What Can Go Wrong if Your Car Isn't Started in a Long Time


During these unusual times, many people are using their cars less — or not at all. While staying at home can be a safe choice, not starting your car for long periods of time can have unsafe consequences. 


Many components of your car require regular use to maintain optimal performance. If you haven’t started your vehicle for a while, you may experience some issues. We will discuss these potential problems, and how you can prevent or address them. 




The first thing you might notice about your car if you haven’t started it for a while is the exterior. Long periods of disuse can lead to issues with the following parts. 

  • Tires. Your tires hold up the weight of your car. If the tires are in one position for a long time, they can start to become misshapen and deflate. Further, simply refilling the tires once they deflate in this way can become dangerous because they have degraded and can develop weak spots that are prone to breaking — especially while driving at high speeds.
  • Brakes and rotors. These components of the car are especially prone to rust if they are unused. Indications of such consequences are grinding or squeaking when you use the breaks. 
  • Paint job. If your car is left outdoors and unprotected from the elements — whether in the sun or under a tree — your paint job can deteriorate. Rust is especially prone to proliferate when a car is in an extended idle condition. 

While aspects of the exterior are important, you may find the most dramatic effects under the hood. 


Under the Hood


If your car hasn’t been driven for a while, it might not start because of the following components. 

  • Battery. Every time you run your car, you charge your battery. As a result, not starting your car can cause it to die. A dead battery can occur in as little as a couple of weeks. 
  • Fuel pump. A fuel pump needs fluids to flow through it to maintain proper function. Unuse of the fuel pump can cause it to break down. As a result, your car might not start and a mechanic will be necessary to repair or replace the fuel pump. 
  • Gas tank. Exposed metal in an empty, unused gas tank can rust. This rust can cause a variety of malfunctions, including gas leakage. If such a leakage occurs, the tank will need to be replaced, which can be one of the most costly repairs for a car. 

These components are the most noticeable if you need to tow your car to a repair shop. However, noticeable effects of unuse can occur inside of the car as well. 




You may notice the following concerns if you haven’t been inside your car for a while. 

  • Moisture buildup. Certain areas of the car, such as the cabin — as well as the brake fluid reservoir and gas tank — are prone to moisture buildup. As a result, these areas could experience water damage or rust. 
  • Pests. Your unused car may serve as a refuge for visitors such as insects, rodents, and snakes. While this issue may seem like a nuisance, pests can easily cause accidents if they take up residence under the hood and cause damage or emerge and distract you while you are driving. 

All of the issues above are easily prevented and solved — keep reading! 


Preventions & Solutions


What are some ways to prevent these issues? Start your car! You don’t have to go anywhere in particular. But start and drive your car around the block a couple times at least once per week to ensure it continues to run an ideal manner and you can avoid repairs. 



Already incurred some of these issues? Contact Living the Dream. We can help repair and restore your car to an optimal working level. Simply schedule an appointment online or call (339) 237-5151.

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