Leaving your vehicle unused for long periods can lead to several unexpected issues. These car problems are more likely to happen in these challenging times of government enforcement to protect people rightfully from the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
My guys provide some top tips for leaving your car static while working from home.
Will a parked car lose battery power?
Yes – car batteries will drain, even when parked. This problem happens because the battery still has work to do while parked, including monitoring car alarms and other sensors.
It will help if you keep your car’s batteries levels up. Otherwise, things like theft alarms will not be able to function, leaving your car vulnerable.
A car battery should keep its charge for about two weeks before it needs recharging. We recommend you start your car up every two weeks and take it for a 15-minute drive to help your battery charge back up.
How long can I leave my car static?
You can leave your car parked for as long as you need. But it is always best to take it out for short trips to keep the engine, brakes, and battery.
Be cautious of your brakes; they may seize up if left parked for a long time. Regular trips can help avoid any larger maintenance problems in the future and make your car safer on the road.
How should I store my vehicle?
Not all of us have a garage. Parking your car outside means that we need to take a few extra steps to keep the vehicle healthy.
We recommend giving your car a good clean before leaving it. This action will prevent damage to the paint and reduce the chance of rust. Why not buy a car cover to prevent dust and water from touching the car?
Secure your car by locking the wheel or putting blocks behind the wheels so you can take your car out of a neutral gear to prevent any rolling while it is static.
If you are not driving your car for a while, you can also make a ‘Statutory Off-Road Notification’ (SORN). This application means you could claim a refund for your car tax. However, your vehicle must be parked on a driveway, in a garage, or on private land. If you park your car on any public road, you will not be able to make a SORN.
What about electric vehicles?
Electric and hybrid vehicles have similar needs. They all have the same 12-volt battery. Equally, they can lose their charge. However, electric and hybrid cars charge in different ways.
To start the charging system, you need to press the start button. It would help if you did this once per week for about 10 minutes to keep the battery. Other electric vehicles can continually charge if plugged into the main charger. However, you should always check your handbook to ensure that you look after your electric car in the best way possible.
How can I get back on the road?
If you are looking to visit family and friends over Christmas, there are a few things you should do and consider before hitting the road.
- Make sure your vehicle has had a recent MOT and is taxed.
- Check your fluid levels and if you need your oil changed. This change is usually after 5,000 to 7,500 miles or after six months
- Test your brakes for seizing
- Check your tyre pressure
- Make sure that your car has no damage under the bonnet or on the undercarriage
MRT Autos is here to help
We are here for you and open as normal for MOT bookings or advice on battery maintenance, or to arrange a winter health check. For this check, we will report on the health of a vehicle’s battery and other vital factors for winter driving, such as tyre condition, coolant/antifreeze, lights, wiper blades and screen wash.
My guys wear face masks, safe distance, and hand sanitise. Let me reassure; we take every precaution not to cross-contaminate or re-contaminate anyone’s vehicle. All equipment is either disposed of or sanitised between other bookings. And, before returning, we will have given your car’s surfaces a sanitising cleanse.