Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 19th June 2012, 20:10   #196
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 156
Thanked: 131 Times
Question Maintenance for cars with low usage

Hi all, I own a 4 year old Maruti Alto Lxi and the car has given me trouble free service so far. I am faced with a fairly uncommon situation for someone working out of a 'near metro' (namma bengalooroo). Until last year my office was 15 KM from home so the Alto would end up doing at least 30 - 35 KM a day. On the whole I'd logged almost 22K KMs in about 2.5 years. Last year my office was shifted to a place less than 4 KM from home (Lucky me ). Given the short distance and convenience of a motorbike, I've almost completely stopped using the car. The result - In the last 15 months, she has only clocked ~2K KM (Yes that's 2000 KM in more than a year!)

Coming to the purpose of this post - for a car that runs only this much, what kind of preventive/reactive maintenance can I perform to keep it tip top. Following are some steps I already follow based on my own beliefs (which of course could be flawed)
1. Car used 'only' for short drives - I read somewhere that engines with this kind of a usage pattern are prone to sludge formation. Every 3 - 4 weeks I take her out on a drive of at least 35 km.
2. Watch out for cracks on tyres and rubber parts - Not sure this is applicable to the low usage case, but I do it nevertheless.
3. Rodent attacks - I've had this before and it makes me weep blood. I can't think of anything preventive for this.
4. Exposure to damp - WD40 on any signs of rust, nuts, bolts, door hinges locks etc. The place I park is mostly dry but stays wet almost all the time during monsoon. As of now, I only look for visible signs of rust on the outside. Afraid, I cannot look very closely at the underbody. I also notice rust formation on the front discs whenever it stays parked for more than a week. Produces a sort of rubbing sound when the brakes are applied. WD40 is obviously out of question here (duh!)
5. Regular servicing & oil change - I've been following the manual - that's 10K KM or 1 year, whichever occurs first. The question is - when the car is so low on running, is the oil change still required?
6. Battery - The car still runs on the factory fitted Amaron maintenance free and so far (touch wood) she starts every time without a flinch. The longest she's been idle is about three weeks. Should I get a charger with normal/trickle charge capability? I don't even know if such things are available off the shelf.

Of late I'm also noticing a definite roughness in the engine which seems to reduce after a long drive.

Thanks in advance for everybody's ideas.

MODS: Please relocate if this is not the right place for this query
isiv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th June 2012, 22:00   #197
BHPian
 
amrisharm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: siliguri/Darj
Posts: 505
Thanked: 299 Times
Default Re: Maintenance for cars with low usage

I also have a low use Santro. In 1.5 years I have only clocked 7,000 kms. I just have a question regarding something that has surfaced during the monsoons. I drove my santro during heavy rains the last couple of times it was taken out, and suddenly at idle I hear the fan belts on the engine squeak quite a bit. At first I thought maybe the bearings in the engine had been damaged, but I ruled that out as when the engine is revved the squeaking noise goes away. I have owned other cars in the past but never experienced this squeaking belt during heavy rains.

Is there anything I can do like lubricate the fan belts or something? any advice will be of great help thanks.
amrisharm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th June 2012, 08:25   #198
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,742
Thanked: 2,871 Times
Default Re: Maintenance for cars with low usage

A lot of problems can be avoided if you take the car out for a short drive every 3-4 days; that ways, all the mechanicals don't catch rush, oils are flowing, tyres and battery remain healthy.

A detailed thread : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...s-donts-8.html (Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by isiv View Post
5. Regular servicing & oil change - I've been following the manual - that's 10K KM or 1 year, whichever occurs first. The question is - when the car is so low on running, is the oil change still required?
If the running is low, change the engine oil as per the time interval.
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th June 2012, 09:29   #199
BHPian
 
infotech58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 629
Thanked: 217 Times
Default Re: Maintenance for cars with low usage

first of all: you are saving a fortune on petrol expense.

and secondly,

1. the major damage is done to the engine of the car that is used for short hauls - by the time engine warms up properly, your journey is already over, so it is just like running the a cold engine all the times; it affects the FE too to a large extent. you can not do much about it, but make sure you take your car out for a 20-30 KM run once in a week or once in two weeks and/or try to warm up the engine for a minute or two before start driving for your short hauls.

2. cracks on tyres and rubber parts should not be a concern here unless car is parked for excessively long times (a couple of months at a stretch).

3. rodent attack is a very possibility; i can not comment much on the ways to prevent.

4. is your car parked in an open area? if yes, do not cover it (if you do) while it is wet. give your car a good polish/wax before rains. i do not think that modern cars require antirust underbody treatment. rust on brake disks is pretty common (in mumbai, i see it even if i park my car for two days) and nothing to worry about that, just be careful with brakes for first 1-1.5 KMs. if possible, try to park WITHOUT handbrake engaged when parking for longer intervals, it would prevent brake pads getting stuck on disks, you may park with gear in 1st or reverse.

