Potential Issues with Cars Sitting Idle

June 2, 2020

Due to the pandemic, many drivers have found themselves unable to drive their vehicle as normal. Leaving your car to sit idle in your driveway for a while might seem harmless, but there are common issues that can arise when your car isn’t driven regularly. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that can occur when your vehicle sits idle and what you can do to avoid them:

car sitting idle flat tire

Tire Issues

When your car sits parked for a while, your tires are one of the components of your vehicle that are most commonly affected. Tires can lose pressure over time and eventually become flat, so it’s best to regularly check the pressure of your tires and go for brief drives throughout the time it is sitting unused. It’s also important to check your spare tire to ensure it’s in good shape before heading out on your next drive. Your spare is there to help you in the event of a flat tire or other tire malfunction. If the spare isn’t in proper condition, it won’t be able to fulfill its purpose and you’ll likely end up having to call a towing service to get it repaired.

If your spare is stored on the outside of your vehicle, it will be exposed to the elements and can begin to develop rust when your car is parked outdoors for an extended period of time. Maintaining all of your vehicle’s tires is key to extending their life and avoiding inconveniences and hazards once you get back on the road.

Battery Issues

Whether your car is new or old, the battery can be affected when your vehicle is left to sit idle. In fact, newer cars are equipped with lots of technology, which can unfortunately lead to your vehicle’s battery dying more quickly. So how can you avoid finding yourself with a dead battery once you go to drive your vehicle again? Here are a few easy things you can do to maintain your car’s battery when it’s not being regularly driven:

  • Unplug any chargers or external devices connected to ports inside your car.

  • Start your car at least once a week and let it run for 5-10 minutes.

  • If possible, take brief weekly drives around the neighborhood or down the block and back.

Fuel and Oil Issues

The essential fluids in your vehicle are also an important to consider when your car is left to sit idle for long periods of time. Motor oil can deteriorate over time and without regular use, your car’s fuels can disassociate and cause havoc on your fuel system. If you turn your vehicle on after it has been parked for a while and you notice the check engine light illuminated, there’s a chance it’s related to compromised fluids that will keep your motor from running properly. Continue with regular oil changes at the proper time intervals, whether you are leaving your car to sit idle or simply driving it less frequently than normal.

Get Expert Help in Maintaining Your Vehicle

As a professional Maryland auto maintenance company, Choisser Import Auto Services is dedicated to helping drivers extend the life of their vehicles and ensure safety both on the road and off. If your car has been sitting idle and you notice any of the above issues, we can help. Give us a call today to learn more about maintaining your vehicle both during and after the pandemic.


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