Mechanic Going Over Checklist

You might not think an idle car needs to be worried about, but in order to keep it healthy, there are special things to do when your car goes undriven. Whether you've become a stay-at-home caretaker, are carpooling more, or you've lost employment, you need to adjust your car care.

Any vehicle that sits idly on the street or in your garage looks like it's doing fine, but it could be deteriorating. Auffenberg Ford O'Fallon is here with car care tips for any vehicle that's not being driven regularly.

Will My Car Battery Die?

If you don't drive your car, will your battery die? There's not an easy answer here, but the short answer is "eventually." How long you can go without driving your car before the battery died will depend on many factors. 

  • Modern cars have a lot of tech that is always taking a bit of power, and they can drain your battery faster than in an older car.
  • Even if you drive an older car, we recommend you start your car once a week and keep it running for 5-10 minutes.
  • If your car is parked in a garage, remember to open the garage door or go for a short drive for proper ventilation.
Car Battery

Can My Brakes Go Bad?

Your brakes probably aren't at the front of your mind when you're not driving your car -- after all, how can they wear if you're not braking. But the exposure to air around Fairview Heights or Granite City can cause rust to build up on your rotors.

Any driver who is able should try to take a brief drive around once a week to clear off any films of rust on the rotors and keep them healthy. If you take a 5-10 minute drive to keep your battery charged, it will do double duty here. If you use your parking brake, be sure to set and release it occasionally to reduce tension in the parking brake cable.

Exposed Brake Rotor

Will My Tires Go Flat if I Don't Drive?

Even if your tires are healthy, the changing seasons and temperatures can affect air pressure. There are two things to keep in mind if you're not driving your car:
  • Tires will lose pressure over time, and you should top them off periodically, especially if you're not driving often.
  • An inactive car is going to have one small section of the tires that's always touching the pavement, and this can cause them to flatten. Driving periodically can fix this, but so can overfilling your tires slightly (just remember to reduce to proper inflation when it's time to drive).
 
Flat Tire

Does Gasoline Go Bad?

The odds of your gas going bad are pretty slim. While gasoline can degrade, it takes a long time and your fuel system is sealed, reducing that risk. That said, it helps to have a full tank. If you think you're going to go for a very long time without driving your vehicle and you think it's possible for the fuel to go bad, a fuel stabilizer can help. You just add it into your tank and it helps keep your fuel healthier, longer.
Gas Pumps

More Questions About Car Care? We Can Help

Many drivers know how often to have their oil changed and tires rotated, but if you find your car being used less often, it's probably better to follow time guidelines more than mileage guidelines. Have more questions? Contact our team to learn more