Maintenance tips for vehicles which are not being used

Car maintenance tips are not only for cars that are under constant use but also for unused vehicles. Here are some tips for maintaining vehicles which are not being used.

1. Do not use the handbrake: A handbrake permanently jams the brake pads in place, and its elongated use without disengagement will cause the brake pads to get stuck to the disc brakes or drum brakes, causing increased friction and wear and tear from the rear wheels and brakes the next time you get the car moving. The most appropriate thing to do is to disengage the parking brake and use wheel chocks or bricks to keep the car in place. You can also leave the car in gear or in P mode if your car has the automatic transmission, that is.

2. Battery care: It’s best to remove the battery terminal cables to stop the battery from rapid discharge. You can simply keep starting the car every 3-4 days to stop the battery from rapid discharge. Leave the car running for at least 2 minutes to allow the engine oil to lubricate all moving parts of the engine.

3. Keep moving the car at least slightly: At the very minimum, drive the car backwards and forwards every time you start the car to shift the weight distribution on the tyres, which will also allow you to use the brakes, which, otherwise, can take time to get back to being full effectivity. Also, make sure from time to time that the tyres aren’t losing air and make sure inflate them to the correct pressure if they are deflating overtime.

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4. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock: When a car is not being used for prolonged periods of time, the steering assembly components are likely to get jammed, especially in older cars. Once the car is moving slowly, turn the steering wheel from side to side gently to ensure that it gets all the natural movement that it needs.

5. Wind down the windows: Power window assemblies are likely to get jammed in older cars when they aren’t used for a long time. So, every time you start your car, make sure to roll them down and back up a couple of times to keep them functional.

6. Exterior protection: Leaving a car parked outdoors for a long time leads excessive wear of paint, rubber, and plastic parts. If possible, keep the car indoors or wash the car and put a cover on it after the engine cools down to protect the exterior of the car.