Keeping cars ticking over during lockdown

18
Posted 25th Mar
Hi,

I'd like to get a discussion going around what to do with largely inactive cars. Not sure if what follows is myth or not, so advice appreciated, as its mostly garnered from my my memory of reading Honest John articles.

I guess hooking up to a trickle charger is best, but not always possible with street parking.

Could you run it idle for say 20 minutes instead?

I've heard you should roll the car back a few feet every few weeks, to avoid tyre damage?

Other things I've heard is to maintain a fully full tank of fuel, to avoid condensation build up.

How would you avoid corrosion to the diff?

Anything else I've missed (wd40 squirting into door hinges perhaps)?
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18 Comments
eslick25/03/2020 06:05

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Wrong!!! In answer to the original question most of those measures are for older cars. Modern cars will have no problems at all if they have to sit without use for a while.
PaulJDick25/03/2020 06:43

[Image] Wrong!!! In answer to the original question most of those measures …[Image] Wrong!!! In answer to the original question most of those measures are for older cars. Modern cars will have no problems at all if they have to sit without use for a while.


Not quite true. A battery will always some life kicking into it...newer batteries require less.
The only real issue will be keeping the battery charged, personally I would start it once a week and let it idle until the engine is at operating temperature.
This gives the battery a decent amount of charge and also gets the engine warm enough to dry out any condensation, along with the interior of the car.

Modern cars draw far more current from the battery when standing than older cars did, older cars didn't have ECU's and Infotainment systems that all require battery power to remember settings etc. Turning a modern car off is more like putting it in standby.
PaulJDick25/03/2020 06:43

[Image] Wrong!!! In answer to the original question most of those measures …[Image] Wrong!!! In answer to the original question most of those measures are for older cars. Modern cars will have no problems at all if they have to sit without use for a while.


Yes but like much of this it’s not totally clear, as said the media and their experts have said its okay, who actually knows though, we thought the country is in lockdown but if you can’t work from home you are allowed to go to work. The definition of travel is as vague as who could and couldn’t go to work.

Everyone should stop in but the “experts” are quoted across several media but granted it’s different depending on which you read, one example is below and there are many out there.

CAN I GO OUT FOR A DRIVE?

Going for an occasional drive is fine if you do not get out and have a chat with anyone.
Edited by: "eslick" 25th Mar
I would just be taking it out for a 25-30 minute drive every few weeks. Will clear brake surface rust, charge your battery quicker as alternator load will be higher than at idle. Driving for this time will warm tyres and sort any temp flat spots in this period. I also really dont like to idle cars for long periods, opinions differ, I'd rather oil warmed gradually than sitting for 30mins not hitting a good temp. Combine this time with getting away somewhere quiet for exercise if possible.
Have been away for a month and my car (2011) has started OK on our return. That was in January / February too when the weather was cold.
Edited by: "yorkie12" 25th Mar
Just drive it
Just go for a drive every few days, good for the car and good for your mind.
What do people do when they go on holiday for four weeks? Nothing, and usually, the car is fine upon their return. If you have a petrol or diesel car, I think you'll be fine.

However, electric cars may need different care. No idea about them!
eslick25/03/2020 07:36

Yes but like much of this it’s not totally clear, as said the media and t …Yes but like much of this it’s not totally clear, as said the media and their experts have said its okay, who actually knows though, we thought the country is in lockdown but if you can’t work from home you are allowed to go to work. The definition of travel is as vague as who could and couldn’t go to work. Everyone should stop in but the “experts” are quoted across several media but granted it’s different depending on which you read, one example is below and there are many out there.CAN I GO OUT FOR A DRIVE?Going for an occasional drive is fine if you do not get out and have a chat with anyone.


I think it would be unwise to make anything but essential trips in the car, if you are on the road you are at an increased risk of been involved in a collision and possibly adding further to the stress the nhs is under. If you don’t drive there isn’t any risk.
myusernamehasgone23425/03/2020 09:47

I think it would be unwise to make anything but essential trips in the …I think it would be unwise to make anything but essential trips in the car, if you are on the road you are at an increased risk of been involved in a collision and possibly adding further to the stress the nhs is under. If you don’t drive there isn’t any risk.


