Keeping Your Car Parked Safely For Long Duration


350Z

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Re: Leaving the car for 2 months-Tips

Folks,
I forgot and tried to search a similar thread where people had put advices on what to do if the car is going to be left for sometime.
I have been away from the forum for a week now as the office has been very busy and this weekend i am flying out of india, hence can someone please guide me on what things should i do so that the car has a good time standing by for couple of months and when i am back, i dont have any issues.
you timely help would be appreciated.

Moderators, if you could suggest a forum where i can post this up, please let me know!
Saurabh, The first and most important precaution is to park the car in a safe location. Here, from safe I am referring to both, area that is not prone to thieves and also the place where movement of other vehicles around your car is minimal. Parking space in your own house or garage will be the best bet. However, if that is not possible, you can leave it to some reliable relative as well and hand over the keys. Second is to make sure that there is at least some amount of oil level (Engine, Petrol etc.) present. Also, yes it’s true that a car should not be parked with handbrake lifted for long. Leave it in gear and put a kerb beside the wheels if you still doubt that it could move about. Please read more posts above, they are quite informative.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 

Akash

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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

But one correction to Kingpin's statement- I have read that its not advisable to engage your handbrake if your car is going to be kept unused for a long time. If your car stands at a slope with the bonnet facing uphill engage the car in first gear.
+1 to Dhaya's statement. Do not engage the handbrake, instead engage the first gear. I personally faced this issue a year back. I parked my car for about a month with handbrakes engaged. After a month when i was about to go move my car out of the garage, she refused to move even a cm ahead even after disengaging the handbrake. The rear wheel jammed and i had to unbolt the rear wheels and struggle for an hour to get the thing fixed by myself. I then headed straight to a MASS to get the issue inspected.
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

An Update.
Just got back after being out for 35 days. No jump starting required. The car started just as it should every day. I had taken the following precautions:
1) Had put the car cover before leaving
2) Car was parked in a safe, covered parking space.

As you would imagine, the car cover had lot of dust. I had to wash it before I could resuse it.

Hope this helps for fellow owners.
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

This is my first post ever in TAI, In my personal experience I have found some of the points which is worh discussing ,
1. Don't park the car near water pipes or drains flow and the atmosphere is very moist. This can start rust underneath the cars when left for long time.
2. Don't leave the car under Hand Brakes ( as discussed above ).
3. If possible park in a place where its not accessible for pets ( Dogs , cats can scratch when no ones around , rats also chew up the wires).
4. It is advisable to ask some body to start and make a short trip say 1 km atleast once a week for Diesel cars and 15 days for petrol cars.
5. Cover the car with good quality cover ( as said before) and park in shade ( don't park under trees).
6. No need for oil change if the trip is less than 6 months , for more time, oil has to be changed once u come back . For synthetic oils the period can be increased. Don't change the oil before the trip, it's a waste.
7. As soon as u come back , take the car to ASS for a checkup ( all water and oil levels and may be change of engine oil ) .
8. As far as possible fill up Nitrogen in the tyres. This will reduce rusting effect in wheels and also lasts longer in tyres.
I found all these in a hard way as I leave my car parked for more than 5 months every year. Now I do these and don't have problem.
 

350Z

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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

This is my first post ever in TAI, In my personal experience I have found some of the points which is worh discussing ,
1. Don't park the car near water pipes or drains flow and the atmosphere is very moist. This can start rust underneath the cars when left for long time.
2. Don't leave the car under Hand Brakes ( as discussed above ).
3. If possible park in a place where its not accessible for pets ( Dogs , cats can scratch when no ones around , rats also chew up the wires).
4. It is advisable to ask some body to start and make a short trip say 1 km atleast once a week for Diesel cars and 15 days for petrol cars.
5. Cover the car with good quality cover ( as said before) and park in shade ( don't park under trees).
6. No need for oil change if the trip is less than 6 months , for more time, oil has to be changed once u come back . For synthetic oils the period can be increased. Don't change the oil before the trip, it's a waste.
7. As soon as u come back , take the car to ASS for a checkup ( all water and oil levels and may be change of engine oil ) .
8. As far as possible fill up Nitrogen in the tyres. This will reduce rusting effect in wheels and also lasts longer in tyres.
I found all these in a hard way as I leave my car parked for more than 5 months every year. Now I do these and don't have problem.
This is your first post and a very useful one, must say. :smile: Thanks for the sharing the tips, auto_luver and welcome to The Automotive India. I'm sure, everyone will benefit from the points that you have posted above.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

@auto_luver Thats a amazing first post man .Like getting wicket in the first ball of your debut match.
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

@350z, faced too much problems when precautions were not taken, Had to sell my first car because of not following procedures , Thats why.

