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Maintaining Your Hyundai While You Drive Less

April 26th, 2021


COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have put the brakes on driving for a lot of people, leaving lots of vehicles sitting idle in the driveway. While your vehicle may not be getting the use it once did, it is still just as important to keep up with regular services and maintenance. Believe it or not, our vehicles were designed to drive and extended periods of sitting idle can lead to serious maintenance issues. 

At Richmond Hill Hyundai, we are committed to helping you keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Our highly qualified technicians are here to provide exceptional service, regardless if your mileage is lower than usual. 

If you haven’t picked up your keys in awhile, you should be aware of the things that are quietly happening to your car while it has been parked and unused.

Battery

Our experts agree that your car’s 12-volt battery is the vehicle system that’s most susceptible to inactivity-induced problems, but why?

While you drive your vehicle, the battery is continuously recharged by the alternator, this is what keeps your electronics like lights and radio running. When the vehicle is switched off, the electronics are then run from the batteries storage, and when depleted, the battery will be dead and need a jump-start. 

Much like a cell-phone or laptop, your vehicle’s battery is running minor systems drawing power from it’s storage even when sitting unused. If left for too long, it may become difficult to jump-start the battery, resulting in it needing to be replaced.

To avoid a dead battery, you can start your car once a week and let it run for about 5-10 minutes. NOTE: If your car is parked in a garage, be sure to do this with the garage door open to ensure proper ventilation for exhaust fumes. Alternatively, we recommend purchasing a trickle charger which can be used to keep the battery charged while the vehicle is not in use.  


Brakes

When you’re not driving your car, rust and corrosion can form on the brake rotors, especially if it’s parked outside and exposed to the elements. It is particularly common for those who live close to bodies of water like the Great Lakes. After the rust has formed, if the car is driven this rust can get into the brake-pad lining and result in noise, uneven braking and brake-pedal pulsation.

The parking brake can also create problems. If it’s been set for a while, with humidity and temperature changes the parking brake may freeze” and be very difficult to release.

It is important that even when not using the vehicle, to keep up with it’s regular brake maintenance to ensure optimal performance and safety. If possible, try to keep your vehicle in a dry environment and self-check your brakes every couple of days. 


Oil & Fluids

The fluids in your car are essential for many components. The oil keeps the metal components lubricated, so you don’t get that ticking noise of metal hitting metal, or worse, the engine overheating. At Hyundai we recommend that you change the oil in most of our vehicles every 6k miles, or every 6 months, whichever comes first. Even if you don't drive your vehicle often, oil and the other compounds within can age and potentially degrade over time.

We also recommend you run the engine every two weeks for about 10 minutes, or take a short drive, to keep things under the hood lubricated. When a car sits for a long time, fluids get stale and can pool in certain areas.

If possible, fill up your gas tank before you park your vehicle for an extended period of time. Without gasoline, it's possible for the inside of the fuel tank to start rusting, which can lead to serious problems down the road.

 

Tires

Tires can develop small leaks over time and slowly let out air, even if you're not driving regularly. When tires sit in the same position for a long time, they can develop flat spots from the weight of the car. Tires lose pressure when they sit too—about one to two PSI per month. As a result, it is important to check your tire pressure from time to time. If you're uncertain what pressure you need to maintain, consult your owner's manual.


If you have any questions or concerns about the maintenance of your vehicle, please give our service department a call at (888) 919-8908. We would be happy to perform an inspection and any required maintenance to get you and your vehicle back on the road today!