If the unfortunate event that something happens to your car you would have to call someone out to help you. Which may go against the rules stated by the government. As a previous poster has said your cara are sat still for 3-4 weeks while on holiday and fine on the way back.
Unless it’s a really old car I’d just run it for 5 mins outside your house, run it up your street and back home.
What about MOTs?
andymagic25/03/2020 07:29

The only real issue will be keeping the battery charged, personally I …The only real issue will be keeping the battery charged, personally I would start it once a week and let it idle until the engine is at operating temperature.This gives the battery a decent amount of charge and also gets the engine warm enough to dry out any condensation, along with the interior of the car.Modern cars draw far more current from the battery when standing than older cars did, older cars didn't have ECU's and Infotainment systems that all require battery power to remember settings etc. Turning a modern car off is more like putting it in standby.



I use a solar panel trickle charger amazon.co.uk/Pow…E46

Has served me well for years.Never had battery problems even doing short journeys.
wandaluzt25/03/2020 10:49

I use a solar panel trickle charger …I use a solar panel trickle charger https://www.amazon.co.uk/Powered-Battery-Charger-Caravan-Package/dp/B07P7C6QLD/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=solar+car+battery+charger+obdc&qid=1585133158&quartzVehicle=29-405&replacementKeywords=solar+car+battery+obdc&sr=8-1-fkmr0&swrs=D027B55A21ACBAE1BDF7C0521A7A9E46Has served me well for years.Never had battery problems even doing short journeys.


Yes, this is a good idea, can you sit it in the front window?

I forgot about the brakes, they need a bit more than dabbing whilst rolling back and forth don't they?

Also, should the handbrake be left on?
Edited by: "zcaprd7" 25th Mar
zcaprd725/03/2020 10:50

Yes, this is a good idea, can you sit it in the front window?I forgot …Yes, this is a good idea, can you sit it in the front window?I forgot about the brakes, they need a bit more than dabbing whilst rolling back and forth don't they?Also, should the handbrake be left on?


Yeah you can sit them in the front window on the dash or the back, in fact I think mine came with suction cups to leave it in window permanently, although I personally wouldn't as this model is huge. Cable is long enough to go anywhere in the car.

As for the brakes, they only really suggest taking off the handbrake and leaving the car in gear if you are not going to be using the car for months. You would need chocks to be on the safe side if you do this. Really I think people only need to be concerned with making sure their batteries are topped up.

There is a lot of misinformation about coronavirus and social distancing going around, gov.uk/cor…rus has what people need to know on it. Speculation can be very unhelpful. Right now, we are meant to be keeping away from people who are not in our household to avoid the spread, it is as simple as that. If you are going out for a drive in your car and not coming into contact with anyone then you are quite obviously following that advice and its fine. We will only go into full lock down if people are unwilling to follow the most basic of advice. Unfortunately, I see that coming, because a lot of people just don't care.
wandaluzt25/03/2020 11:04

Yeah you can sit them in the front window on the dash or the back, in fact …Yeah you can sit them in the front window on the dash or the back, in fact I think mine came with suction cups to leave it in window permanently, although I personally wouldn't as this model is huge. Cable is long enough to go anywhere in the car.As for the brakes, they only really suggest taking off the handbrake and leaving the car in gear if you are not going to be using the car for months. You would need chocks to be on the safe side if you do this. Really I think people only need to be concerned with making sure their batteries are topped up.There is a lot of misinformation about coronavirus and social distancing going around, https://gov.uk/coronavirus has what people need to know on it. Speculation can be very unhelpful. Right now, we are meant to be keeping away from people who are not in our household to avoid the spread, it is as simple as that. If you are going out for a drive in your car and not coming into contact with anyone then you are quite obviously following that advice and its fine. We will only go into full lock down if people are unwilling to follow the most basic of advice. Unfortunately, I see that coming, because a lot of people just don't care.


Well yes, there seems to be two aspects at play, the sprit and common sense behind each government request (don't potentially spread Covid-19) and the Great British public's appetite for following rules to the letter, however daft....

Presumably you could tell the rozzers you are on your way to the shops if they did stop you?
myusernamehasgone23425/03/2020 09:47

I think it would be unwise to make anything but essential trips in the …I think it would be unwise to make anything but essential trips in the car, if you are on the road you are at an increased risk of been involved in a collision and possibly adding further to the stress the nhs is under. If you don’t drive there isn’t any risk.



fully agree, been out today for essentials for 5 lots of people, nightmare trying to get that many peoples shops and its like a ghost town out there. Stay safe.
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