How to look after your car’s brakes
If a vehicle is left for a significant amount of time with the handbrake on, the mechanical components are at risk of fusing together. In order to prevent this, it is advised to occasionally release the handbrake and move the vehicle backwards and forwards.
Alternatively, if the vehicle is kept on secure, private land, consider putting chocks under the tyres instead of activating the handbrake.
How to look after your car’s battery
Most healthy car batteries should be able to start a car after a couple of weeks standing. But, if you’re unsure how long you will be leaving your car, it may be worth investing in a trickle charger, to keep the battery topped up and prevent damage from neglect.
If possible, regularly start the car and allow the engine to run so as to recharge the battery. Take care not to do so in a closed environment, such as a garage, as exhaust fumes are toxic.
Again, if you’re intending on leaving the vehicle for a significant amount of time, you should bear in mind that an old battery could leak acid, which in turn could corrode your engine. In this instance, disconnecting and removing the battery is advised.
How to protect your car’s engine in storage
Depending on how long you’re intending to store your vehicle, how to prepare your vehicle’s fluid varies.
If you don’t expect to leave your car for long, make sure you do so with a full tank of fuel so as to avoid condensation building up in the empty space and contaminating your fuel or rusting the tank.
But believe it or not, petrol is a perishable, and when left for a long time will go off. Both petrol and diesel will stay fresh for up to a year in a sealed container, but will degrade quickly if exposed to the air.
If you’re planning to leave your car for a longer period of time, consider adding oil and fuel additives to stabilise the substances and prevent internal damage.
Before tucking you car away, carry out an oil and filter change, so as prevent dirty oil thickening in the engine and fouling it up.