Looking After Your Car When You’re Out of Town

Planning an extended trip is exciting, but it can be stressful! It seems like there are always a million questions to answer and sort out.

While you most likely have all the big stuff sorted out – flights booked, hotels reserved, taxis organised – we wanted to draw your attention to something you may not think about: what to do with your car!

You may think ‘It’s just going to sit there, what’s the worst that could happen?’ Well, unfortunately, there are plenty of things that can go wrong.

  • – Dead battery
  • – Tires lose air, can go flat
  • – Hoses can dry, rot and crack
  • – Pests may move in
  • – Gas can go stale
  • – Theft and damage may occur
  • – Brakes can rust
  • – Diesel can freeze at low temperatures

So, what can you do to prevent all of this?

Pre-departure. Clean out your vehicle, removing any food items or loose wrappers to prevent pests from moving in. Depending on where you are leaving it, cover with a tarp or at the very least keep a sun visor on the front dash to prevent the dash and steering wheel from chipping.

Have someone come to check on your car. Ask a family member, a friend, or neighbour to check on your car every so often, at least once a month. If you have them start it or take it out for 20-30 mins this will keep the battery charged up and a thin layer of oil on the internal parts. You can also ask them to wash it every few months to prevent the finish from being scratched or faded. If you are parked in the street, you might ask them to come by more frequently and take pictures to maintain a record of its condition.

Away for longer than 6 months and can’t find any help? First, we recommend trying to hire someone as taking it out/starting it up every so often is the best thing to do. If this isn’t feasible, we recommend putting a full tank of gas in to avoid moisture building and causing the gas to go stale, spraying WD-40 or a similar lubricant in the spark plug cylinders, raise your tires off the ground and make sure they are out of the sun, and disconnect the battery before you cover your vehicle with a tarp.

We hope this helps! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or get in contact with your local auto shop – they’ll have the answers to questions you didn’t know you had!

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