What Not to Do With a Left Car

Why does a car left for a long time get older than a constantly driving car? There are some conceivable reasons for this, but the main thing is that some factors of aging can be excluded.

In fact, there is no paradox here: mechanisms that are constantly working often lack processes that cause aging and destruction of materials. There is no moisture in the internal cavities of units due to high temperature, otherwise it can cause aging of lubricants, chemical corrosion of rubbing pairs and common rust (for example, in U-joints).

What Not to Do With a Left Car photo 2

Add here not so «science-driven» factors, e.g. a long-term (due to the car immobility) exposure of external rubber elements to the sun or, more precisely, to ultraviolet light and elementary overheating of the interior to 70°C, when the car stands under the sun in the open area for the whole summer.

Even serviceable tires can lose pressure in a few months due to natural air leakage Even serviceable tires can lose pressure in a few months due to natural air leakage

The owner can aggravate some of the insidious factors when he leaves the car for a long time without thinking about seemingly small things.

What not to do with a car left for a long time

  • Do not leave your car with an alarm system on for more than one or two months (the period depends on the alarm model). The system will discharge the battery and the car will remain unguarded without the ability to start the engine.
  • Do not allow deep battery discharge. If the car will stand still for more than six months, it is better to remove the battery and leave it either in a cool place like a basement, or give it to a trusted person who will recharge the battery every three or four months. This is especially important for modern Ca/Ca batteries, which do not tolerate deep discharge.
The pads of a handbrake tightened for several months can become so firmly attached to the drum that brake lining starts separating The pads of a handbrake tightened for several months can become so firmly attached to the drum that brake lining starts separating
  • Do not leave the car on the handbrake. Pads pressed to the wheels or drums can so firmly attached (or rust — depending on the condition of the car) to them that they can only be torn off later. It means that the car will not be able to drive without taking special measures.
  • Do not leave the car for a month or more under a frameless awning that is close to the body. First, the fabric can wrap the paint because of its movement in the wind. Secondly, moisture starts accumulating under the awning, what will lead to corrosion.
  • Do not leave the car in a garage with poor ventilation, especially if it is not new. Otherwise, there is a chance of corrosion appearing in such conditions.
  • Do not leave the car where grass, bushes, grapes and whatnot will grow. Vegetation impairs ventilation under the body, accumulates moisture and causes corrosion.
Another danger comes from animals living in cities: squirrels have created a store of supplies under the hood of a car left for a long time Another danger comes from animals living in cities: squirrels have created a store of supplies under the hood of a car left for a long time
  • Do not leave the car for a long time under old trees in little-known places, where birds and squirrels can live. Animals can damage the body with their acid-containing droppings, and trees can drop old branches, nuts or chestnuts on the car. Having fallen from a great height, these gifts of nature leave dents in metal.

Recommendation

If you use a car only a few weeks a year and spend the rest of the time away from home, you should consider selling it. In addition to the fact that the car get on in years physically due to long downtime, it also becomes obsolete morally and its price is steadily falling. Maybe it makes sense to sell the car for a good price. If necessary, take a taxi. After saving up money and “settling down”, you can buy a new model at a “young” age.


Read also: Causes of engine wear. How to extend engine life

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