How maintain your car when not in use

Letting your car sit idle for months can cause damage and those lucky enough to have multiple cars, or cars they only use on special occasions will face problems.

Today we will cover some of the problems you can face when you have to leave a car sit idle, the best ways around these problems. and if required auto-repair.

1) General maintenance

Firstly, make sure you’ve got space. Move to the side any workbenches or garage metal cabinets you may have in the garage.. If you are letting your car sit idle somewhere make sure to maintain the exterior of your car as much as possible. Animal waste such as bird poop can be acidic and if left can damage your paintwork.

When storing away your car you should ideally put it in a secure storage location or a garage you own, both of these locations will keep your car away from the elements and stop birds from excreting over your car and burning away the paint.

As part of general maintenance, auto repair experts recommend swapping your old seat covers with new ones every one and a half years or when the need arises. Other car accessories such as your dash mats, floor mats, boot liners should also be replaced as needed to maintain a beautiful and hygienic interior.

2) Prepare your tires

When leaving your car idle you can damage your car tires as they aren’t built to be left alone for long periods. To protect your tires and wheels from damage there are a few things you can do to help them.

Firstly check your tires for any stones, nails or other debris that can get trapped in them. Even the smallest of stones leftover time can damage your wheels so check your tires thoroughly.

The safest way of checking your wheels is to put your vehicle on a jack. If you aren’t confident in doing this yourself take your car to a local garage where they can do these checks for you.

Another tip to protect your wheels is to over-inflate the tires slightly as they will lose air over some time. Keeping your tires slightly overinflated will protect your wheel rims just make sure to fill them to the correct pressure when you want to drive the car on the road.

3) Lubricating your car

A car is built for moving so being in one position constantly is going to cause problems. Your wheels and handbrake are common areas that can become damaged when you don’t use your car.

If you do take your car to the garage or can jack your car up now is a good time to lubricate your wheel nuts. Your wheel nuts will seize up if you leave them for too long so adding lubricant will prevent this from happening. Once again if you don’t know how to do this a good mechanic will be able to help you out.

4) Keep out moisture

Just as bird excrement can damage your car so can moisture. Moisture can rot the inside of your car and it can also damage your cars paint if left for too long.

Moisture can be created by not storing your car in a secure location that’s away from the elements or by using car covers that are 100% plastic. You may think that storing a car in a pure plastic wrap is a good idea because it will keep the moisture out but having a material that’s no breathable cover your car is going to hold the moisture in.

Holding the moisture in between your car and your cars cover is an easy way of causing damage to your car’s paintwork.

To get around this problem firstly store your car in a dry secure location, this can be a storage container, a garage or a warehouse. Having a dry indoor space is going to eliminate most of your moisture problems. The next step is to purchase a breathable car cover.

A breathable car cover will still protect your car but it will let any moisture out too.

5) Remove your battery

Leaving your car battery in your car when sitting idle isn’t going to cause damage to your actual car but it may damage the battery or at least drain it.

If you let your battery connected even when everything is turned off in your car your battery will still get used, this is more common in classic cars but modern cars will still drain over time.

Having a drained battery means that you will have to purchase a battery charger when you want to use your car or if damage has occurred to the battery you will then need to replace it.


Having a car for special occasions or the different seasons is a joy for many of us but with that joy also comes costly repairs. The tips shared above in this post will help minimise the damage caused to our cars so that we can enjoy them.

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