How do you prepare your car for a long-term standstill? | Kleya - Relocation, Retirement, Investment & Moving to Portugal
How do you prepare your car for a long-term standstill?

July 2020

How do you prepare your car for a long-term standstill?

Bodywork, rims, air conditioning, engine, battery, tires, hand brake, fuel, windshield wipers, fluids, engine... There are many elements of your car that can deteriorate during a long-term immobilization.

A one to two-week shutdown is not considered a long-term stoppage -we start talking about long-term immobilization when the vehicle is stopped for more than three weeks to a month. It is from this timing that the condition of your vehicle can deteriorate. Vehicles are particularly sensitive to sunlight or humidity. The risk is clearly not to be able to restart the car or even to find your car damaged by the throes of time.

If you do not plan to drive your car for more than three weeks to a month, it is advisable to idle your vehicle's engine. Try to leave your engine running for about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes while the engine heats up. This time frame is also necessary for some pollution control systems, which need to rise in temperature from time to time. It is even advisable to run it until the engine reaches its optimum temperature. If possible, start your car's engine at least once a week.

Before you leave your car at a standstill, start by offering it a good clean shot. Wash the body, make sure all the outside dirt disappears, and let it dry. If you're going to a car wash, don't hesitate to add a finish that will not leave traces of limestone on your vehicle. You can also wash the rims and use rust-proofing on them, as on all parts of the car that are not painted. Washing under the car is also recommended, as is a thorough vacuum clean inside to avoid allowing dust to build up.

If this is possible for you, choose an enclosed parking space to leave your car in. Typically, the best place to store your car will be a garage or closed parking lot, that's not too wet or overheated. Ideally, this storage area should even be ventilated. If you are forced to park your vehicle outside for this long-term stop, try to protect it from the sun or bad weather if possible. This will protect your car from the weather's vagaries and could prevent body and interior damaging.

If you really have no solution to keep your car out of the sun and inclement weather for this long-term standstill, using a car cover could save you. If this is the option you choose, remember to let your car dry after washing before putting the cover on. Otherwise, you may cause water retention. Wash the car thoroughly to avoid stirring dust by placing the cover, which could create scratches on your body.

When you don't ventilate your home, the smell in some rooms ends up not being very pleasant, right? In a car, it's the same: you must ventilate and ventilate the motor from time to time to prevent too much moisture from forming inside. As a reminder, moisture causes odours but also mould. And it's quite simple to avoid them: if you can, open your windows by a few millimetres, in order to let fresh air pass through. You can also leave the ventilation nozzles open in the car.

Running your car's air conditioning can be a good idea if it is going through a long period of downtime. From time to time, start the engine and run it for a good quarter of an hour. This will keep the air conditioning compressor well lubricated, as will its joints. And this will save you expensive repairs if you swear by the air conditioning onboard your car…

Even when your car isn't rolling, the tires can wear out. They must consistently bear the heavy weight of your car. If the car does not move for a long time, the tires can collapse, deform and even deteriorate their condition. To avoid this, you can over-inflate them by about 25% compared to the usual inflation.

Not too full, not too empty: this is what you need to apply to your car's tank before you leave it at a standstill for a long time. Too empty, the tank may accumulate dirt, which can damage your engine when the car restarts. And if your tank is too full, the fuel quality may deteriorate over time. So, it's better to fill the fuel tank halfway.

You may have already experienced it. If they are not used for too long, the rubber of the windshield wipers will become glued to the windshield of the car. And usually, you then have to replace them, since taking them off becomes very difficult. To prevent them from sticking to the windshield and refusing to function, you can wrap your wiper brushes in plastic wrap, for example. Using a cloth, such as a towel, is also possible.

Kleya can take care of your vehicle during your absence, once a week, start your vehicle, or even, if you wish, drive it until the engine reaches its optimum temperature, operate the air conditioning and thus circulate the air and also check that everything is in order and ready for your return.


Kleya takes care of everything, feel free to ask for your Car-sitting quote.

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