Why Letting Your Car Sit Could Lead To Tire Repairs

If you don't drive your car when you are under orders to stay at home, you may end up needing some repair work, depending on the shape your car was in before you stopped driving. When you don't drive your car for a while -- as in weeks or months, and not just a few days -- the tires can experience problems known as flat spots. These are exactly what they sound like: areas where part of the tire flattens out and kind of molds into that shape. This doesn't happen on all cars and doesn't happen for all cars left sitting, but it can happen to any car.

The Weight of the Car

When you leave your car parked in one spot for an extended time, the weight of the car presses down on the tires. The rubber of the tires is, of course, flexible, and that means that the spot on the tire that is adjacent to the ground will flatten out as the rest of the car's weight bears down. Even if your tires were properly inflated beforehand, they are at risk of a flat spot. This is why, even if you can't drive anywhere, occasionally starting the car and driving around the block a couple of times every few days is so important.

Gradual Air Loss

Contributing to the flat spot is the gradual air loss that occurs over time. Miniscule amounts of air can leak out -- not because there's a hole, but because of a number of reasons like temperature change, which can affect air expansion and contraction -- and that leaves the tire with less air to keep it properly shaped. Between the flexible rubber and the lack of air, letting your car sit for weeks on end can be a killer for tires.

Cracking Sidewalls

When things really get bad is when the tires become flattened enough for the sidewalls to crack. Then the tires become unusable because they can't be salvaged after that. If you try to inflate them and drive on them, they could blow out, creating even more damage to your car.

If at all possible, try to start your car and drive it for a few minutes every few days, or have someone drive it for you. It doesn't have to be for an extensive journey; a few laps around the block will help. If you don't, then your tires could need to be replaced before you start driving again in earnest.

This is only one repair issue that can occur due to letting the car sit. Oil and other fluid issues can also rear their heads. If you've had to let the car sit, one of your first trips after starting to drive it again needs to be to your repair shop for a good inspection and needed repair work.

To learn more about tire and car repairs, contact a company like Pro Auto Repair of Raleigh.