With this unprecedented Coronavirus outbreak happening, many Americans are staying home and using their cars less. While this may seem like a cost-cutting measure, seeing as how less fuel is being consumed and the daily wear-and-tear of commuting is cut down, a vehicle that is sitting idle can have problems as well. Here's a few issues you might encounter and how to combat them:
Today's modern cars have multiple computers constantly running and checking your vehicle's systems, but that means they're also always pulling energy from your battery, meaning the battery is running down when not in use. Your battery could run out of juice in just two weeks or less!

Your vehicle recharges its battery via the alternator when the engine is started. To keep your battery charged, you should start and run your vehicle for 10-15 minutes at a time in a properly ventilated area.  Even better, and if it's safe to do so, taking your vehicle out for a nice 30-60 minute drive every week or so would keep your battery healthy.
 Like other biodegradable products, gasoline can go bad, degrading into a gummy, foul-smelling substance in around three to six months. Running gasoline that is no longer good can cause expensive problems, like requiring a fuel pump replacement. Luckily, modern vehicles have a sealed fuel system to help minimize fuel oxidation, but your fuel will still degrade over time no matter what if it's not burned off.  
Going for a drive and keeping fresh gasoline flowing through its system will solve this problem. Also, keeping your gas tank full will help reduce condensation and oxidation of the fuel, extending the time you can leave fuel in your tank. A fuel stabilizer can help too! 


When your vehicle isn't moving, rust can form on the rotors, especially when sitting outside exposed to weather conditions. Rust can get into the brake pad lining and can cause problems like noise, dangerous uneven braking, and even brake pedal pulsation. To keep your brakes from developing rust buildup, drive your vehicle for 30-60 minutes once a week to stop it from forming.

If you use your parking brake, make sure you're regularly releasing it to keep it from locking up and becoming difficult to release.

Engine Oil
A lot like your gasoline, engine oil can spoil too! Even if you're not driving, don't push back that oil change because the oil can degrade over time, especially if it's been exposed to temperature fluctuations (which, in New England, are inevitable). 

Check your vehicle's manual to for the correct time you should wait between oil changes and stick with it, even if you're not driving the same miles as before.
 If you leave your vehicle sitting for a long time, the air pressure will slowly decrease in your tires, which affects performance, safety, and gas mileage. If they sit for long enough, they can develop flat spots as well. To combat this if you plan on having your vehicle sit for a while, you can add 5-10 extra lbs of air to your tires. If you do this, make sure you return your vehicle to the manufacturer-recommended air pressure as prescribed by the vehicle's manual before you take it on the road again!

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Volvo Cars Keene

591 Monadnock Highway
Directions East Swanzey, NH 03446

  • Sales: 855-997-2956
  • Service: 855-997-2715
  • Parts: 855-383-4233


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