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How Often Should You Run Your Parked or Garaged Vehicle in Winter?

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

If you have a vehicle that is being used primarily for Summer and Fall driving and pretty much stored for the Winter, is it okay to let it sit over the Winter?

Probably not.

Most experts agree that  not running a parked or stored vehicle can cause damage. Rust on the brake pads usually occurs, in fact it’s one of the most common problems. Many people prefer idling the vehicle once or twice a week, but this can cause problems with clogged fuel injectors, and rusting of the exhaust system too. It’s better to drive the vehicle, than to let it idle.

During the Winter months, the vehicle should be driven for at least thirty minutes each week, or every two weeks being the maximum. I prefer one to two times per week. That way we give the vehicle enough usage to assure further problems down the line.

Be sure to watch the gas as well. Many people feel filling the gas tank up before parking eliminates problems, however just the opposite is true. The “life” of gasoline is only about thirty days. After that, it can cause problems with your fuel system moisture wise. Keep only enough gas in the tank for your weekly driving, and when you do need gas, buy only enough for your usage.

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