Leaving a car unused for 3 to 6 months can mar the car performance. A few days of downtime won’t affect the car but when the car is sitting in a garage for 6 months or more, the battery can become dead.
Many people have not used their cars regularly in this last year because unnecessary journeys have been avoided due to the corona crisis.
Whether your car is parked in the garage because it’s winter and you drive less or you’ve taken a break due to corona, a long downtime is not good for your car.
Problems can therefore arise if you then want to restart your car and put it on the road again.
You can take your car to a car workshop for a general check if you’ve parked your car for at least 3 months, or call a mobile car technician if your car has been sitting in your garage for 3 to 10 years.
Here are some checklists for starting your car again after sitting for a long time.
Check the car battery
After a long period of inactivity, your car may not work smoothly or start at all, this is likely going to be an issue with the car battery.
Ideally, you should remove your car battery if you’re not going to drive the car for few weeks to avoid discharge.
When the car is not moved, the battery will even discharge just like when you’re using it.
If you disconnect or remove the battery before parking the car, you can prevent possible discharge.
Otherwise, the only thing that can help in retrospect is buying a so-called battery activator to recondition the car and bring it back to life, maintain the battery regularly, or purchase a new battery.
You may need to change the car engine oil
The oil in your car engine can be kept for about a year if the oil is of good quality, then it should be changed.
When was the last time you change your car engine oil? You can check on a slip of paper in the engine compartment.
If you need to change your engine oil again, check the manufacturer’s information to find out which oil is right for your car. And when you change the oil, you also change the oil filter.
Check the car tires and air pressure
Check the car tires and, if necessary, correct the air pressure in the tires.
How old are the tires? After five years of using a tire, it will be fine to buy a new one and change the old one.
The age shows the four-digit so-called DOT date code or serial number on the tire wall.
The number 1214, for example, means that the tire was manufactured in the 12th calendar week of 2014. This tire should be replaced immediately
During the corona lockdown, many cars were moved with little or no movement for weeks.
This can cause damage, and it’s dangerous for both the driver and the vehicle.
Other things you should check before putting your car on the road again after sitting for months are the following.
All forms of car fluids
The car engine oil is not the only fluid in the car. You should check others like the washer fluid, and the cooling water.
A creamy, whitish border on the oil cap means that there has been too much short-haul traffic in the past few weeks, then it’s time for an oil change in a car repair workshop, repairsmith can help handle this check and others.
Is there any rust on the brakes? This is time to move the car again and apply the brakes more forcefully. Please watch out for the car behind you.
Do you hear grinding noises from the brakes after a long period of inactivity? Then it’s time to take your car to a car repair workshop for a check and correction- the ideal would be to check the brakes and brake fluid.
Is your car not starting at all or only working badly after a long period of inactivity? Then, with a level of certainty, the battery is the problem here.
If this does not go away after a few attempts, do a battery test at a car repair workshop.
Flowers and leaves
If your car is parked outside, you likely have a blossoming tree out there.
Then your car will be happy when you clear the corners of the engine compartment from the withered flower petals.
Otherwise, the plant residues will quickly clog drainage holes and may be the starting point for rust.
Car wash – After long weeks of standing around in the pollen, your car is sure to look forward to an extensive wash again.
If it’s the first time after winter, we recommend washing the under-body to wash away any salt residue.