How long can your vehicle survive without being driven?
The current lockdown has no end date in sight, so your vehicle could be sitting idle on your driveway or in the fleet car park feeling very unloved. So when the lockdown is finally lifted will your vehicle still operate efficiently? Will it even start at all?
Whether you privately own a vehicle, or manage a whole fleet, here are some top tips for looking after your vehicle during lockdown….
What happens when a vehicle stays idle for days or weeks too?
The answer depends on many factors including the age of the vehicle, how well maintained the engine is, and the environment surrounding the car.
If your vehicle sits idle during cold weather even the newest of cars hesitate to start. As we enter spring, the warmer weather will certainly help reduce the chances of the engine ‘freezing’ on first re-ignition; but with weather being as unpredictable as it is, you may still wish keep your vehicle uncover in order to regulate its temperature.
Be aware this is not a long term solution though – the longer the vehicle is left, the more likely that things will systematically start breaking down.
Batteries slowly lose their charge
Batteries slowly lose their charge when the vehicle sits idle for a few weeks, this can not only cause problems starting the engine, but also cause issues with remote central locking and alarms. The older the vehicle the more TLC your battery needs – but even new batteries need to be charged regularly by your alternator. So even if you are avoiding travel by isolating for weeks, recharge your battery but starting the engine and letting it run for 10+ minutes. You may also consider unhooking the negative battery cable to prevent the battery from dying.
Look after your tyres, even if you’re not driving
Flat spots can occur, and wheel rims can put extra strain on the tyres, if they are not correctly inflated. So check your tyres every week or so to ensure they remain properly inflated. When you are charging your battery, it could be worth moving the vehicle slightly, so the same part of the tyre is not kissing the tarmac weeks on end.
Keep it clean
Even if you’re not using your vehicle, a regular clean and airing out wont go amiss. It will help keep away the damp and any pesky bugs that fancy your vehicle as their new home.
Fuel tanks accumulate moisture
Excess moisture can occur in a fuel tank, especially when its been sitting on empty for a few weeks. Resting near-empty will eventually collect moisture so if you can pop to the petrol station to top up your fuel and oil then this will avoid any corrosion kicking in.
How often should you start your engine?
Ideally, you should drive your vehicle a minimum once every two weeks. If you can get some miles in, such as driving to the petrol station or the local store for the some essentials then you will help clear the engine while charging the battery. In normal circumstances you should be reaching 50mph on a duel carriageway or motorway, but during lockdown you need to be avoiding this. So try sitting in your vehicle on your driveway and leave the engine running while giving your car a good clean and listening to your favourite playlist.
Hope you enjoyed our top tips for looking after your vehicle during lockdown.
Stay safe and stay at home – you’ll be on the road again soon!
About Excalibre Technologies
Founded in 2007 (a year before the introduction of LEZ), Excalibre Technologies was born with the intention of offering high quality commercial vehicle emission control products and services at a competitive price with customer service at the heart of our operation. Since then Excalibre has grown to become a leading supplier of retrofit solutions and DPF cleaning services in the UK.
We work with several national organisations to help achieve their ecological targets of lowering emissions and ensuring their vehicles are maintained to a high standard using internationally recognised practises and equipment supported by OEMs. We can also supply most aftermarket silencers and catalytic converters.