Things to be afraid about if you haven't driven in a long time.
Cars are specifically designed to be driven and not to sit idle for months. When it is left unused for a few days, engine fluids start to break down, parts that aren’t getting lubricated starts to corrode, and even worse, animals may move in, chewing on anything they can reach. Rodents can often chew through wiring harnesses or other car parts that are made out of organic materials, which can cause extensive damage.
Tires are hugely affected by not using it. If a car is not being used, the air will slowly start to leak out of its tires, especially in the cold weather. Filling the tires with air mostly solves this problem, but sometimes, flat spots become permanent.
If the car is left unused for a long time, moisture can also start to accumulate in the gas tank and over time, this can further lead to corrosion.
The Engine Oil
It is important to check the oil level using your vehicle’s dipstick and if you are not well versed in where the dipstick is located, refer to your owner’s manual for a diagram. The correct oil level needs to be between the two indicator marks on the dipstick. If this oil is thick and gritty and the color is dark, then it’s time to change the oil.
It is vital to check the headlights, fog lights, high-beam lights, brake lights, reverse lights, and indicators of the cars as they all are working well before you head out on the road. The easiest way to do this is to have a friend or family member, so one person can turn on the various lights and the other can check if they’re working.
Signs Of Leaks
It is pivotal to check the engine oil and coolant levels before you take your car out and also take a look at the floor under the car to see if there are any signs that something has been leaking. You can typically narrow down the problem by observing the color of the leak, though it’s always best to have a professional inspect and identify the leak before driving:
- Usually black or light brow indicates an engine oil leak
- Red or brown color usually indicates a transmission leak
- Clear, red or brown typically indicates a power steering leak
- Transparent yellow or brown indicates a brake system leak.
The Brake Fluid
It is paramount to check your vehicle’s brake fluid level, you require to identify the brake master cylinder reservoir. Typically, it is mounted at the rear of the engine, in line with the position of the brake pedal.
The prime issue you will probably come across if your car is left idle for an extended period is an issue with your battery. When left idle for overtime then batteries slowly lose voltage.
Car repairs prove to be an expensive task, but giving your vehicle a thorough check-over before hitting the road will save you a huge amount of money in the long run.