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Car care during lockdown

Car care during lockdown

Today’s post was prompted by a call our guys received last week from a customer. They asked what they were supposed to do with their car as they weren’t using it every day. They also asked whether they needed to turn it over regularly, disconnect the battery or perform any kind of maintenance while it sits idle.

I thought it would make an excellent post in case other Canadians were wondering the same thing.

While Canada hasn’t suffered in the same way other parts of the world have, life has changed a lot here in the past few weeks. People working from home, quieter streets, empty highways and shelter in place restrictions likely on the way. Car care is a minor consideration right now but it is something we all need to bear in mind.

Sitting idle

The good news is that for the short term, you don’t need to do anything to your car while it sits idle. A car or truck can sit for two to three weeks without needing you to rotate tires or turn it over. If we were in winter, you would need to charge the battery or use a battery tender to maintain charge but we aren’t.

If we go into full lockdown, things may change.


Fuel takes many months to ‘go bad’. Going bad just means the chemicals in the gas break down and it becomes less potent in the engine. Gas sitting in the tank for a month or two will be fine. Gas sitting in a tank for six or eight months will still be fine but there are stabilizer products on the market you can add to your gas tank to keep things running smoothly.


Fuel injected vehicles can sit idle for a couple of weeks with no ill effects. Ideally, you could take the car for a drive once a week. Get the engine up to temperature and run it for 10-15 minutes to make sure the oil is hot and keep the engine lubricated.


Like the engine, tires can sit for a few weeks at a time with no ill effect. If you have the opportunity to run the car for a while, that’s great. If your vehicle will be sitting for many weeks, rotate the tires every couple of weeks to prevent deformity and flat spots from sitting in one position with the weight of the car on one patch.

General car care

Keep your car dry and park it in the garage or under cover if you can. Be prepared to check fluids before you begin using it again and you should be good to go. Any potential lockdown shouldn’t be for months at a time so car care requirements are minimal.

If you’re unsure, just book it in for a service once Car Nation Canada is up and running again and we’ll take care of everything for you.

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