Even if you love driving, there may be times where you just don’t need to use your vehicle as much. Storing a vehicle can cause various issues, but your vehicle may develop problems even if you’re only driving it occasionally. Cars are meant to be driven and sitting still can make them (and you) unhappy, so let’s take a look at how to keep your ride healthy while it sits.
One of the best things you can do for your vehicle is to take it out for a drive. It sounds silly, but getting things moving will help keep your ride in shape. As they sit, vehicles can develop all sorts of problems, from misshapen tires to funky odors in the interior. Driving is especially important for electric vehicles, where the battery can lose capacity over time if the car sits, and more so in extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Keep It Clean
If you have kids, there’s a great chance that your vehicle is full of dropped french fry fragments, old Cheerios, and crayons. None of those things will do your vehicle any favors as it sits. Take the time to thoroughly vacuum and clean out your car’s interior and wash it occasionally. If food is left in your vehicle, you will find that the odor lingers, even after you clean it. Washing occasionally will keep pollen and other dirt from building up and damaging your paint or exterior trim.
Keep Up With Maintenance
Just because you’re not on the road as much as you used to be, you can’t ignore standard maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations, and other work. Keep up with the basics to make sure your vehicle runs like it did when you parked it.
This can also apply if you’re planning on storing your vehicle for a long period of time. Make sure your oil and other fluids are topped off and fresh and pay attention to your fuel levels. There are special products like fuel stabilizers that can help keep your fuel system clean while the vehicle is in storage.
Give It Shade
If you’re able, park your vehicle out of direct sunlight. If you have to park in an outdoor lot, try to leave your vehicle in a spot that gets shade for at least part of the day. Direct sunlight can fade or crack interior trim pieces and can do a number on your paint job over time.
Contact Insurance Company
This will only apply to you if you’re planning on leaving your car parked for a significant amount of time. Some insurance companies will allow you to reduce or remove parts of your coverage to save money while the vehicle is parked.
Once you need to start driving regularly again, you’ll want to take your vehicle into the shop to have everything checked over. They’ll make sure your tires are in shape and take care of any small problems that may have cropped up in storage. Hitting the road again will be a great feeling, but take a few steps ahead of time to make sure everything goes smoothly.