How To Maintain Your Car When Not Driving As Often

What Happens When Leaving A Car Unused


Your car is designed to be driven on a regular basis, and every mechanical component suffers if it stays idle for too long. It is recommend to start the engine at least once every week and letting it run until it reaches operating temperature. Do this outside; you don’t want to fill your garage with exhaust fumes. Better yet, go for a drive if possible, even if it’s just a trip to the store for essential supplies or a run to a nearby restaurant for takeout.

Maintain your battery

There is little need to worry about your car’s battery if it’s relatively new, and if the charging system is in good condition. An older battery may not last as long, and a small drain can completely damage the battery over time.

It’s wise to invest in a trickle charger to keep it topped up. A battery that has completely exhausted due to sitting without usage or charge will need to be replaced, this would NOT be considered a Warranty issue and the expense would fall on the customer.

Keep an eye on your tires

Check the pressure in each one of your car’s tires and top them up if necessary. Tires lose air over time, but there’s no need to exceed the manufacturer-recommended pressure unless you’re not planning on driving at all for several months. Driving on a semi-regular basis will help ensure your tires don’t develop flat spots, and it’s a good idea to move your car (even by a few feet) every now and then if you only take it out every few weeks.

What to expect:

Your vehicle is constantly drawing power from the battery, even when the vehicle is off. The battery is maintained by regular driving and could deplete or completely drain when sitting still for any period of time.

Returning to a vehicle that has been dormant for a week or more you may find that the battery is either weak or completely drained. If the battery is found to be weak try to run the vehicle in a well ventilated area free of any enclosure. If you find that battery is completely drain you will likely need to replace the battery

When you begin driving the vehicle after sitting for more than a couple of days you may notice a slight noise when applying the brakes due to rust that has formed on the brake surface, in most cases the surface rust will be removed during normal braking within a mile or two of driving.

When you are driving at highway speeds you may notice a vibration that wasn’t apparent before your vehicle sat, this is likely due to flat spots that could develop on the tires from sitting with the vehicles weight on the same spot of the tire for longer than normal. This should work out as the tires get to operating temperature over a few drives at highway speeds.

When you apply the brakes at highway speeds there is a noticeable vibration in either the steering or the body of the vehicle. This is due to rust or corrosion or material transfer that has formed on the surface of the brakes. This will likely be corrected while driving the vehicle over several trips, if this continues after a week of driving it may be necessary to replace the brakes in order to eliminate the vibration.

Do:

  • Check oil level
  • Start and run the vehicles engine for 2 minutes in a well ventilated area outside of any enclosure.
  • Drive vehicle slowly (under 15mph) for approximately ¼ of a mile applying the brakes in order to clean the surface and check for their braking ability.
  • Drive at local speeds continuing to apply and check the brake function while monitoring any warning lights or service indicators.
  • If no issues are noticed, try to bring your vehicle up to highway speed in order to get the tires to operation temperature, this will work out any flat spots that may have developed in the tires due to sitting in one spot overtime.

Contact us at BMW of Darien to perform a 10 minute complimentary service drive inspection of the fluids and tires to confirm that the typical concerns are checked for daily driving.

Service Info

Phone Number:Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • SunClosed

Oil Change

Changing the oil in your BMW is crucial in maintaining your engine’s reliability and performance. Regularly scheduling oil changes at BMW of Darien is the easiest way to maintain the long-term health of your vehicle.

Brake Service

The brake pads on your Ultimate Driving Machine will wear out over time, so replacing them is extremely necessary. Brake service must be part of your regular BMW maintenance schedule so your vehicle can always stop effectively.

Tire Rotation

Your BMW’s tires need to be rotated to maintain even wear from front-to-back and side-to-side. Having your tires rotated at BMW of Darien regularly ensures they will last as long as possible.
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140 Ledge Rd • Darien, CT 06820

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BMW of Darien 41.072763, -73.477260.