not drivable car

What happens if a car is not driven for an extended period?

8 minutes, 7 seconds Read

Ever wondered what happens to your car when it’s left untouched for a while? Imagine this: your trusty four-wheeled companion, parked and silent for weeks on end. It might seem like a peaceful slumber, but beneath the surface, things aren’t as serene. 

From tires to batteries, fluids to brakes, your car isn’t a big fan of being idle. In this quick read, we’ll unravel the mystery of what really goes on when your car takes a prolonged break. No jargon, just plain talk about how your car copes – or struggles – when it’s left alone.

Tire Issues

Have you ever left your car parked for a long time? Well, your car’s tires might not be too happy about it! Let’s talk about what can go wrong with your tires when they’re not rolling on the road. 

Flat Spots from Sitting Still Imagine a tire sitting in one place for a while, like when your car is parked. The weight of the car on the same spot can create flat spots on the tires. 

It’s like when you sit on a pillow for too long, and it gets a dent. These flat spots can make your ride bumpy and uncomfortable

Low Tire Pressure and Cracks Tires can also lose air over time, especially when your car isn’t moving. When the air pressure inside the tires gets too low, it can cause problems. 

The sides of the tires, called sidewalls, might develop cracks. These cracks weaken the tires and make them unsafe.

Keep Moving to Keep Tires Happy To avoid these issues, it’s a good idea to move your car a bit even if you’re not driving it regularly. Just a short trip around the block can help the tires keep their shape and stay healthy. 

Also, check the tire pressure every once in a while and fill them up if needed. Happy tires make for a smoother ride!

Battery Concerns

Your car’s battery is like its heart, providing the power needed to start the engine and run electronics. But when your car sits still for too long, trouble can brew.

Battery Self-Discharge Batteries lose charge on their own – it’s like they’re slowly dozing off. So, when you leave your car alone for a while, the battery might quietly lose its energy, leaving you with a flat battery when you’re ready to roll.
Electronics at Play Even when your car is snuggled up, its electronics stay awake. They sip small amounts of power from the battery, kind of like leaving a light on at home. This can add up and leave your battery drained, much to its dismay.
The Dreaded Dead Battery After a stretch of inactivity, your battery might just give up the ghost. You turn the key, and nothing happens. A jump-start might come to the rescue, but sometimes, you might need a new battery to get back on the road.

Don’t leave your battery feeling neglected – give it a little attention, or it might just leave you stranded. You must not avoid such serious issues in your cars, as many cars end up in junk car removal services. They explained the thousands of cars they collect with such problems. 

Fluid Deterioration

When your car takes a nap for too long, its fluids aren’t too happy about it either. Imagine water sitting in a glass for weeks – it gets a bit yucky, right? Well, your car’s fluids can feel the same way.

Effects of Fluid Settling:

Picture this: fluids like oil, coolant, and fuel find their comfy spots when your car is parked. But if left like that for ages, they start acting weird. Oil gets thick and sludgy, coolant loses its ability to keep things cool, and fuel becomes kind of… stale.

Consequences of Ignoring Them

Now, old oil can make your engine grumble, degraded coolant might lead to overheating tantrums, and stale fuel? Let’s just say your car won’t be in the mood to go vroom.

Solution: Change Those Fluids!

Don’t worry, this isn’t complicated. Just like you need a fresh glass of water, your car needs fresh fluids. Before you hit the road again, get a mechanic to swap the old fluids for new ones. Your car will thank you with smoother rides and happier hums.

Remember, just as you’d feel sluggish after a long rest, your car’s fluids need a wake-up call too. 

