Some car owners simply don’t drive as much as the average person. Typically, low-mileage drivers are retired, work from home or commute to work via carpool or alternative means, or have a secondary vehicle that is used much less than a primary vehicle.
Low-mileage drivers have slightly different service needs than the typical recommendations given in the user manual. This is because while time passes, the mileage milestones for service aren’t also reached. Some auto parts within your car are affected solely by wear-and-tear, while others are affected by both use and time. Here’s how to maintain your vehicle for longevity as a low-mileage driver.
Before hanging up the keys to your car for a long period of time, there are a few housekeeping items that help to keep your vehicle in top shape for the next time you take it out on the road:
- Top up your fluids and tank of gas
During this step, you might want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank, which helps to keep fuel lines and your car’s engine from corroding
- Check your tires and fill to recommended air pressure
- Clean it – both inside and out!
- Keep it covered as much as possible, either in the garage and/or with a tarp.
- Consider resting your car on lift stands
- Avoid using the parking brake when you park your vehicle for long-term storage
- Hook your battery up to a trickle charger
Maintenance begins the moment you decide to buy a vehicle, regardless of how often you drive it. If you have a hunch that you won’t be using your vehicle for several months, the best idea is to take the extra steps to store it properly, rather than deal with more costly repair and maintenance costs when you finally take it out of the garage.
Even if your car has been in park for the entire month (or longer) it’s important to do a quick check over your vehicle on a regular basis. During these checks, start your car and run your engine for a few minutes (or longer in extreme cold) and take it out for a drive. Generally, your monthly drive should add 15 miles or more to your odometer, just to ensure that your fluids are still running as they should throughout your vehicle and aren’t affected by condensation throughout your fuel lines.
Before turning the key in the ignition, make sure to check for fuel lines where pests may have chewed or damaged parts of your car while it was sitting vacant.
Generally, oil changes only need to be done when the oil is dirty. This means that you should be checking in on your oil every 3 to 4 weeks just to ensure that your oil is clean. If your oil has changed from a golden color to black, it’s time to change it out. When changing out your oil, it would be a good idea to use synthetic oil which prolongs the amount of time needed in between oil changes. For some, 10,000 miles can be added to your car’s odometer before an oil change is necessary.
Keep Up Your 6-Month Maintenance Schedule
Even if your car has seen the highway less than most, it’s still important to take your car into your trusted auto service mechanic for a semi-annual inspection to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This is because parts of your car can still need regular maintenance or even repair even when it’s mostly in park.
When you take your vehicle in every 6 months, ensure that your auto mechanic also inspects your tires and underneath your vehicle for damage. Your mechanic should also ensure that all fluids are as they should be as some fluids are affected by age and not simply by use.
Auto Repair for Your Car
Finding a mechanic you trust is important for your vehicle no matter how often you use it. Once you’ve found a mechanic that is experienced in vehicles like yours, they will be able to make recommendations based on your specific vehicle and driving habits, rather than based solely on timeframes.
For all your auto service needs, reach out to us at AutoScope. Our team is dedicated to providing the best auto repair service that is affordable and long-lasting, giving car owners the confidence to go back on the road.
We service German and European made vehicles, such as Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes. Car owners throughout the Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Flower Mound and Irving areas come to us for quality and efficiency, allowing them to spend less time in the shop. Schedule your maintenance appointment today by contacting us here.