Motoring experts from LeaseVan.co.uk have told drivers to park their vehicles under the cover of a garage wherever possible, or to invest in a car cover and put their vehicles under wraps during the expected period of inactivity.
They also warned motorists to ensure tyre pressures and fluids are maintained at the correct levels while their vehicles are out of action.
Cars and vans can become unroadworthy if left idle on the street for lengthy spells, so the experts said it was essential to maintain and check them again before use to ensure they are safe to drive.
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Most drivers will use their cars daily and will remember to fill up relevant fluids as they go, but it’s just as important to do so if you know you won’t be using the vehicle for a while.
“If you plan to leave your car unused for a considerable period, you can follow these steps to keep the vehicle in good, running condition.”
1. Park indoors or use a car cover
Where possible, you should leave your car in a garage as it’ll be safer and cleaner. If you don’t have this option – which most drivers won’t – instead invest in a quality cover. Make sure you buy one that’s been designed for your car model or type. However, avoid using a cover if you’re parking the car in a garage, as this will ensure any moisture that is left inside the vehicle will evaporate faster.
2. Clean the interiors
People tend to leave various types of rubbish in their cars – wrappers, old water bottles and so on. If left for long periods, it could attract rodents that can damage floor mats, seat covers and even wiring. So, clean the interior thoroughly and spray a little air freshener.
3. Fill up on fuel
One of the biggest problems of leaving a car unused is rusting on the inside of the fuel tank. The best way to avoid this is to fill the car to the brim with quality petrol.
4. Protect paint job
A car’s paintwork can be damaged if a vehicle is parked outdoors, even with a car cover protecting it, due to the dust, grim and moisture. To prevent damage, clean the exterior thoroughly.
5. Inflate the tyres
If your car is going to be sitting for a longer period of time than usual, tyres might slowly lose a significant amount of pressure. For this reason, it’s a good idea to inflate your tyres to the recommended air pressure, but do not exceed the maximum. Then repeat this process the next time you use the vehicle.
6. Top off fluids
Before you leave your car dormant for an extended period of time, top off your vehicle’s fluids – brake fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. Then, go for a quick, short drive, as this will help circulate the fluids, including the fuel stabiliser.