5. yes, oil change is required at least once in 12 months.

6. so long as your car is started and run at least once in a week or once in two weeks, there are little chances of battery drain. if you are parking the car for longer intervals, disconnect the terminals and it would prevent the battery from draining out.

engine feeling rough after short hauls (or bumper to bumper traffic) is also normal, just go on a long drive, and revv up the engine a bit and it would go away.

Last edited by infotech58 : 20th June 2012 at 09:35.
infotech58 is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th June 2012, 10:06   #200
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 4,116
Thanked: 3,490 Times
Default Re: Maintenance for cars with low usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrisharm View Post
I also have a low use Santro. In 1.5 years I have only clocked 7,000 kms. I just have a question regarding something that has surfaced during the monsoons. I drove my santro during heavy rains the last couple of times it was taken out, and suddenly at idle I hear the fan belts on the engine squeak quite a bit. At first I thought maybe the bearings in the engine had been damaged, but I ruled that out as when the engine is revved the squeaking noise goes away. I have owned other cars in the past but never experienced this squeaking belt during heavy rains.

Is there anything I can do like lubricate the fan belts or something? any advice will be of great help thanks.
Dont lubricate the belt.
get it changed.
fan belts for santro will be about 100-150 bucks.
if you get it changed outside, thats 50-100 for labor depending on where you go.
Forget the lube.
mayankk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 6th August 2012, 11:40   #201
Senior - BHPian
 
narayan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2,772
Thanked: 1,166 Times
Default How to protect your car when not in use

Hi Guys
just wanted to know whether the above topic has been discussed anywhere ? My bro intends to leave his Honda City un-used for an indefinite period since he is moving abroad. What are the key things to be taken care prior to that ?

I could only think of
1) disconnecting the battery
2) using a good car cover

could you please advise what other things need to be taken care so that, whenver he is back, the car can be used without much of hassles

thanks a lot !
narayan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2012, 22:08   #202
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,742
Thanked: 2,871 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

My City and Zen are going to be idle for 2.5 months so I was thinking of disconnecting the battery terminals.

Now the City has an Immobilizer; so, if I disconnect the battery; the Immobilizer will be power-less too, right? So the only protection the car has is the door locks and gear lock, right?
libranof1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th August 2012, 22:12   #203
Distinguished - BHPian
 
dhanushs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bathery/BLR
Posts: 3,446
Thanked: 4,057 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Now the City has an Immobilizer; so, if I disconnect the battery; the Immobilizer will be power-less too, right? So the only protection the car has is the door locks and gear lock, right?
Hi Nishad,

Hows the new place?

Re immobilizer: It works when someone is trying to crank up your car using a duplicate key. So to crank up, one needs a battery. Do your math.

Regards,

Dhanush
Quote:
Originally Posted by narayan View Post
1) disconnecting the battery
2) using a good car cover
Apart from these,
  • Please do jack up the car to save tyres.
  • Please put in any kind of silica gel, to avoid moisture.
  • Please put in any rat repellent.
  • Please disengage the hand brakes
  • If possible, remove wiper blades too.
This is what I can think of now. Please check previous pages of this thread. I'm sure you will find more.

Last edited by dhanushs : 18th August 2012 at 22:16.
dhanushs is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th December 2012, 17:02   #204
Newbie
 
gauravkcec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Noida
Posts: 12
Thanked: Once
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

So I am leaving my Astar for about 3 months as I am coming to banglore and I need some advice.

Option 1: Disconnect battery cover it and leave it.

Option 2: My mom can idle the car(cant drive) for half an hour every 5 days and BIL will drive for 15-20 kms once a month or every fortnight.

Which is the better option.

P.S. My battery has a history of fast discharge i.e 10 days.
gauravkcec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2013, 21:02   #205
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 121
Thanked: 82 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

I will be out for an overseas assignment for almost 4.5 months which means my diesel fluidic verna will be sitting idle. I went through the thread and did the following:

1. Yesterday I went to the the Hyundai Service center got the basic check up ( engine oil, lubrication on brakes etc) done.

2. I checked with the SA about disconnecting the battery cables. He said I just need to disconnect the -ve terminal. No need to disconnect the +ve terminal and remove the battery. That is only required for long term idling in low temperatures. I read somewhere that one needs to disconnect both terminals but chose to go by what the SA advised. Not sure i did the correct thing.

