will most likely need to be replaced. Cars that have been sitting for a very long time should have the entire fluid system drained, bled, and flushed thoroughly and then completely refilled. For vehicles that have only been hanging out for a few months, a complete oil and filter change is a must. Drain any leftover gas from the tank and flush the fuel lines. You should also follow this step for the radiator coolant. Check all fluid levels and fill the tires with the proper level of air.
Perform a Battery Check
Ideally, a car that has been parked long term should have the battery disconnected, removed, and safely stored. If that’s the case, all you’ll need to do is thoroughly clean the battery posts with baking soda and water. Give the battery a proper recharge and then reinstall it. For cars where the battery was not removed, have it checked at a local mechanic to ensure it’s maintained a good charge. A new battery and new cables are recommended for cars that have been sitting for a long time since the copper in the cables can lose their conductive properties over time.
Revisit the Ignition
Any vehicle that has been sitting over 90 days should have the spark plugs removed and lubricated into the cylinders. Be sure to label each spark plug before you remove them so you can remember the order in which they were installed. Pull the wires out by holding them firmly and grasping them at a point closest to the engine. If the spark plugs appear to be corroded, white in color, or oily then they should be replaced.
Perform a thorough once over on your vehicle, letting it run for a few minutes to ensure that it isn’t knocking or idling rough. Make sure the brakes are working properly and that all tires are inflated to their proper level. Check on headlights and taillights as well as your brake lights and high beams so you can drive it safely at night.
If you have a vehicle that has been sitting for a long time, contact the experts at Carfix located in Garner, NC and give us a call at 919-900-6505 to set up an inspection appointment.