This has been a unique year and summer. With so many events being canceled and people working from home due to Covid-19, you may not be driving much. If you have a student about to start college, this car may end up not being used every day. You may be concerned about these cars starting up once driven again. Here are some tips to keep a car running while not being used.
Typically there is no harm in letting a vehicle sit for a few weeks, but if you have mechanical issues, these problems can amplify when a vehicle is left dormant. It is a good idea if you know your car is going to be unused for a period of time to take care of any known issues before letting it sit. If you have no other issues going on, your car should start right up again. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind if you are going to have your car sitting for extended periods of time.
Keeping the Battery Charged
There are some things you can do to make sure your battery stays charged:
- Unplug charging cords and devices
You should not need to start your car periodically to maintain the battery. All you should need to do is make sure you unplug your charging cords and any devices connected to your power outlets and USB ports. These things will draw from the battery even if your car is off.
- Use a battery charger.
If you have a premium audio system with amps and subwoofers, these items can drain a battery when the vehicle is not in use. The easiest way to combat this is with a charger. You can leave this charger plugged into an electrical outlet while connected to the battery. It will provide just enough energy to the battery to maintain it.
- Electric cars are different.
If you have an electric car, you need to be more involved. After being parked for two weeks, an electric car battery can lose half its charge. Another two weeks and your battery may be completely drained. This type of car should be plugged in until you are ready to use it again.
Things to do When Your Car is not Being Driven
- Keep the gas tank at least half full.
If your gas tank is under half, moisture can develop and mix in with the gas. This water can lead to damage. The tank seals could also dry out and cause fuel leakage.
- Park carefully.
Keep your car away from grass, bushes, and trees. You do not want your car near where small animals live because they may climb into your car when you are not using it. Small animals such as mice and chipmunks will chew wiring and cushions causing grief.
- Check tire pressure.
Before you resume driving your vehicle, make sure to check your tire pressure. It is normal for tires to lose pressure when parked for an extended period of time.
Taking the tips above to keep your car running while it is not being used into consideration will keep your vehicle in working order when you do decide to drive.
Contact us for any insurance questions during this time.