How to Maintain a Vehicle You Don’t Use Often

Do you have a vehicle just sitting in your garage that you don’t use often? Is it just the older “family vacation” car you only drive on road trips? Maybe its a truck just used for hauling large items, but not for everyday driving. Whatever the case, you’re probably wondering how to maintain a vehicle you only use once in a while or store part of the year. Let us help—here are a few tips for keeping seldom-used vehicles in running condition.

Before Storing Your Vehicle, You Will Need To…

Clean It

Before you store your vehicle, you’ll want to give it a nice wash. Make sure you get hard-to-remove dirt and debris, like sap, off of the car’s paint as it could cause damage if left for too long. Plus, a nice clean car will be available when you’re ready to ride again.

Fill It Up

To avoid extra moisture seeping into the gas tank of your seldom-used vehicle, you’ll want to fill up the tank before putting it in storage. This will also help you avoid rusting.

checking tire pressure

Inflate It

As you know, temperature changes can affect tire pressure. If the car will be sitting through several seasons and temperature fluctuations, you’ll want to inflate the tires, too. Just make sure not to exceed the maximum recommended tire pressure for your unique model.

Restore the Fluids

Changing the oil, windshield wiper fluids, engine coolant, and other fluids is also an important step to take before storing your vehicle. Used oil contains moisture, metal filings, sludge and other corrosive elements—new oil much safer for your idle car.

While Storing Your Vehicle, You Will Need To…

How to Maintain a Vehicle You Don’t Use Often cover it

Keep It Covered

Ideally, it’s best to keep your car inside a garage or covered port while it’s dormant to avoid any weather-related incidents. However, we understand that not everyone has a garage to keep their vehicle safe. If this is the case, you’ll want to invest in a properly sized cover that securely fits your vehicle, keeps out moisture, and allows for air flow. To keep animals from using your car for shelter—especially during the winter—we recommend putting some steel wool in your tailpipe.

How to Maintain a Vehicle You Don’t Use Often check battery

Check on the Battery

Last, you can’t forget about the battery. If left idle for even a few weeks, your car’s battery will eventually lose its charge and need to be jumped off. If you prepare the car properly for storage, though, you do not need to run it to keep the battery charged. In this case, it’s often recommended to hook the battery to a battery tender to keep a charge live without overdoing it.

Once you’re ready for your old Subaru to come out of storage, you’ll want to take special care of it before hitting the open road. Performing regular maintenance on any seldom-used vehicle is ideal. Before you back it out of the garage, visually inspect all of its bells and whistles, check the tire pressure, and top off fluids as needed. You may also consider bringing your Subaru to a body shop for professional maintenance service.

Choose Suburb Service For Professional Subaru Maintenance & Repair Near Seattle

Even when you don’t use a car often, you want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape. For future Subaru repair and maintenance tasks, choose Suburb Service near Seattle—our team specializes in Subaru makes and models only, so you’re always talking to experts. We offer maintenance and repair services for all types of Subaru models. You can schedule a regular maintenance check-up today or, if your Subaru is giving you trouble, you can call us at 206-364-8089 to schedule a repair. Show your Subaru some love.

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