Get Back on the Road With These Car Care Tips

By: Michael Fossbakk | June 10, 2020

What should you do to care for your car when it's been sitting in your driveway? Photo credit: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers.

As any good car owner knows, regular maintenance is the key to a healthy vehicle you can rely on. Coincidentally, since so many of us have been staying home lately due to the national pandemic, chances are your vehicle could use a little TLC. 

That’s why we’ve put together this list of things every car owner should take care of, especially since many cars are getting back on the road for the first time in months. Read on to make sure your car is in proper working condition.

Start the engine on a regular basis

At the very least, we hope you’ve been starting your car once every 2-3 weeks for at least 10 minutes. This will get your car’s engine up to normal operating temperature and prevent things like: a drained battery, low or flat tires, gummed up fuel, rust, and engine oil breaking down.

If you can, it’s even better to take the car out for a short drive in order to really get all of the systems working, such as the transmission and brakes. Driving around keeps your battery charged up, gives your tires a workout, and maintains the health of your engine and transmission. Take note of any irregularities you feel or hear coming from your car. Be sure to report these to your local Chevy Certified Service technician, too.

Check your brakes

Obviously, having a healthy set of brakes is important, but how can letting your car sit idle for an extended period of time harm them? Since brake rotors are made out of iron, they are susceptible to rust from the moisture in the environment. Using your car on a regular basis prevents this, but if rust does build up, simply take your car out for a drive. When you use the brakes, the brake pads will rub against the rust and remove it.

Speaking of brakes, it’s important to check your brake fluid, especially on a vehicle with high mileage. Healthy brake fluid is important for two reasons; one, if moisture has developed in your brake fluid, rust can develop, which can turn into a serious problem if the rust spreads; two, if your brake fluid is dirty, you could have trouble using your brakes, which can be very dangerous.

Maintain healthy fuel in your engine

Have you ever heard of carbon deposits? They can form when gasoline oxidizes in your engine as a result of the gas aging. Gasoline has a typical shelf life of about a month. Any longer and problems can start to occur that can impact fuel efficiency and engine performance. If you’re ever planning on storing your vehicle for an extended period of time, do not leave a considerable amount of gasoline in the tank.

Fortunately, preventing carbon deposits from forming is easy. You just need to drive your vehicle. This will run the gasoline through your vehicle. This even applies to hybrid vehicles, as they use a combination of power from a traditional combustion engine and the vehicle’s battery. If you are driving a hybrid vehicle, be sure that it is using any gasoline in its tank every once in a while.

Visit your Certified Service Center

These are all things you can do on your own to maintain a healthy vehicle that has been sitting idle for a while. The best thing you can do for your Chevy vehicle, however, is to take it into your local Metro Detroit Chevy Dealer and visit the Certified Service center. They can make sure your car, truck, or SUV is completely taken care of.