@maximas007 Thankx man, hope to score well with TAI [thumbsup]
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

just returned from my 2 months trip and my bro-in-law was using my car till then. Unfortunately he parked the car on hand brake and left it untouched for around 10 days, to escalate the issue there was a water tap near the car. So, when i took my car the hand brakes jammed and the disc also had slight rust on it ! I had no option but to use the car , moved it with more force on throttle and brakes got released. but, when i was applying brakes again i could hear abnormal sound and vibration . I called MASS and the SA asked me to drive for some time to heat up the disc & drum. Did couple of sharp brakings and after about 10 kms the sound is gone. Hope to take it to MASS when i find time.
 

Akash

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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

Hi auto_luver,

Welcome to The Automotive India.

to escalate the issue there was a water tap near the car. So, when i took my car the hand brakes jammed and the disc also had slight rust on it ! I had no option but to use the car , moved it with more force on throttle and brakes got released. but, when i was applying brakes again i could hear abnormal sound and vibration...
I faced the similar issue when my Alto was not used for a month. The handbrake got jammed and the rear wheel refused to rotate. I had to unscrew the rear wheels and apply some mechanical force for manual rotation. Finally the issue solved and i went to the nearest MASS.
In my case throttle didnt help.
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

The handbrake got jammed and the rear wheel refused to rotate. I had to unscrew the rear wheels and apply some mechanical force for manual rotation. Finally the issue solved and i went to the nearest MASS.
In my case throttle didnt help.
This happened to my previous car , Hyundai Santro , then it was not used for 3 months with hand brakes On ! , had to remove the wheel and hammer the brakes to release, Spent 6000 rs to complete change of brake drums and pads [frustration].
 

350Z

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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

Alas! This appears to be a common problem, which has happened with my car too, when it was left unused for more than a couple of months (Handbrake lifted). The rear drum brake was stuck with the shoe, hence making the wheel refuse to roll on. Had to got that thing replaced ultimately.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

Started my car last week after leaving it sleeping for almost 3.5 months . The car was covered with 2 bed sheets and on top of the bedsheets one good cover ! But still there was so much of dust on the car. Inside the seats and the steering had fungus on it ! opened the bonnet and checked for engine oil and coolant levels , all found ok. Tried cranking and to my surprise car started after a brief cranking !!!. Ran the engine in idle for 10-15 mins till the temperature came to normal running condition. put on the first gear and moved . found no issues at all. Now, driving around without having any trouble . Just followed all tips in this thread helped me drive peacefully today !
 

TSIVipul

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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

In this field my experience is quite less,but a neighbor of me is in merchant navy and he leaves his car parked for 4-5 months,what he does is simple:-
1):Put the cover on while leaving.
2):Ask your wife/family members to remove the cover once or twice a week,clean the car,open the doors and windows for sometime.
3):They people start the car for 5-10 minutes every 4th-5th day.
4):Handbrake is engaged by them,but they simply apply it,drop it twice or three times.
5):Ask your family members to take the car when needed,if they can't drive then there are a lot of chauffeurs in the market for 200-300 rs per day.

I think if your family follows these small and easy methods for car care then you can leave it for ever an year or two.
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

To add on to Do's n Dont's:

1) Do check tyre pressures in the tyre and inflate tyres 4 - 5 PSI above recomended. If the car is parked at the same place with less air pressure there is a tendency for the tyres to deform.
If possible u can place ur car on wooden planks or jacks on the 4 sides so that the tire will not get a flat spot.
2) Properly close doors and windows as there is a posibility when you return there might be rodents or insects inside your car.
3) Place some rat kill biscuts under the car so that rodents do not damage fuel or other rubber parts.
4) Treat the seat covers as fungus might grow on the seats and leather upholstry. Place silica dessicant packs in all corners under seats and also in the boot this will absorb water vapor and u wont have the damp smell or molds from forming.
5) Remove the -ve terminal (Black) of the battery as it may get drained out after long period. Then to be safe disconnect the RED one next.
6) When reconnecting, reconnect the red one first and the black one next. Be careful when using metal tools near your battery. Never let anything touch both contacts.
7) Try parking on near a downward slope or ramp so u can push start your cars when you are back (u might just have to!)
 
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Re: Precautions to Take While Leaving the Car Parked for Long

+1 to that.

A tank full of fuel will help to prevent the tank from rusting.

Always disconnect the negative as many others have pointed out. Disconnecting the positive is a risk of spark/shock if metal tolls come into contact accidentally.

To add more on the handbrakes, it is not adviseable to use during rainy season also. High chances of brake jammign the wheel rotation. Use handbrakes only when the weather is dry. Personally I have not faced the jamming problem (even when parked with handbrakes engaged for more than 6 months).
 
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