If you own a vehicle, maintenance is a task that comes in a package with a vehicle. But, have you ever thought about the vehicles that are used rarely and stored majorly? Many have a common notion that a car that is not in use for a major part of a year won’t need any maintenance. But this is a complete myth. The components inside your vehicle need proper lubrication, oil change, electrical charge, and movement to function adequately even if you drive after a long time. Failing to do so may lead to battery failures, coolant leakage, increased black smoke from the exhaust, and uneven tyre wearing as well.
If you are a car owner who needs to store the car for one or a few months, you must go through the vital vehicle maintenance tips that are mentioned below. These steps are designed by expert knowledge to help you get a basic idea about your car’s components, and how to maintain them.
You must take certain measures if you have a spare car rarely used or you need to leave your car in your farmhouse for a long period. You must clean your car and clean every corner of it. You must wash, polish and wax the exterior part. To prevent rusting, you must spray a combination of undercoating and unpainted metal.
The temperature fluctuates often. Thus, your 195 55 r16 tyres may lose pressure gradually with time if your car is going to rest for a long period. This is why you must get the tyres inflated with adequate pressure as recommended by the manufacturer. But, make sure not to cross the maximum limit. When you need to use your car after a long time, you again need to inflate the tyre with adequate pressure then.
Fluids Top Off
Finally, you must supply an adequate amount of fluids like the transmission fluid, brake fluid, steering fluid, engine coolant, windshield wiper and antifreeze fluid before leaving your car idle for an elongated span. You must also get the oil changed in the car if your car is going to stay idle for many weeks. After supplying fluid to your car, you must take it on a short drive to circulate the fluid and fluid stabiliser well.
When your car is in Storage–
Covering the Car
You must cover your vehicle with a good quality cover that keeps moisture away and allows proper ventilation. Your car will be protected from scratches, dirt, and bumps this way. You can also keep a ball of steel wool at the entry of the exhaust pipe and air cleaner to prevent the entry of any small debris into it. This also protects your car’s paint integrity from harsh sunlight.
Protecting the Battery
The power source of the vehicle must not be neglected. It is studied that vehicle batteries lose charge eventually if they stay dormant for many weeks. You need not drive the car to store the charge although you are preparing the car for storage. Rather, you must get the battery connected with a battery tender or trickle charger along with an automatic float mode or shut-off feature. This prevents the battery from getting overcharged. While in hooked up condition, the battery can either be removed from the vehicle or stay in it.
When Taking the Car Out of Storage
All the activities and preparations done earlier for storing the vehicle must be undone when you are about to use the vehicle again. You must prepare a checklist listing the activities while preparing the car for storage. Hence, when you are about to hit the road with your vehicle again after a long time, you can undo those preparations by referring to the list. To use your car again, you need to do the following activities:
- Check the wipers off the windshield for any damage in the rubber.
- You must check for the rodent damage which can be indicated by damaged wires, hoses, belts, or nests.
- The pressure of the car tyres must be checked. Inflate them with adequate pressure if required.
- Wash the vehicle to remove the accumulated dirt and dust.
- The battery must be reconnected and terminals should be inspected.
These steps will help you get more out of your car that you don’t use frequently. Also, if you take proper care of your vehicle by visiting an auto-shop at the time, you may be able to increase the overall life of your car and even save huge amounts on maintenance.
In case, you have any further doubts about the maintenance procedure of your vehicle, you may always opt to visit a garage, and seek expert advice, so you may never face difficulties while driving.