Driving puts a certain measure of wear and tear on a vehicle. Whether a vehicle is used primarily for commuting or as a vessel to take travellers to parts unknown, wear and tear are inevitable.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, individuals may not realize that failing to drive their vehicles regularly also can affect performance. So here’s a closer look at what can happen when vehicles sit idle for lengthy periods of time.

Battery loses its charge

The battery in a vehicle is still being used even if the car isn’t running. Batteries power various components in a car, such as the vehicle computer, phone chargers and more. If the engine does not turn over and help to recharge the battery, the battery will eventually die. People who drive infrequently may want to consider a trickle charger plugged in during periods of non-use.

Tire rot can set in

Dry tire rot is deterioration that sets into the rubber. The material dries out and becomes brittle, causing splits and cracks to form. Driving with tire rot can cause tires to deflate.

Rust and corrosion can occur

There is still plenty of metal in modern vehicles. A vehicle that has been exposed to salt or rain or one that is stored in a moist climate can be susceptible to undercarriage or engine rust. This may cause damage that’s not easily repaired.

Damage from sap or droppings

A vehicle parked in one location for a long time could be a target for bird droppings, fallen berries, sap, and other substances potentially harmful to the paint job. Leaving the car or truck in the sun also means UV rays can cause the clear coat over the paint to oxidize and begin to fail, producing blotchy or peeling spots.

Poor brake performance

When vehicles are left to sit, corrosion could build up on the rotors, and the brake pads may become less flexible. Moisture also may seep into brake lines, causing issues with the pressurization of brake fluid. Each of these factors adds up to brakes that do not work correctly – which is a significant safety hazard.

Formation of tire flat spots

When tires are not used frequently, the weight of the car can continually put pressure on the same parts of the tires, leading to flat spots. Tires also can lose pressure if they sit too long.

Oil and other fluids may lose efficacy

Various fluids can go stale in a vehicle if it isn’t regularly driven.
Gasoline also may develop condensation, which can reduce efficiency and performance. Taking short trips helps avoid this issue.

Infrequent driving can cause damage to a car or truck. But many potential issues can be avoided by driving vehicles more often.