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How to Start a Car That’s Been Sitting for a While

Whether you’re taking a long business trip or are in the process of moving, you may leave your car parked for weeks on end. But is it safe for your vehicle to do so? Not driving your car and lettin it sit can impact its performance, including its ability to efficiently turn over.

If you need to leave town for a while, the ASE-certified auto repair technicians at Haver’s Auto Repair in Elkhorn, Nebraska, are here to tell you everything you need to know about safely starting your car once you return home.

What Happens If I Let My Car Sit for a Month?

Cars are intended to be driven. If you leave yours sitting for a few weeks, the engine fluids will start breaking down. Furthermore, crucial components can corrode, your tires will deflate, moisture can build up inside the gas tank, and animals might even start squatting in your cabin. Yuck! As you can see, not using your car for an extended period can severely impact its health.

Safely Starting a Car That’s Been Sitting

If you had no other choice but to let your car sit for a few months, it’s important to know how to safely start it. While most modern cars will safely start after weeks or months of unuse, it’s still a smart idea to follow the following safety tips:

  • Check your engine oil levels with a dipstick when the engine is still cool
  • Ensure all exterior lights are working properly
  • Check for signs of animal infestation, such as droppings, nests, or chewing
  • Inspect the battery. If you need to jumpstart it, allow the vehicle to run for 10 minutes to recharge
  • Inspect your tires for low air pressure or leaks
  • Check your gas by siphoning a tiny amount out and inspecting the color

Preparing Your Car for Un-use

To ensure you’re coming back to a healthy vehicle, it’s essential to prepare your car before you let it sit. Be sure to:

  • Thoroughly wash it and use a car cover
  • Change your oil
  • Fill your tank
  • Put the car on jack stands

Elkhorn’s Trusted Car Repair Specialists

If your car needs an oil change or a new battery after it’s been sitting, call the automotive repair specialists at Haver’s Auto Repair in Elkhorn, Nebraska. We’ve been in business since 1957 and specialize in all types of car care services. To schedule your appointment, call our auto service shop at (402) 333-4670 today.

Written by Haver's Auto Repair