6 Reasons to Never Let Your Car Sit Too Long

Cars are some of the most valuable things an average person will own, so it makes sense for drivers to take good care of their cars. Cars are complicated machines. It will spend most of its life in many cases sitting around somewhere. However, it’s actually not a good idea to let your car sit around for too long as it can cause damage to the car. Here’s six reasons why letting your car sit too long can lead to it not starting or getting damaged.

1. Your fuel can go bad

Like Erie Insurance wrote, one of the things that can happen when you let your car sit around too long is that the gas in the tank can go bad. This happens because it interacts with the oxygen, causing gas to degrade. This usually starts to occur after a month, but the gas won’t actually go bad for three to six months.

Once gas goes bad, it may not ignite, and it can damage the car’s fuel system. This is usually avoided by just taking the car out for a drive, which burns through gas and thus, allows folks to fill up with a fresh batch. 

2. A car’s battery needs constant exercise

Just like with gas, a car’s battery needs to be used, or it too can have issues. This doesn’t apply to EV batteries, as it primarily applies to the batteries in a gas-powered car because the battery is losing charge, and it’ll go dead in about two to three months. This can be prevented by simply driving the car, as the engine will recharge the battery. 

3. The car can rust faster

Two cars sit too long in tall grass that is light blue and yellow.
Cars sitting | Getty Images

Rust happens for many different reasons, but one of the main things that can cause a car to rust faster is letting it sit without adequately protecting it. In the worst-case scenario, rust can form in just a week, according to Erie Insurance. 

4. Tires can develop flat spots

Another thing that can happen from letting your car sit for too long is that the tires can form a flat spot in the area where the tire touches the ground. This can happen after just a month of sitting around. When this happens, it can create a vibration when the car is finally being driven again. Sometimes, this problem can be fixed by simply driving the car around for a bit. Other times, folks will just need new tires.

5. Belts and hoses will still need to be replaced

Most drivers who don’t have too much experience with car maintenance are aware that they should replace things based on mileage. But many parts of a car will need to be replaced after a certain amount of time, no matter the mileage. In the case of belts and hoses, these parts may need to be replaced after just three to five years, even if it’s been sitting around collecting dust. 

6. Pests can make your car into their home

While it can be cute to find a cat living in your car, it’s common that pests will take up residence in a vehicle, especially one that’s been sitting for a while. These pests, which include mice and other rodents, can do serious damage to a car. They love to chew wires, which can have terrible effects, especially if they chew through the right ones. 

RELATED: How to Protect Your Car From Rodents, According to Consumer Reports