A situation may arise when you find yourself needing to take an extended business trip or leave town for a month or two. You might be wondering how you should prepare your car to sit for extended periods of time. There are a few specific steps you can take to ensure that your car is in the same condition when you return as you left it before.
Change the Oil – Although most people tend to change their oil every 3,000 miles, it’s important to note that time can also cause oil to deteriorate and lose its viscosity. If you are planning on an extended leave, have the cars oil and oil filter changed at your local mechanic’s shop.
Fill the Gas – Gas can actually go bad after sitting for extended periods of time. To ensure your car’s engine does not suck up a bunch of gunk when you come back, fill up the tank. This can also help prevent gaskets and seals from drying out.
Fill Your Tires – Tires have a natural tendency to lose air. Once a tire has lost air and sits under the weight of the car for a few days, it can cost you a new tire. Go to your local gas station and fill up your tires to the recommended pressure in your owners manual.
Disconnect the Battery – The best option for preserving your battery is to disconnect the negative (black) cable from the battery. Your stereo will reset but it will be well worth saving $80 on a new car battery.
Bugs – In many parts of the United States, critters are a big problem. If you are planning on having your car sit in a humid area, dip some cotton balls in peppermint. This tends to keep rodents and insects away due to the strong smell.
Check the Undercarriage – When your car sits for a long time, seals and gaskets can wear out. In order to ensure that you did not lose any fluids, lay down near the car and check for any visible leaks that should be fixed before you drive the car again.
Fill Your Tires – Your tires will have lost air during the sitting period. Again, stop by your local gas station to fill up on air in order to save on fuel costs.
In any situation, a lack of use in a car can actually damage it. It is important to follow these steps in order to prevent a costly repair when you get home.
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