One thing about cars has never changed over the years: they’re designed to be driven. But if you have a vehicle you’re not driving frequently because it’s a secondary car or one you simply don’t need to use as much anymore, certain problems could develop as it sits. Below, the experienced professionals from Altra Insurance Services, a premier provider of auto insurance San Diego drivers trust for affordable coverage and top-notch service, offer some tips on what you can do to maintain an infrequently driven car.
Use a Battery Tender
If your car sits unused for long periods, the battery will lose its charge and eventually need to be jump-started in order to function. One way to maintain your car’s battery during periods of non-use is with a battery charger or tender. This is a device that maintains the charge in your battery to keep it ready for use.
Because tires are slightly porous, they can become flatter when your car isn’t being driven. Avoid the possibility of being surprised by uneven or deflated tires by periodically checking the pressure in your tires with a tire pressure gauge. Look inside the doorjamb on the driver’s side to see what tire pressure is recommended.
Check Your Brakes for Rust
Your car’s brakes can develop rust if your vehicle sits outside or in a garage where the climate isn’t controlled well. This can happen when there’s excess moisture in the air. If a layer of rust does form on your brake rotors, it’s easy to remove with a solution that dissolves and removes rust. Regularly check your car’s brakes for signs of rusting. Otherwise, you could be surprised by loud or persistent grinding sounds the next time you use your vehicle.
Use a Fuel Stabilizer
Fuel does go bad. You may have experienced this when starting a lawnmower in the spring for the first time if it contained gas left over from the fall. As fuel ages, it will become thick enough to gum up many of your car’s internal parts. For times when your car is sitting unused, add fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep the fuel in its original state.
Cover Your Car when It’s Not Being Driven
An unused car can, at the very least, gather dust if it’s sitting in a garage. However, if your infrequently driven car sits outside, the exterior paint could be affected by bird droppings, pollen, and anything else that could land on it. Avoid the need for a fresh coat of paint sooner than expected by covering your car when it’s not being driven.
Check the Fluids
If your vehicle has been sitting for a while, check all key fluids before you get ready to use it again. The main ones include:
• Engine oil
• Washer fluid
Clean It Regularly
If you know you’ll be storing your car for a while, clean it first. Be especially mindful of any food remnants or leftover trash that may be inside your vehicle. This will keep your car smelling fresh and deter rodents and insects.
Regularly Turn the Car On
Even for times when you won’t be driving your car, regularly turn it on and let it run briefly. Doing so will get the fluids circulating and keep essential components properly lubricated. This is also a good way to keep the battery charged.
Following these tips can keep your car in good shape for years to come. It’s also important to protect your car with reliable auto insurance, so reach out to the trustworthy agents at Altra Insurance Services. In addition to auto coverage, we also offer homeowners, commercial, and motorcycle insurance. San Diego residents are urged to give us a call today at (800) 719-9972 for a free quote.