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Nissan Shares Tips for Keeping Your Car in Storage

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2020 Nissan Sentra
Photo: Nissan

If you’re like most Americans, you’re probably driving a little less these days, thanks to stay-at-home orders and quarantines. That’s why Nissan has provided a handy guide to maintaining your vehicle while it’s parked in your garage or driveway. According to Ryan Fulkerson, Nissan North America’s director New Model Engineering, “The longer a vehicle sits unused, the more likely it is to develop issues.” Here’s what the Fulkerson recommends doing to stave off problems and keep your car running smoothly.

Battery basics

Low battery
Photo: Chris828

Even when it’s parked, your vehicle will continue to drain power from its battery. While you can keep the battery charged by taking your vehicle for a short drive regularly, Fulkerson also suggests a trickle charger or a battery tender. Just crack open the hood and attach the device to the battery’s terminal. However, this works best for garaged vehicles, since you’ll need access to a power outlet.

Cleanliness is a virtue

Cleaning Supplies
Photo: Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker via CC

Road grime and organic debris — like bugs and bird droppings — can eat away at your vehicle’s finish. Whether you’re storing your car outdoors or in a garage, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough scrubbing to protect its paint job. If you don’t have a garage, Fulkerson mentions investing in a car cover to protect your vehicle from the elements.

Fill up on fluids

Blue windshield washer fluid
Photo: Charles Roderick

Make sure your vehicle’s oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid have been topped off. It’s also a good idea to fill up your car’s gas tank since a partially filled tank can rust over time. Your vehicle’s fluids will also benefit from regular short drives because movement prevents fluids from settling and gumming up your car’s machinery.

Short drives with big benefits

2020 Nissan Sentra
Photo: Nissan

Fulkerson explains that even a 20-minute drive once a week can have a major impact on your vehicle’s health. In addition to keeping the battery charged and the fluids flowing, regular activity prevents rust from forming in your vehicle’s brake system. It can even help prevent flat spots from forming on your tires.

Preventing tire troubles

Tire tread depth rubber
Photo: The News Wheel

Check the sticker on your car’s door to find the vehicle’s recommended tire pressure, and make sure the tires are properly inflated. If you drive a Nissan, you can shortcut the tire-pressure-checking process with the available Nissan EasyFill Tire Alert feature.

For more tips on vehicle care, check out our guide to waxing your car and sanitizing it against COVID-19