Autocare & Maintenance tips

5 Things To Know When Parking Your Car for a Long Time

Parking your car for an extended period of time, spanning from weeks to months could be detrimental if some specific processes are not carried out. These are required to be carried out to make sure your car would start again and would be in good condition when you are ready to use it again. 

Here are 5 tips to keep your car in a safe condition when parking for a long time. 

1. Wash your car:

Washing your car is a very important step when you plan on storing it for a long time. Ensure you thoroughly wash and clean both the exterior and interior of your car. Washing the exterior reduces the chances of dirt causing rust and dulling the paint of your car. Cleaning the interior reduces the chances of molds developing in your car due to humidity. Cleaning the undercarriage also helps to prevent rust. It is advised to have professionals deep clean your vehicle before parking for a long time. After washing the car thoroughly, for an added layer of protection, wax can be applied to the paint to keep it shining while preserving the paint. 


2. Elevate your car:

Your tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the ground surface. Parking your car for an extended period of time can cause excessive strain on your tyres, rendering them unusable. To avoid that, you could jack up your car and rest it on even blocks of wood to prevent the tyres from touching the ground while it is not in use. Elevating your car would help prevent the wearing of your tyre at a particular spot called “flat-spotting”. 

Elevated car via GoMechanic

3. Avoid handbrakes:

Leaving your car parked for a long time can cause the brake pad to rust in its place. This can incur repair costs in extreme conditions. Rather than being on handbrakes, cars with automatic transmission can be shifted to “Park” to prevent movement. On a manual transmission, the lever can be moved to the first gear and a heavy block of wood can be placed on the brakes to prevent movement. However, this would not be an issue if the car is placed on an elevated platform as described in point 2 above. 


4. Car cover:

After adequately washing your car and waxing, to prevent dust from gathering on it and destroying your new coat of wax, you could park it in a covered place, like a garage, or just cover it up with a quality car cover. This prevents the car from being a safe haven for dust, while also protecting it from the elements of nature. 

Photo by Freddy G on Unsplash

5. Poison bait:

Parking Your Car for a long time can turn your car into a safe haven for rodents and insects. To avoid harboring rodents and insects, you can put in poison bait as well as insecticides at strategic places in the car, including the engine to prevent rodents from messing with the electrical system among other systems. 

Apart from the above stated, it is also important to drain the used engine oil and oil filter and then replace them. Used oil usually contains moisture, metal fragments, corrosive elements, and even sludge. When left in the car for an extended period of time, these can cause harm to the engine. It is also important to remove the battery from the car to prevent it from being drained out. 

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