Due to the pandemic we’ve all been experiencing since March 2020, it’s very likely that you haven’t been using your vehicle as much as you once did. It’s even fair to say that your car has sat for months—or possibly an entire year—on the street, in the garage, or in a parking lot while you have done your part to stay home and flatten the curve.
However, as vaccines become more readily available and businesses begin to open back up, you may find yourself needing or wanting to use your wheels again. There’s just one catch: After sitting untouched for so long, is it still safe to drive your car?
The short answer: maybe. However, before you hit the gas and start cruising, there are few things to consider.
At Johnny’s Auto Service, we want to share some insight into specific precautions to take that will ensure your safety—as well as the safety of others—when you finally get back out on that open road.
Is Your Car Safe to Drive?
Cars are meant to be driven, but that hasn’t always—or easily—been an option this past year. Unfortunately, when left unused for a significant amount of time, myriad problems can occur, including engine fluids breaking down, parts corroding, rodents chewing on wires, tires deflating, and moisture accumulating in the gas tank.
To avoid further, expensive damage, as well as putting yourself and others at risk, follow this checklist.
Check the Oil: Make sure the car’s engine has the appropriate level of oil in it before driving.
Test the Lights: Verify all of the lights are in good, working condition, including the headlights, brake lights, reverse lights, and turn signals.
Measure the Brake Fluid: Both low brake fluid and dirty brake fluid can indicate there is an issue with your brakes. You may need to simply add more fluid or have the brake system completely flushed.
Look for Leaks: Take inventory of the space around and under your car to see if it has leaked any fluids while not in use.
Try the Battery: Be prepared to have a dead battery. Jump starting your vehicle may suffice, but don’t be surprised if you need a whole new battery. Before starting the car, check the battery terminals for debris and/or corrosion.
Drain the Gas: Bad gas often has a sour smell, and gas can turn bad within 6 months to a year. Therefore, if your car has been sitting for several months, it’s recommended to drain the old gas and refill it with new. Check with your professionals.
Inspect the Tires: Ensure all of your tires are in good condition; adjust the air pressure as needed.
Once you’ve gone through this list, it’s still a good idea to avoid long stretches of traveling with your car. Think of the situation like this: your vehicle has been hibernating and may require a little bit of time before it fully wakes up. You don’t want to overstimulate your automobile on that first drive.
Further, if you’re unfamiliar with automobiles, or just know the basics, then the maintenance list above probably feels a little overwhelming. Remember, you don’t have to face any of these auto challenges alone. Our skilled and professional team is here to help you get the most you can out of your car.
Contact Us for Auto Care Today!
If you want to make absolutely certain your vehicle is ready to drive after having sat untouched for several months, then consider letting a professional take a look at it. With more than 40 years of experience, at Johnny’s Auto Service, we are more than equipped to handle all of your car needs. Don’t risk your safety or the safety of others; contact us today by calling (626) 966-5212. We’ll safely get your car moving again!