Is it okay to leave a car unused for two months or more?

By Julia Freeman

If circumstances dictate that you cannot drive your car for a while, there is always the worry that your car may not start or run properly once it is needed.

It is possible to leave a car for a couple of months, or even longer without taking to the roads, but there are a number of tasks that will need to be carried out periodically in order to keep the car ready to be brought into action once it is required.

How long can you leave your car without starting it?

The answer to this question is that it really depends on the condition of your car's battery. Most modern batteries and cars should be able to be left for a couple of weeks without needing to be at least turned over to recharge the battery. If you are in any doubt about the condition of the battery, start the car and run it for around 15 minutes to be safe.

What checks should I carry out?

If you haven't driven your car for a while, it should be fine, provided that it has been regularly started and run for around a quarter of an hour. Another thing that will need to be checked includes your tyre pressures which should be adjusted if necessary. You may see corrosion in the brake discs however this will clear after braking a couple of times. Do allow additional time and space for braking for the first few minutes of driving.
You should also pay close attention to any warning lights which appear prior to you taking your vehicle out for the first time, booking a car repair with a qualified mechanic if needed.

3 tips to bear in mind before leaving your car unused

If you are going to leave your car parked up for a month or so, you should keep the following in mind:

  • Top up with fuel before laying up your vehicle. A full tank does not attract condensation, which could cause a range of issues if water becomes present in your tank.

  • Battery maintenance is vital if your car is to be left stationary for much more than a fortnight. Run your engine for a good 15 minutes a week to allow the battery to charge, or use a mains powered battery maintainer regularly in order to keep your battery charged and your engine in good condition.

  • Petrol will stay fresh in a sealed container for around one year but can begin to degrade in as little as a month if exposed to air.

Diesel Cars

Diesel cars take a little more careful management if they are going to be left for a while as, in our experience, summer diesel will be far more susceptible to waxing when the weather gets cold than winter diesel. Experienced diesel owners will know that fuel specs change over the course of a year.

Talk to Protyre

For more information about key maintenance tasks which need to be taken care of before laying up your car for an extended period of time, get in touch with your local Protyre garage and speak with a member of the team. If your tyres need any attention, Protyre carries a range of tyres from manufacturers such as Falken and Sumitomo; with same day fitting available across much of our range, buy online today for our best price.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Brand Marketing for Micheldever Group and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to deliver their automotive needs.
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