As an auto shop, it goes without saying that we are evangelists for car maintenance. But how do you care for a vehicle that rarely sees the road? Whether it’s a classic car, a seasonal vehicle, or a spare ride, neglecting its maintenance can lead to a host of problems. Here’s how to easily and responsibly maintain a car that isn’t driven as much and keep it in great condition.
Regular Start-Ups and Short Drives
You may not use your vehicle daily, but that doesn’t mean you can leave it stationary forever. Start the engine at least once a week, if possible, and take it for a short drive down the block and back. This keeps your battery charged and your engine lubricated.
Freshen Up Fuel and Fluid
Stale fuel can cause a range of problems in your vehicle’s engine. Use a fuel stabilizer when the vehicle will be parked for an extended period, and try to fill the tank before storing the vehicle to minimize the amount of air inside, which can contribute to fuel degradation. Also be sure to change the oil and other fluids regularly to avoid fluid contamination or breakdown — yep, oil changes are vital EVEN for cars that are rarely driven!
Tires can develop flat spots if left stationary for too long. To avoid this, inflate the tires to the recommended pressure and consider using tire cradles or pads to distribute the weight evenly. Regularly check the tire pressure and rotate the tires every few months to prevent uneven wear.
Dead batteries are one of the most common issues with seldom-driven vehicles. One option is to disconnect the battery, but you can also use a battery maintainer or trickle charger to keep it charged. These devices prevent overcharging and help extend the battery’s lifespan.
Don’t ever let your car sit baking in the sun! Use a weather resistant cover to protect your vehicle from the elements and prevent fading and deterioration.
Regular professional inspections are crucial, especially for seldom-driven vehicles. Qualified mechanics — like the ASE-certified technicians at Pearson Auto — can identify potential issues early and recommend preventive measures to keep your vehicle in top condition.
Maintaining a vehicle you rarely drive requires a proactive approach to ensure optimal performance. Contact Pearson Auto today to have your car inspected and learn everything you need to know about caring for it. That way when the day comes to hit the road, your vehicle is ready to go!