How to maintain your car if it’s not used regularly

Filed under: Classic News |

Have you, like many people across the country, spent significantly less time driving than usual during the coronavirus lockdown? Then you may be wondering how to keep your car in good condition so it’s ready to go once you hop back in the driver’s seat. Here, we offer some top tips that will help to maintain your car if you’re not using it regularly.

Preserve the battery

One of the most important things to do is keep the car battery charged. When a vehicle is left stationary for long periods of time, the battery will drain with each day and week that passes – eventually leaving the battery dead. This means that when you come to turn on the ignition, your car won’t start. How quickly this happens will depend on the make and model of your car, as well as its age. To avoid a flat battery, it’s recommended that you run your car once per week for around 15-20 minutes.  

Top up essential fluids

Pop the bonnet and check the levels of your essential engine fluids, such as your oil, brake fluid and coolant. As the RAC state, driving a car that’s low on oil is an easy mistake to make, but could leave you with lasting engine damage that may be costly to rectify. To check your oil level, park your car on level ground and wait for the engine to cool, then remove the dipstick, wipe clean and re-insert. When you pull it back out, it will show you how full the tank is.

Inflate your tyres

You should also check your tyre pressures to see if they have deflated if your car has been stationary for an extended period. This is because tyres will deflate over time, particularly when the weather is cold. Most petrol stations have simple pressure gauges where you can check your tyres and then inflate them to the required pressure. You can usually find the recommended tyre pressure in your car’s user manual.

Look after your handbrake

Another potential consequence of not driving your car for an extended period is your handbrake seizing. This will essentially mean you can’t release the handbrake when you want to set off. To avoid this scenario, you can regularly release the handbrake and move your car – this doesn’t have to mean you need to go for a long road trip, you could simply move it back and forward a few inches on your driveway.

It’s important to look after your car when it’s not being used, as regular maintenance will help you spot any issues earlier. This reduces the likelihood of expensive repair bills later down the line – allowing you to better manage the costs of running your vehicle.