What you need to know:
- In most cases, the car will fail to start due to a broken down battery.
- Tyres will deflate while some parts rot.
- Cars tend to gather dust that fades away some of paint.
Many people, especially those that travel a lot or work in distant locations park their cars for a long time unaware of the damage they expose them to.
Martin Kaddu works with the UN in Ethiopia and he usually parks his at the airport when he is out of the country.
However, sometimes he finds a number of problems with his car especially when he stays away for long.
What are some of the parts that be affected if a car is parked for a long time?
Battery breaks down
In most cases, the car will fail to start due to a broken down battery. A car battery will hold power for some time until when it is recharged.
Therefore, if the car is stationary, there is a possibility that it will lose power because the battery is not recharged regularly.
According to Godfrey Batte, a mechanic at Taka Holdings, batteries naturally discharge and can only regain charge if the car is driven.
“The car needs to be driven regularly to allows the battery to recharge. In fact, regular longer drives are recommended for the battery to recharge fully,” he says.
In case the car is not driven, Batte advises, at least the engine should be subjected to a daily idling for about 30 minutes or an hour.
They are the only parts of a car that touch the ground and when the car is parked for a long time, they will deflate with some parts rotting.
Such tyres are not safe for driving because they develop invisible weak points, which if not inspected, can turn fatal.
Because the engine uses energy to power the car’s locomotion, it has a number of components that can be damaged through corrosion.
According to Batte, different belts, valves, cylinder walls and wires are susceptible to rust if the car is parked for a long period of time.
This mainly results from low lubrication, which requires that before the car is driven again, different parts must be checked or replaced.
Oil seals, Batte says, must be checked out because they dry out if the car has not been used for a long time.
Dried seals will often tear, which in effect results in massive oil leaks and have the potential to cause damage in other parts of the car.
In most cases, brake discs and other parts rust as a result of inactivity. This loosens up the brakes’ grip overtime, which according to Batte must be replaced to regain the grip.
Car paint and other parts
A car gains immeasurable value if its paint is well spread and in perfect shape.
However, cars that are parked for a long time tend to gather dust that fades away some of paint.
The dust forms a coat that has adverse effects on the paint.
Such damage, according to Godfrey Batte, a mechanic at Taka Holdings, can be mitigated by a car cover that must be kept on the car even if it is parked under a shade or inside a garage.
Apart from the above, the car will also experience leakages in the air conditioning system and rusty suspensions.