Tips to follow when your car is being parked for long periods

There are some times when one has to park their beloved car for longer periods than expected. Like for the recent trip to Kerala that I undertook, my car was parked near my residence for close to 15 days, without any action. Initially I intended to be back in 10 days, however, some delays led me to actually extend the trip to 5 days more. I followed the tips that are being discussed below and I am sure that it would be beneficial to all the beloved visitors to the Indiandrives website. Needless to say, after following this tips, my car started on the first crank and also was almost spotlessly clean. The almost part was there because the rains played spoilsport and some dirt was splashed onto the car’s tyres. Well, that is washable and that is what I did. So here are some of the tips that would save your car, were it to be parked for long periods of unuse.

  1. First and foremost, park the car in such a place that it is visible to all, if not parked in a secure garage. However, the parking of the car should be done in a place where you are sure that no one would be dropping utensils or children would be playing. Once parked, remember to pull up the handbrake.
  2. Whilst placing clothes in the almirah, your mum must have always reminded you to keep naphthalene balls between the clothes. This is done to ensure that pests like lice and stuff don’t infest the clothes. The same way, the cabin of the car, the bonnet or rather under it and also the boot of the car should see some naphthalene balls strewn around. The smell of the naphthalene balls would repel even rodents, thus saving your car wires.
  3. Once done with step number 2, ensure that each and every wire in the car is properly connected and there are no loose dangling wires around. Owners of the old Sumo or even Maruti 800s, take note. The last thing that you would want is your vehicle catching fire while you are away merrymaking. If any connection looks like it has been spliced or something, make sure that a qualified electrician checks it and either changes or tapes it.
  4. After parking the car and pulling on the handbrake, make sure that car is jacked up. Well, you would have to use the jack or tommy in your car and jack the car just to the height that the wheels are barely touching the ground. The jack needs to be a sturdy one, which can actually bear the brunt of the car’s weight. This step is done so that the car’s tyres can be saved and they wouldn’t have to bear the weight of the car whilst its not being driven. The tyre life would be longer by this method. If you cant find a jack or your jack is misplaced, then a block of cement or even wood would suffice.
  5. Don’t be a miser in this one and get the vehicle brimmed to the top with fuel. This would save the fuel tank from developing a film of rust from inside. While in regular use, even if the fuel tank is rarely topped up, the constant running ensures that the oxidization process doesn’t take place and hence the fuel tank doesn’t get corroded.
  6. Now, open the bonnet and disconnect the terminals of the battery. This is done to ensure that no short circuit happens. Once disconnected, the battery terminals have to be coated with petroleum jelly so that oxidization doesn’t happen and the terminals get spoilt.
  7. Now, wipe the car’s exterior portion with a dry cloth (especially in rainy season) to remove all the moisture. Once done, cover the car with a proper garage cover. The car’s paintwork is an expensive thing to touch up and hence putting on a garage cover helps save the paintwork from possible damage.

Now comes the step when you return from your vacation and are ready to take your car out for a spin.

  1. Before cranking the car, remove the parking cover (which is obvious) and also remove the jack or log of wood/cement which has been placed under the car.
  2. Check for the coolant and engine oil levels. If possible, also get the tyre pressure checked.
  3. Before connecting the battery terminals, if you notice some green deposits on the terminal of the battery, get it removed by some wet cloth. Use sand paper or polish paper to wipe the battery terminal. Now connect the terminals and crank the car. If the car doesn’t start up, or if you feel that the battery isn’t taking the load, then get the battery charged.
  4. After being closed for so many days, the car’s interiors may develop some smell. Proper use of an in-car freshner is recommended to dispel this misty smell.
  5. Now, the engine is up and running, don’t immediately bury the throttle in the mat. Instead drive cautiously. After being stationary for more than a week, some of the car’s require some time to build up the optimum pressure. Moreover, stationary cars have a tendency of weak brakes. Only after being driven for some kms do the car’s brakes start working properly.

These tips should essentially be followed across the board for all the vehicles, whether they are new or old. Cars are an extension of one’s personality and hence they reflect the way the human being keeps himself. So, do take good care of your car. Any additional tips followed by our readers here are most welcome.

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