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Vehicle Maintenance

How To Keep Your Vehicle Healthy During Periods of Lesser Use

Strict Maintenance Is Essential – Even When You Are Not Driving That Much

Maintaining a vehicle that you drive frequently requires a lot of work! You must check and change the oil, replace the tires, keep it clean – the list goes on. Do I still need to follow a maintenance schedule if I will not be driving it for a while or am now driving less miles than I have been? Is a question we have been asked from many of our customers over the last year.

The answer is YES!

Follow these tips to ensure your vehicle remains in tip top condition.

Take it for a spin occasionally.

Make sure you drive it at least 10-15 miles and reach speeds above 50 mph at twice a month. When you run the engine, fluids can circulate, and your oil is distributed to the parts that need lubrication. When you do not drive your vehicle for a while, fluids can pool, and your engine may lose that essential lubrication. Your vehicle’s alternator also needs a running engine to keep your battery charged. If your vehicle has not been started in a while, your battery will eventually die. It is also important to get your tires moving whenever possible to help them maintain flexibility.

Maintain Your Oil Change Schedule.

When it comes to oil and other essential fluids, it is a good idea to follow the “whichever comes first” rule. Most oils recommend that you change it every 3750 – 5000 miles, or every 6 months, whichever comes first. When you start your car without driving it, or only take short trips your vehicle does not reach full operating temperature.  This leaves condensation in the exhaust and oil which will not be burned off – and can potentially cause damage in the long run.

Should I Be Worried About My Car’s Brakes.

When you are not driving your car, rust forms on the brake rotors- especially if it’s parked outside, exposed to the elements.  It does not take long; in a matter of days, you can find build up starting on the rotors.  When left for longer periods that rust can then get into the brake pad lining when you do drive. Resulting in noise, uneven braking and brake pedal pulsation.  Driving the car as described above at least once a week can minimize this considerably.

What About Tires?

Tires can develop small leaks over time and slowly leak air, even if you are not driving regularly they develop something called “tire rot” which causes the rubber to become brittle and hard. That’s why it’s important to check your tire pressure from time to time. If you are uncertain what pressure you need to maintain, consult your owner’s manual, the tire sidewall, or the specification sticker inside the driver’s door.  When you are ready to hit the road again, you will not have to worry about a flat!

Disconnect The Battery!

While infrequent driving can compromise battery life. Long idle periods are almost a certain death.  If you are not planning on driving your vehicle for a long period of time, you might consider disconnecting the battery. This can help prevent corrosion from occurring on or near the terminals.

Wiper Blades Check Them Often!

Sun, Snow, Heat, Cold, Dirt, Debris, Ice. Almost every element wreaks havoc on your wipers.  So how do we combat this?

  1. Defrost and scrape before use
  2. Keep it clean
  3. Never Run the wipers on a dry windshield
  4. Position the blades up, off the windshield when it snows or freezes
  5. Replace them twice a year

Would you prefer to let the professional Hyundai Certified Technicians take care of this for you?

Clean The Exterior Regularly

Leaves and sticks that eventually collect on your car can be harmful. When plant matter accumulates with moisture, the acid contained within can gradually eat away at your paint and potentially degrade plastic and rubber seals.

If your car is going to be sitting idle for a while, make sure to clean it occasionally, to prevent that slow damage and deterioration. Alternatively, you can find several car covers that can keep plant matter off your car and prevent the sun from damaging it as well.

Clean the Interior Often

We all do our best to keep the inside of our vehicles clean and free of food and wrappers. But it can be difficult to keep it spotless and sometimes a stray French fry gets lost between the seats. While a few stray crumbs may not cause lingering odors, they can certainly attract pests if it’s stationary for too long.

Before you lock your vehicle down for an extended period of time, give the inside a thorough inspection and vacuum all those nooks and crannies.

You would believe how many issues we see where pests caused considerable damage to our customers’ cars.  These simple steps will ensure you do not suffer the same fate.

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