How Long Can You Leave a Car Without Starting It?

Naomi O'Colman

How Long Can You Leave a Car Without Starting It

Sometimes we aren’t able to take a drive and our cars have to sit for quite a long time like during Covid lockdowns. It could be a few weeks to a few months. So how long can you leave a car without starting it? We don’t want any problems with our friends.

The quick answer is the car shouldn’t be left untouched for more than a month without being driven for 10 minutes. Otherwise, the following problems may occur.

What Happens When A Car Sit for Too Long

#1 Run Out of Battery

If the car is left for a long time, you should check the battery. If it runs out, you must recharge it before using it.

#2 Rusting of Parts

The oxidation rate of rusting is much higher when the car is left for a long time. For example, if there are small amounts of water in the engine oil, it will be oxidized by air quickly after being left for a few weeks.

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If there is no water, oil, and leakage in your vehicle, dents will not occur. However, if there are any dents left, you must polish them to prevent rust.

#3 Leakage of Oil

Oil leakage is another common problem occurring in cars left for a long time. Because of the oxidation and leakage, old oil can cause many problems such as foul odors and oily water coming to the driver’s seat.

#4 Flat Tires

Leaving the car for a long time can seriously damage your tires. This happens because air pressure in the tires will lose, causing them to look flat-spot shape.

#5 Pest Invasion

If you leave your car for a long time, it can attract many pests. For example, if you leave the car for 1 month without water, dead insects will be inside the engine bay. Sometimes you may even find fleas or even mice in the engine compartment.

When all of these things happen, they can lead to a more expensive repair than just starting the car and driving it.

How Long Can a Car Sit Without Starting?

The simplest and best solution is to just turn the car on and drive it for about 10 minutes every couple of weeks. This may be inconvenient for some people, but this is an easy way to keep everything in working order. If you do this, you won’t have any problems with your vehicle starting up or running for very long after sitting for so long.

If the car is running and not being driven for a long time, more than one of the above problems can happen. If this occurs, there may not be a simple and cheap solution to fix the issue.

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For example, your car may startup but not be able to idle properly or start at all. When this happens, it could lead to a very expensive engine replacement such as a rebuilt engine or complete transmission replacement. You would then have to take it to a mechanic that specializes in auto repairs for help with fixing it again.


Nowadays, cars are much more environmentally friendly than old ones. But if you leave your car without starting it for a long time, the problems above will happen to your car. So if you want to save energy, remember not to leave your car without starting it for a long time.