Prepping Our Cars for Long Term Parking

by megan
Published: Last Updated on
Prepping Our Cars for Long Term Parking
hanging out with Moe the Fit in the driveway…which is where he’ll be for a while.

This post was sponsored by RepairSmith, thanks, guys!

New York has had a “shelter in place” order for a few weeks now. And it’s safe to say that our traveling adventures have ceased, both abroad and even in our own town.

Currently, we have two cars: a Honda Fit Sport (“Moe”) and a Nissan Versa (Steve never named his. The shame!). Both of which were bought used and are still cruising at under 100k miles. And now, thanks to the PAUSE it looks like we won’t be crossing any new thresholds on our odometers any time soon.

Considering our cars are up there in years (well, mine is…Moe the Fit is from 2008!) we’re extra careful about how we treat them, especially when dealing with the winter roads here and the constant battle to deter rust. But now that we’re not using our cars as much, we’ve had to consider the effects the lack of use will have on them, as well. 

Prepping Our Cars for Long Term Parking

I’ve been reading this article from RepairSmith about how to navigate this unexpected “storage” of our cars. I wanted to share some ideas that we’ve taken on from that blog post and why:

But before we get to that, I wanted to let you know a little bit about RepairSmith, which offers the most convenient way to repair and maintain your car. Now they offer the ability for car owners to get their cars repaired directly in their driveways or at one of their certified repair shops. They make the entire car repair experience easy from start to finish by offering upfront pricing, online booking, after-hours support, and a service warranty.

1. Keeping it clean

Both in terms of inside the car and out. Right now, we’re experiencing the springtime thaw that happens every year. So our cars are getting muddy and gross. So we have been taking the small moments of warm weather to wash our cars and clean out the interiors. The goal is to wash off any dirt and residue from the de-iced that is used on our streets but also to keep any unwanted germs or viruses (ahem) from seeking refuge inside. Also, just as a side tip: I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a travel pack of Clorox wipes in my middle console during this cuckoo time, and definitely recommend you do the same!

2. Turning the cars on

If we don’t have any plans to use one of our vehicles within the next few days, then I’ll start the engine and let it run for a minute or two just to keep the fluids moving and the filters active. 

3. Taking the parking brake off

My family was always fans of manual transmission, so I’ve become used to putting the parking brake on, but I hadn’t realized that leaving it on (while parked in our flat driveway) could be doing long term damage. So now I’m trying to un-learn that habit while my car sits and waits for better days.

One thing we also do that I would recommend is keeping a tab on the fluids in our cars. At the beginning of every month, we go through and check our oil, transmission fluid, and windshield wiper fluid levels just to be sure everything is on the up and up. Hopefully, once we get past this pandemic we’ll be able to head back out and enjoy the Spring and Summer events. But for now, we’re making sure to stay proactive with keeping our vehicles happy and healthy, too!

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