Mechanical Components

When your car snoozes for too long, its insides can start feeling a bit grumpy. Here’s the scoop:

  1. Rust and Corrosion: Imagine you leave your bike in the rain. It gets rusty, right? Same deal with your car’s insides. If it doesn’t stretch its legs, rust can creep in like an unwelcome guest. This rust can mess with important parts, making them weak and not so friendly.
  2. Lubrication’s Role: Just like how lotion keeps your skin soft, lubrication (a fancy word for oil) helps car parts glide smoothly. When the car’s inactive, this oil can start acting lazy. Without regular action, parts can start rubbing against each other, causing wear and tear. 
  3. Moving Parts Matter: Think about stretching after a nap – it feels good, right? Same for car parts. They need to move sometimes, or they might decide to get stuck. When parts get stuck, they can’t do their job properly, and that’s not a good thing.

So, remember, if you want your car’s insides to stay cheerful, give them a little movement, keep them oiled up, and don’t let rust make itself at home!  You can take relief if you don’t want to keep your car anymore, you can sell it and get cash for cars Sydney with popular services. 

Braking System

Brakes are like your car’s safety superheroes, but even they can face troubles when the car stays still for too long.

Surface Rust on Brake Rotors: Imagine metal parts meeting moisture over time – that’s like a recipe for rust. Brake rotors, the round discs near the wheels, can develop a thin layer of rust on their surface when they’re not used. This rust isn’t a fan of smooth stops; it can make your brakes feel less effective and a bit jerky.

Stuck Brake Pads: Picture this: brake pads pressed against the rotors, like a hug that’s gone on for too long. Corrosion can cause the pads to stick to the rotors when the car sits idle. When you start driving again, they might not let go smoothly, leading to a shaky start and uneven braking.

Keep Brakes Happy: Brakes love to be in action – it’s what they’re built for. To prevent rust and sticky situations, take your car for a spin once in a while. This simple act keeps the brake parts moving, rubbing off rust, and staying ready for action. Remember, happy brakes mean safer stops.

Exterior and Interior Damage:

Leaving your car parked for a long time can cause problems both on the outside and the inside.

Effects of Elements: When a car sits outside, it faces rain, sun, and more. This can hurt the paint, the rubber parts, and even the plastic pieces. They might start to wear down and not look good.

Cracks and Fading: The dashboard inside the car could get cracks due to heat, and the seats might start to fade. The colours on the surfaces might change and not look nice anymore.

Protect Your Car: To keep your car safe, try to park it under a roof or use covers. These covers can shield your car from bad weather and help it stay looking nice.

Taking care of both the outside and inside will keep your car looking good even after it’s been parked for a while. 

Electrical System Issues

Rodent Troubles: Imagine tiny critters turning your car’s wiring into a chewy snack. Rodents, like mice, can sneak in and nibble on the wires, causing all sorts of chaos in the electrical system.

Dampness Dilemma: Think about how your hair gets all frizzy in the rain – well, your car’s electrical system isn’t a fan of moisture either. Water can mess up the connections and make things go haywire.

Stay Clean and Dry: Keep your car tidy and dry to avoid these problems. Regular cleaning and parking in a dry spot can save you from these pesky issues. Remember, a clean and dry car is a happy car!

Safety and Legal Considerations

Staying Ready for Surprises: It’s like having an umbrella on a cloudy day. Keeping your car fit for the road, even if it sits mostly, is like having a safety net for unexpected moments. You wouldn’t want your car to go “uh-oh” when you need it most.

Following the Rules: Imagine your car as a student and the rules are its textbooks. If your car’s registration, checkup, or insurance gets old and wrinkled, you might end up in a not-so-fun chat with the authorities. It’s like renewing your membership to the “Good Driver’s Club.”

Hugs and Checkups: Just like we visit the doctor for a checkup, your car needs some love too. Taking it for a spin now and then, along with regular checkups, helps avoid all these roadblocks. It’s like a mini vacation for your car and peace of mind for you.

Remember, a happy car is a safe car, and a safe car keeps you smiling on the road!


In conclusion, allowing a car to remain unused for an extended period can lead to a host of issues ranging from tire damage and battery drainage to fluid deterioration and rust formation. To avoid these problems, it’s essential to engage in periodic maintenance and take the vehicle for short drives. By staying proactive, car owners can ensure their vehicles remain in good condition, ready for whenever they hit the road again.


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