Idle cars? Ways to keep them running when you start driving them again

Idle cars? Ways to keep them running when you start driving them again

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It was the dream. Drive out of town for spring break. Most of us, though are going nowhere, and that means our cars are parked in the driveway or garage for long stretches.

“Very few of us think about hey what are we going to do if our car’s not driving at all. And that needs its own set of maintenance rules," said Morgan Dean with AAA Mid-Atlantic. He says if your vehicle isn’t moving for weeks, you might eventually find that your battery is dead. Or worse yet, “You might have some problems starting if that fuel has started to separate, or gummed up some parts of the engine. You might find some tire problems out there. You might have some brake problems if you sit there and do nothing.”

So, what can you do? Well, when someone from your household does go out to make a supply run-- make sure they alternate which vehicle they take.

If possible, use a Battery Tender or other maintenance-type battery charger to keep the battery at a full state of charge and prevent deterioration. “A simple device you hook it right up to your battery connect it on there and it will keep your battery charged whenever you do get in the vehicle,” said Dean.

Worried about gas settling in the tank? There's a very simple product you can buy. A fuel stabilizer.

“Probably the most famous one out there and anybody who owns a boat knows about it. It’s called Sta-bill. It comes in a little jar. You can measure it out based on how many gallons of gas that you have in your vehicle.”

Keep your tank full-- by the way. Add 10 extra PSI of pressure to each tire to prevent flat spots from forming. And prop up those wiper blades, like you do when there’s a snow storm coming, to keep the rubber from sticking to the windshield.

If your vehicle is not on a hill, don’t use the parking brake. The brake could become frozen, and the brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums.

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