If you go out of town on vacation every year, then you know it’s bad for your car to stay sedentary for too long. It’s important to understand not only regular car care, but also to understand what can happen to your car when it sits too long in one place.
When you’re out of town for only a few weeks at a time, it’s a good idea to have someone at least start the car or take it for a short drive once a week. When a car sits for too long, all of the parts in the engine can become dry, and eventually gaskets can blow and it won’t start properly. The battery can even die because it isn’t having the chance to be charged when driven. Even it it’s a short period of time, it’s a good idea to let the car run for a few minutes and allow the engine to get warm.
If you plan on being out of town for an extended period of time, perhaps a few months, some more extensive care will be needed. Continue having someone come over and at least start the car for a few minutes every week. Once a month, they should take your car for a drive around the block. Especially in hot, humid places like Florida, dry rot in tires is common in cars that sit still for too long. It’s common for people coming back to Florida for seasonal months to have to replace tires because of this issues. That simple drive around the block can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Before you return for season, have your car completely serviced. All of the usual checklist items should be taken care of: tires, alignment, rotation, oil, and any computer issues. There is nothing worse than having to spend part of your time at your vacation home caring for your vehicle. It’s both time-consuming and can get expensive.
This is the type of project that can be taken care of by a family member or neighbor, but if it’s for a longer period of time you should consider hiring a home watch company. Most home watch companies will care for your car while you’re gone, no matter how large or small the project turns out being.