Keeping Your Car Healthy During Self-Isolation: Tips From Top-Rated Auto Repair Shop Founder

Dear Mike,

I hope you’re well. With everything going on right now, I’m self-isolating at home and not driving my car as much as I used to. Is there anything I should be doing to take care of my car while it’s not being used as frequently?


Dear Jazlene,

It’s great to hear from you and I’m glad to know that you’re taking social distancing seriously. Your question is a great one and many people are in the same boat as you. While it’s best to keep your car stored in a garage, not all of us have that luxury. So, let’s dive into some tips to help keep your car in tip-top shape.

First and foremost, when your car sits for long periods of time, rust can build up on the brake rotors causing a horrendous grinding noise when you first hit the brakes. So, when you start the car for the first time after it’s been sitting for a while, don’t be alarmed if you hear a grinding noise. It’s just the rust breaking off the rotors. It’s not pretty, but it’s normal. To avoid this, drive your car at least once every couple of weeks and use the brakes regularly. This will keep them moving and prevent rust build-up.

Secondly, modern cars have many electric components that are always on, even when the car is not running. As a result, if the car sits for long periods of time, the battery can die and you won’t be able to start the car. To avoid this, start your car at least once a week and let it run for about 10 minutes. This will recharge the battery and keep all the electric components running smoothly. Ideally, you should drive the car around for a bit to prevent battery drainage – it’s great for the car and great for you to get out and about.

Another issue that arises when cars sit for long periods of time is rodents nesting in the engine compartment. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. Rodents will seek out a warm and secure place to call home, and your car engine is prime real estate for them. To avoid an unexpected furry roommate, make sure you check under the hood for any signs of rodent nesting before you take your car for a spin. Be sure to remove any nesting materials you find as they can be a fire hazard. Trust me, the last thing you want is to have a family of squirrels living under your hood and a fire to top it off!

In addition to these tips, make sure to keep your car clean and washed during its downtime. This will prevent any dirt or grime build-up on the exterior and keep it looking shiny and new. Plus, taking care of your car can give you a sense of normalcy during a time that feels anything but normal.

So, Jazlene, I hope these tips help you keep your car running smoothly during its downtime. Remember to start your car every week, clean it regularly and check for any signs of rodent nests before taking it out for a spin. And, if you hear any grinding noises from your brakes, don’t worry – it’s just the rust breaking off the rotors.

Take care and stay safe!

Best regards,

Mike Urban, Founder of Urban Automotive, the top Google rated auto repair shop in Oakville, Ontario.