Self-isolating due to Coronavirus? With limits on all but essential travel, the roads are a lot quieter than they usually are. Is your car is currently sitting idle, getting very little or no use at all?
You might be wondering if your car will start again when you need it to, after so much time without being driven?
Not driving for 3 months
General estimates are that the current lockdown could go on for 3 months. Over this time-period it’s unlikely that anything much will happen to your vehicle. There are a few things that “may” happen, but they are by no means certain:
- Your battery may lose charge – or fail to start completely.
- The amount of fuel in your tank may reduce minimally – nothing to worry about.
- Your tire pressure may drop – would definitely need checking before you head out again.
- Your fuel lines may dry up – making it harder to start up.
- Your brake disks and plugs may rust a little – nothing to worry about.
Don’t turn the engine over to charge the battery
If you’re not going to be driving anywhere, there is going to be no benefit in running your engine to charge the battery; in-fact this could make matters worse, draining it more. Letting a car idle for 10 minutes will get the engine up to normal operating temperature but accomplish little else.
Exercise your car for 30 minutes if you can
If you can, it’s best to take your car for a drive for at least 30 minutes a couple of times a month.
Doing an occasional 5-10 minute drive won’t significantly charge your battery, in fact it would probably drain it more than if you didn’t drive it.
There are no guarantees with idle cars..
You could leave your car for 5 months and it would start fine and there would be no visible problems. Equally, you could leave your car for two weeks and you might have a problem starting. The most likely problems people will face if they’re not using their cars during self-isolation is with the battery and their tire pressure, easily fixable in the vast majority of cases. If you need help starting, it’s not the biggest of disasters.
So ultimately you don’t need to worry yourself too much, but if you are concerned with your vehicle when you finally hit the road again, you can always talk to the reliable mechanics over at Fred’s Auto Center – We are open during the Coronavirus lockdown too.