It is normal for a car to require proper servicing if it is left unused for a longer period of time. This extended idle state can cause deterioration so car maintenance is important to get it running smoothly when needed. Due to these difficult times, many people do not run cars that often. The gradual deterioration may lead to eventual breakdown at the time of use.
It is possible to avoid such unfortunate outcomes by following a few simple procedures.
Checklist for Car Maintenance before Storing in Idle State
For effective results, the car must be monitored periodically and repeat these methods whenever required.
First and foremost, if the car is not going anywhere for a long time, the ideal position is the garage. In case the garage is unavailable, then it is necessary to use or invest in a car cover. A good quality car cover protects it from dust, dirt, and even rain, if it’s water resistant. These elements can damage the exterior paint due to prolonged exposure. It is also recommended to often clean the car’s exterior with polish to prevent these elements from damaging the paint. This car maintenance technique will also come in handy at the time of use as it will be fresh and clean.
Save the Battery
In order to make sure the battery stays alive, the car’s ignition is started twice a week. Maybe more if the car is an electric car. This method will prevent the battery from discharging. It is the most important factor of car maintenance, the car cannot start without the battery. Remove the battery and store it in a cool and dry place. Furthermore, apply some grease on the battery terminals so they don’t rust. Liquid batteries need to be fully charged before use and ensure optimal water level.
Losen The Handbrake
Keeping the handbrake over for a long period of time can cause brake pads and discs to get stuck. This can cause inconvenience for the driver in both manual and automatic transmission cars. For a manual gearbox, it is recommended to engage the car in first gear and use wheel lock or few objects under the wheel, to prevent the car from moving. For the auto gearbox, simply turn the stick to P (Parking) by using the shift lock situated near the stick.
Protect The Wheels
Idle State can also cause wheels to develop flat spots due to low air pressure. The flat spots appear on the sidewall of the tire and also where the tire touches the ground. These spots can be prevented from becoming flat by keeping the air pressure optimal and moving the car back and forth, once a week. The ultimate way to protect tires is by elevating the car with the help of jacks and removing the wheels.
Clean Fuel Tank
The moisture and other substances can enter the fuel tank if not properly sealed. It is recommended to fill up the fuel tank and add some cleaning additives. It will stop the moisture and other substances from damaging the fuel tank. Even the best hybrid cars are not able to withstand the damages these substances cause to the car’s performance.
Complete Interior Cleaning
Car maintenance is not complete unless the interior is cleaned thoroughly before idling. Particles of rubbish will most likely cause unpleasant smell inside the car. After cleaning, spray an air freshener and close the door. Drivers can also use polish to scrub the dashboard and rest of the major interior components like steering, seats, bars, and mirrors.