Coronavirus Car Care: How to Keep Your Unused Car Healthy During a Stay-at-Home Order

Coronavirus Car Care: How to Keep Your Unused Car Healthy During a Stay-at-Home Order

Coronavirus Car Care: How to Keep Your Unused Car Healthy During a Stay-at-Home Order

As Americans hunkered down at home through a lot of 2020, the cars, trucks and SUVs that normally see daily use sat idle on streets and in garages. many of these vehicles are still going unused for long stretches of clock .
Related: Coronavirus and Cars: Can I Get My Car Fixed During a Shelter-in-Place Order?

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Coronavirus Car Care: How to Keep Your Unused Car Healthy During a Stay-at-Home Order

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When it comes to cars, miss of regular manipulation can lead to problems. We reached out to some automotive military service experts to understand what the biggest likely problems are and what steps you can take to prevent them. here ’ s what we learned .

Will My Car Battery Die if I Don’t Drive My Car? 

The experts we contacted agreed that your car ’ s 12-volt battery is the vehicle organization that ’ s most susceptible to inactivity-induced problems .
“ Today ’ s high-tech vehicles much have multiple computers that are constantly on and monitoring the car ’ randomness systems, ” said Steven Greenspan, an teacher at Universal Technical Institute, in an e-mail. “ These computers do absorb energy, and if a car is sitting and not recharging, the battery can die within two weeks. ”
To avoid a dead battery, you can start your car once a workweek and let it run for about 5-10 minutes. ( If your car is parked in a garage, be certain to do this with the garage door open to ensure proper breathing for exhaust fumes. ) alternatively, a battery tender will help maintain your battery at its proper electric potential — just be certain to disconnect it before you drive anywhere. And if you do go out to your car and it won ’ metric ton start, AAA and other car policy companies are still offering wayside aid .

Will the Gas in My Car Go Bad? 

Gasoline degrades over time, but modern sealed fuel systems help minimize fuel oxidation and preserve fuel biography, according to Dave Cappert, administrator director of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. even so, adept estimates on how long boast will last deviate well — from a calendar month and a half to half a year. however, the latter assumes a fully cooler, which helps reduce gas-tank condensation .
If you ’ re specially concerned about your car ’ sulfur accelerator going bad, you can treat it with a fuel stabilizer, which can extend the life of the fuel for up to two years .

Should I Be Worried About My Car’s Brakes?

When you ’ re not driving your car, rust can form on the bracken rotors — particularly if it ’ randomness parked outside and exposed to the elements .
“ It doesn ’ triiodothyronine in truth take long, ” Cappert said. It ’ second just “ a matter of days to see a film or rust starting to build up on it. ”
When you drive, this corrode can get into the brake-pad lining and leave in noise, odd brake and brake-pedal pulsation, according to Cappert. however, if you ’ re able to take a abbreviated drive once a week, you can minimize corrode buildup .
The parking brake can besides create problems — if it ’ south been set for a while, it may be unmanageable to release, according to Cappert. But like your car ’ s regular brakes, you can keep it in good operate circumstance through regular function .
Applying and releasing your parking brake helps “ because the large measure of parking brakes today are cable-activated, ” Cappert said .

Should I Check My Car’s Tire Pressure? 

Proper bore coerce is authoritative for your vehicle ’ mho performance, base hit and gasoline mileage, and it even helps your tires wear evenly .
“ Tires naturally lose air, so it is a good mind to frequently check the tire pressure and to maintain the manufacturer ’ s recommendations for tire pressure, ” Greenspan said .
Cars that are stationary for a elongated period are besides at risk of developing flat spots on their tires. Like some of the other systems we ’ ve discussed, taking your cable car for a brief drive can help prevent this, but you can besides add a little extra breeze to your tires if you know your car won ’ metric ton be moving for a bit .
One good exercise is to add 5 to 10 pounds of air more than you would, ” said David Bennett, coach of repair systems at AAA. “ This will help prevent a flat spot on the tire. ”
Of course, before you do drive again, you ’ ll indigence to set the tires to their commend coerce, which can be found on the gummed label on the driver ’ s doorjamb ( not the bore sidewall, which shows the tire ’ s maximum pressure ).

Can I Delay an Oil Change if I’m Not Driving My Car? 

Driving less ascribable to a stay-at-home order doesn ’ t necessarily mean you should push back your petroleum change interval .
“ If a car is sitting and not being driven regularly, the oil will deteriorate ascribable to temperature fluctuations, ” Greenspan said .
If you ’ re wondering how long you can go between vegetable oil changes when you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate reach the mileage interval, check your owner ’ randomness manual of arms for the maximal time .
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Category : Car Brakes