Cheers to a new year! We have been through so many challenges in the past year. One of those challenges has been lack of mobility. We Americans are resilient. We have adjusted and have found that we can still get things done with limited resources. One thing that may be suffering that we may be unaware of is our car. Like our bodies, when a car is idle many things can start to deteriorate.
Most people will ask, “How can I need that service, I haven’t been driving as much?” So what happens to your car when it sits?
When a vehicle sits for an extended period of time, the chemistry and structure are disrupted. Gaskets and seals become dry or brittle. Tires can become flat, brittle and the rubber starts to crack. Batteries drain, putting you in a situation of not starting when needed. Gasoline starts to gum up. Rust starts to spread and engine oil deteriorates.
These are only a few examples of systems that are affected.
Let’s look at gaskets and seals. Think of a rubber band. When a rubber band is used often, it has a longer life expectancy. Now think of a rubber band that sits. That rubber band losses it’s elasticity and becomes brittle. When you pull on that rubber band, it snaps. Gaskets and seals are the same.
Tires, tires like gaskets and seals, are made up of a rubber composition. If tires are not used, they begin to break down and crack. Those tires will get flat spots and with the cracks, air escapes. If your tires get a flat spot from sitting, there is no way to revive that tire. The tire must be replaced with new.
More than likely, the first issue you will notice will be a dead battery. Especially in cold weather, your battery will have a hard time recovering if it loses its charge. Electronics on your vehicle will also draw power from you battery to keep memory alive. Ground wire issues can happen and sitting will speed up corrosion. That corrosion can also contribute to the draw.
One of the sometimes forgotten systems is your fuel system. Your fuel tank is not an air tight, sealed system. As oxygen interacts with your fuel it becomes less stabile. Fuel that sits starts to become almost gel like. As it travels through the fuel system it wreaks havoc causing performance issues.
Engine oil deteriorates a lot faster when it is not being used as designed. Most people assume that because they aren’t driving as often, they don’t need to change the oil as frequently. The fact of the matter is, that is quite the opposite. Oil, when it isn’t used as intended, breaks down and loses it’s lubrication and cooling properties. This lack of lubrication and cooling cause premature engine wear.
All the above are a few reasons why we recommend servicing your vehicle every 3,000 to 5,000 miles OR every 4 to 6 months. To keep your car in good running condition, have a professional service your vehicle at least twice per year to inspect for any possible issues. A professional inspection and service can lower your chances of having any unforseen issue. It’s better to be safe than sorry, I always say.
Has it been a while since your cars last service? Show your car some love and make a reservation with your certified mechanic. Take care of you car and it will keep you and your family safe and ready when you need it.
Together we can make 2021 the best year ever!