3. Put some Naphthalene balls in the cabin to prevent fungus.

4. Disengaged the parking brake

5. Have kept the car in 2nd gear.

Hope the above measures should take care of things. Will miss my car !!
champ27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2013, 22:43   #206
Senior - BHPian
 
bluevolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 2,963
Thanked: 2,211 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

Quote:
Originally Posted by champ27 View Post
I will be out for an overseas assignment for almost 4.5 months which means my diesel fluidic verna will be sitting idle. I went through the thread and did the following:

Hope the above measures should take care of things. Will miss my car !!
If possible park your car in shade or keep it covered.
bluevolt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th March 2013, 23:43   #207
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bangalore,Coorg
Posts: 790
Thanked: 361 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

Quote:
Originally Posted by champ27 View Post
I will be out for an overseas assignment for almost 4.5 months which means my diesel fluidic verna will be sitting idle. I went through the thread and did the following:

1. Yesterday I went to the the Hyundai Service center got the basic check up ( engine oil, lubrication on brakes etc) done.

2. I checked with the SA about disconnecting the battery cables. He said I just need to disconnect the -ve terminal. No need to disconnect the +ve terminal and remove the battery. That is only required for long term idling in low temperatures. I read somewhere that one needs to disconnect both terminals but chose to go by what the SA advised. Not sure i did the correct thing.

3. Put some Naphthalene balls in the cabin to prevent fungus.

4. Disengaged the parking brake

5. Have kept the car in 2nd gear.

Hope the above measures should take care of things. Will miss my car !!
You need a windscreen sun shade at the very least, unless your car is in a covered parking that has zero access to the sun. Preferable is a car cover. Not only does a cover prevent dirt from settling on the car, it also keeps the vehicle cool.

The only thing is if the car is parked outdoors where rain can fall on it, then you need someone to remove the car cover during the monsoon as a wet cover will speed up the rusting process

Also, fill up the petrol tank and leave it.
pganapathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2013, 08:44   #208
Senior - BHPian
 
ghodlur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Thane
Posts: 5,041
Thanked: 2,086 Times
Smile re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

Quote:
Originally Posted by champ27 View Post
I will be out for an overseas assignment for almost 4.5 months which means my diesel fluidic verna will be sitting idle. I went through the thread and did the following:

Hope the above measures should take care of things. Will miss my car !!
Just one additional measure, inflate the car tyres to a slightly higher than usual pressure and if possible cover the car with a good cover. I hope you dont have the rat infestation issue or else there is another thread which covers that aspects too.

All the best.
ghodlur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2013, 08:54   #209
Awaiting Email Confirmation
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: ............
Posts: 3,260
Thanked: 4,212 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

Quote:
Originally Posted by champ27 View Post
He said I just need to disconnect the -ve terminal.
That's enough.
Quote:
Hope the above measures should take care of things. Will miss my car !!
1. Keep both windscreen wipers out of contact with the glass, i.e., perpendicular to the windscreen.

2. Keep a stone or a wooden block abutting two wheels atleast to prevent movement.
J.Ravi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th March 2013, 15:05   #210
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 3,068
Thanked: 6,244 Times
Default re: Long-term Parking: Do's and Don'ts

I have three cars in long term storage in my home country the Netherlands, so let me share my experience with you:

I have a 1982 Mercedes W123, a 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider and a 2002 Jaguar XJR.

The Mercedes and the Alfa Romeo have been in storage since August 2009 when we moved to the US. The Jaguar is a relative new aquisition and has been in storage since December 2012.

My cars are stored inside a properly ventilated and even slighty heated building. Even so, I have dust covers on them. If you have to leave your car for a prolonged period out on the road in the open I would invest in a heavy duty outdoor cover.

I really haven't taken any special precautions when puttin them away. I do fill the tank to the brim, to avoid condensation. I also inflate the tyres to about 130% of their normal value. And the cars get cleaned and waxed before they are put away.

The cars get driven only very occassionally but have stood still for more than 6-9 months at a stretch. Once the fuel in the Alfa became stale. That was a bit of a problem, because we didn't find out after we tried to start. That meant not only draining the tank, but also all the fuel lines, injectors etc.

But other than that, the cars have always started without problems. The one thing you want to pay attention to is the brakes. Brakes are usually the first things that get stuck after pro-longed stand still. The trick is to ensure proper preventive maintenance and make sure the appropiate parts are well lubricacted with special brake paste which will protect seezing.

Putting extra pressure in the tyres will prevent the tyres from going square. I've had no problems with the tyres whatsoever.

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long term car parking at RGIA Hyderabad TheDoors Shifting gears 26 9th January 2017 10:48
Parking space in independent house-Don't repeat my mistake mooza Street Experiences 45 17th February 2012 10:13
Need Help: Car PC and ICE (long term project) Devil on Wheels In-Car Entertainment 25 10th June 2010 19:01
Short Term vs Long Term Ownership, New Car vs Used Car Ownership architect The Indian Car Scene 10 9th May 2008 11:39


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 14:40.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks