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Car Talk

Apr 17, 2024

Preserving Your Car's Health: A Comprehensive Guide to Maintenance for Infrequently Driven Vehicles in Nigeria.

When a car sits undriven, mechanical components can deteriorate, and fluid levels can drop, causing a host of issues. Taking the right steps can help you keep y...

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Maintaining a car that hasn't been driven much in Nigeria can be challenging, especially if it has been sitting for an extended period. When a car sits undriven, mechanical components can deteriorate, and fluid levels can drop, causing a host of issues. Taking the right steps can help you keep your car in good working condition, even if it hasn't been driven much.

In this article, we'll go over some essential tips to help you maintain a car that hasn't been driven much in Nigeria. From checking the battery and tires to changing the oil and using fuel stabilizers, we cover all the necessary steps to keep your vehicle in top condition, so it's always ready to hit the road when you need it.

The importance of car maintenance for infrequently driven vehicles in Nigeria

Car maintenance is equally important regardless of how frequently your car is driven. However, infrequently driven vehicles require special attention as they are more prone to certain issues. One of the primary reasons for this is that these vehicles may sit idle for extended periods, although it may seem like a cost-saving measure, neglecting maintenance can actually lead to a host of problems that can be both expensive and dangerous.

For instance, the battery may discharge, tires may develop flat spots or lose air pressure, the engine may develop rust, and the fuel may become stale, among other issues. Neglecting these issues can result in costly repairs or even render the car unusable.

Neglecting maintenance because you haven’t driven the car in a while can result in the following:

1. A decline in fuel efficiency, leading to higher fuel costs.

2. Dirty air filters, low tire pressure, and worn-out spark plugs can all cause your car to consume more fuel than it should.

3. Skipping regular oil changes that can cause engine damage and result in costly repairs.

4. Neglecting maintenance can compromise your safety on the road. Worn-out brakes, steering that pulls to one side, and bald tires are all examples of maintenance issues that can lead to accidents.

Regular maintenance of infrequen

d oil levels, as well as the condition of the brakes, is also crucial. Changing the oil and filter at least once a year is recommended, regardless of the mileage. With proper care and attention, your car can last longer and remain in good condition, ensuring your safety and that of other road users.

A simple maintenance schedule for infrequently driven cars

Infrequently driven cars require a different maintenance schedule than those that are driven daily. If you have a car that is only driven sporadically, it's important to keep up with basic maintenance tasks to ensure its longevity and performance.

Here's a simple maintenance schedule to follow for your infrequently driven car:

1. Start the Car Regularly: One of the best things you can do for a car that hasn't been driven much is to start the engine regularly. When the engine runs, it helps circulate oil and fuel through the system, preventing components from deteriorating. Experts recommend running the engine for at least 15 minutes every week or two but make sure to drive the car around for at least 20-30 minutes once the engine is warmed up.

Starting the car will also help prevent the battery from dying. If the car hasn't been started for a while, it's a good idea to check the battery's strength before attempting to start it.

2. Check the Fluid Levels: When a car sits undriven, fluid levels can drop, leading to severe damage in some cases. Keep an eye on the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant levels. Make sure to top them off as necessary to prevent any issues, especially the engine.

3. Battery maintenance: Batteries can discharge over time, and leaving a battery unused for long periods can cause it to lose its charge. To avoid this, it's important to start your car and let it run for a few minutes every few weeks to keep the battery charged. Alternatively, you can use a battery tender to keep your battery charged. A battery tender is a device that keeps your car's battery charged while it's not being used. It plugs into a wall outlet and then into the car's battery.

4. Tire maintenance: Tires can develop flat spots if a car is left sitting for too long. To avoid this, you should drive your car for at least 20 minutes every few weeks to keep the tires from developing flat spots. You should also check the tire pressure regularly and inflate them to the recommended level. Also look for signs of discoloration, cracking, or bulging, which could indicate a problem with the tire.

5. Fuel system maintenance: If your car is going to sit for an extended period, it's important to fill the tank with fuel to prevent moisture from accumulating in the tank. You should also consider using a fuel stabilizer to keep the fuel from breaking down over time.

Following through with this routine may be difficult if you are miles away from your vehicle so it is advisable to hand over the car to a trusted person to help you carry out this routine from time to time.

By following this simple maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your infrequently driven car stays in good condition and is ready to go when you need it.

Precautions to take before storing your Vehicle

If you are planning to store your car for an extended period, it is important to prepare it properly to avoid potential damage. Here are some tips to help you prepare your car for long-term storage:

1. Clean the car: Before storing your car, give it a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. Use a high-quality car shampoo for the exterior and clean the interior of the car with a vacuum and a damp cloth. This will help to prevent any dirt, debris, or rust from causing damage to the car's paint or interior.

2. Change the oil: It's a good idea to change the oil and filter before storing your car to remove any contaminants that could lead to corrosion or other issues. To prevent moisture buildup, you should also top up all fluids, including the fuel tank.

3. Add fuel stabilizer: Adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank can help to prevent the fuel from breaking down and causing damage to the engine.

4. Inflate the tires: Inflate the tires to their recommended pressure, as this will help to prevent flat spots from forming on the tires.

5. Disconnect the battery: If you are storing your car for more than a few weeks, it's a good idea to disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining.

6. Cover the car: Finally, cover your car with a breathable car cover to protect it from dust and other debris, and to prevent moisture from building up inside the car.

By following these simple steps, you can help to protect your car and keep it in good condition while it is in storage especially if you are not in Nigeria or the location of the car for a particular period. In conclusion, maintaining a car that hasn't been driven much in Nigeria requires regular attention and care. Regular maintenance checks are essential for any car, but they're especially critical for cars that haven't been driven much. Also, when it comes to maintaining your car, it's important to know when it is time to seek professional help because while there are many things you can do on your own, there are some issues that require the expertise of a trained mechanic. They can diagnose the issue and make any necessary repairs to ensure that your car is running smoothly and safely.

When choosing a mechanic, make sure to ask questions, get a written estimate, and understand the scope of the repair before agreeing to any work.

In Nigeria, many qualified mechanics can help you with your car maintenance needs and Flickwheel has partnered with many of these qualified technicians that have also been vetted through thorough processes to ensure that our users get the best auto services.

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