How Often Should You Start Your Car? (Detailed Information!)

Last Updated on January 8, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Well, the rule of thumb is, you should start your car at least once a week to keep the battery charged. Moreover, it is important to start your car every now and then to prevent the car engine from seizing up.

Key Takeaways

  • If you drive your car frequently then starting the car once a week is sufficient enough to keep the batteries and engines from the damage
  • If you don’t drive your car frequently then you should start your car every 2 – 3 days to keep the battery charged and the engine lubricated
  • According to many professional experts, you should take your car for a short drive every week to keep the batteries, engine, and other components of the car in good working order
  • Frequent driving of the car will keep the brakes and other systems functioning properly

Main Tips For Starting Your Car

Ignition FrequencyExperts recommend starting a vehicle at least once a week. 
Ignition TimeHere, it is necessary to leave a vehicle on for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
Starting The Vehicle And DrivingStarting the car and leaving it on for 10 minutes is the first step. It is also recommended to drive the vehicle a few blocks for better temperature and liquid distribution. 
Checking The LiquidsThe different liquids inside the vehicle have a certain life span. Motor oil or lubricants can become contaminated after a while. It is recommended to check the liquids.
Dealing With A Dead BatteryTo revive a battery, you must have equipment with the same number of volts and a voltmeter.
Checking The TiresAfter some time, the tires may deflate. Before driving the vehicle, you should check the condition of the tires. 

How Often Should You Start Your Car?

In general, a vehicle can be very necessary to make a long-distance trip or to enjoy a vacation. However, many times daily driving does not require a vehicle. This happens very often when the driver of a vehicle lives close to his work or simply has other transportation. This is where many cars or vehicles, in general, are stored for long periods.

In particular, both restricted use and somewhat extensive hibernation can be detrimental to the proper functioning and mechanics of the engine. Even not only mechanical systems can be adversely affected, but also the electrical systems of a car. This is where the question arises as to how much time should be allowed to run a vehicle. 

Here, some annoying problems and inconveniences can easily arise when a vehicle is not started for too long. Of course, this is a great way to save money on fuel by not using the vehicle. However, without proper care, the driver will have to spend money on repairs if he or she does not correctly store a vehicle.

Contrary to what many people may believe, routine maintenance should still be performed even if the vehicle is not being used. So, applying a few important steps can prevent you from having to spend money on expensive repairs at the end of the hibernation season.

Even this is not just a matter of money, but a waste of time by not being able to use your vehicle when you need it. One of the most important steps to proper maintenance is to start your vehicle regularly.

Of course, vehicles generally perform better when they are running. Vehicles are designed to work and not be stored for long periods. That’s why this prolonged storage is simply detrimental.

Even this can be important for people who are not very interested in their vehicle. Here, time can easily pass too quickly, and this is where the mechanics begin to deteriorate.

Also, it is only a matter of a few very simple steps that do not take too much time. Many stories of drivers who leave their vehicles idling in a garage for several weeks without problems are not true.

1. The Battery Runs Out With The Idle Vehicle

Generally, battery power can be kept stored for some time. Automobile batteries are designed to be able to operate over the long term while the vehicle has been in use. Therefore, the chances of the vehicle’s battery automatically wearing out with the car idling are very high.

Starting your car at least once a week will be enough to prevent the battery from completely discharging. It should take some time for the alternator to refill the juice. To do this, you should only leave your car running for 10 to 15 minutes. To speed up the task you can turn on each of the important systems in the car, such as the air conditioning. 

2. Normal Operating Temperature

To complement the above concerning the battery, starting your vehicle also serves to achieve a normal operating temperature. Similarly, it is sufficient to start your vehicle 10 minutes per week. Beyond that, you can recharge the battery and allow you to check the different components of the vehicle.

Of course, this step requires you to drive your vehicle for a few minutes around your neighborhood. This way, you can activate the brakes, suspension, transmission, power steering systems, and other important components. Each of these vehicle components is completely shut off when the vehicle is turned off.

So, a few minutes of weekly driving will be more than enough time to check for proper operation. Even this can also prevent faster deterioration of these parts. 

3. Time Of Storage Of An Automobile

Here, it is not possible to provide a single answer that can be compatible with all cars and less with all vehicles. It is even a very important answer that many drivers make when they do not use a car every day. To allow a battery to be fully recharged it is necessary to drive the vehicle for a few minutes.

When the driver just starts the vehicle, the battery can be drained even more. The battery mainly runs out when the vehicle is started and during periods of inactivity.

Sometimes it will be necessary to deal with a dead battery if your vehicle has been stationary for too long. To find out how to start the battery, each manufacturer has a specific period of inactivity.

Battery problems can also be caused by a defective spark plug. So, replacing this component could be more than enough to solve the problem. If the spark plugs are in good working order, there is another way to start the battery. To start the engine, you must first turn off the air conditioning, radio, and any other systems.

Pushing the accelerator before starting the engine is a good technique to solve this problem with the battery. When you start your vehicle once a week and drive for a few minutes, you won’t have to deal with a dead battery afterward.

Let the engine run for a few minutes so that the normal temperature can be effective. In this case, the normal operating temperature allows condensation to dry out of the fuel system and crankcase.

Before turning the vehicle off again, you can accelerate slightly. This allows errant moisture to be expelled along with other components from the vehicle’s exhaust. 

On the other hand, when the engine is running you allow the alternator to help recharge the battery. Here too you are allowing the lube oils and any vehicle fluids to flow where they need to go. If a person has an electric vehicle this same weekly maintenance should be applied in the same way.

Electric vehicles have batteries that can easily discharge when the car is stored for too long. Therefore, a few minutes of starting and driving will be more than enough to avoid these problems. At the same time, this allows us to take care of the useful life of the battery as well as the main components related to the starting of the vehicle.

How Long Can It Take For A Car To Be Idle?

Generally, mechanical experts recommend that a vehicle should not remain inactive for more than 15 days. As we have mentioned, allowing too much idle time in a car can be very dangerous. You have the opportunity to clean the engine and benefit the vehicle by driving around your neighborhood for a few minutes.

Of course, it is not necessary to drive on the highway at a high speed to benefit the car. However, other people indicate that it is important to consider environmental factors, vehicle quality, as well as age. When a vehicle is not used for about a month, the problems that can arise are

1. The battery will die at some point

2. Tires degrade and deflate

3. Fluids in general, such as oils and lubricants, become contaminated and lose effectiveness.

Among the important fluids in a car is fuel. Many people here wonder how long fuel can stay in a vehicle. Of course, there is no single answer, as time depends on the density and composition of each fuel. So, the different fuels available today have a very variable lifespan.

The gasoline used by most people can offer a life span of 3 to 5 months inside the fuel tank. On the other hand, diesel fuel can remain inside the fuel tank for up to 12 months. In turn, any driver does not know what time of life the gasoline is when he or she buys it and puts it in the fuel tank.

In this case, it is also necessary to consider that the engine oil is spoiled when the vehicle is too long inactive. Here, the service life can be longer if the engine oil is sealed in its original container. Beyond that, this is not the same as what happens inside your car’s engine.

In these cases, you need to consider that two years is the time limit for using any motor oil. It is also advisable to have an oil and oil filter change if the vehicle has already been stored and idle for several months.