Should I Run My Car During Stay-at-Home Orders? How to Care for a Stationary Car

Many states have implemented stay-at-home or shelter in place orders to help stem the spread of COVID-19. And, while hunkering down isn’t all that bad for most of us, our cars aren’t meant to stay in one place.

Are you wondering, “Should I run my car even though I can’t go anywhere?”

Here’s everything you need to know about whether or not you should take your car out during stay-at-home orders.

Should I Run My Car While Sheltering In Place?

In short: Yes.

Our cars do not like sitting idle. There are several potentially severe issues we stave off just by driving around in our day-to-day lives. While leaving your car sitting in the driveway for a week or two likely won’t cause any lasting damage, any amount of time much longer than that could lead to some pretty costly repairs.

So, how can your car possibly breakdown just by sitting around in your garage for a few weeks?

Here are a few of the most critical damages you could wind up facing if you leave your car sitting stationary for too long.


While a dead battery is generally more of a nuisance than anything, it will still leave you without a car until you get it fixed. And, asking a neighbor for a jump while practicing social distancing might be a bit tricky.

Car batteries naturally discharge over time. While there are a few precautions you can take to protect your battery, if you plan on leaving your car sitting for a while, such as disconnecting it, there is a much easier solution.

Starting your car and just letting it run for anywhere from five to ten minutes every two weeks or so will help conserve your battery’s charge and keep your vehicle running.


If you leave your car parked in one spot for too long, you could wind up having to replace all of your tires.

While that may sound a touch absurd, one of the most severe problems that could affect your car during stay-at-home orders is a phenomenon known as flat-spotting.

Unlike a regular flat tire, which can sometimes be patched and reinflated, flat-spotting permanently reshapes your tire. When you leave your car in one spot for an extended period, the rubber of your tires could flatten out.

Fortunately, while flat-spotting can be an expensive repair, preventing it is pretty simple. Take your car out for a spin around the block or move it to a new parking spot every week or two, and you won’t have to worry.

You should also continue to monitor your tire pressure. Low tire pressure can speed up flat-spotting, so make sure you keep all of your tires properly inflated.


If you leave your car sitting for longer than a month, you could end up with rust on the surface of your brake rotors, or even wind up with your brake pads to binding to them.

Fortunately, as with the other issues on this list, you can keep your breaks from rusting out by taking your car for a short drive. And, if possible, try not to use your parking brake if leaving your car stationary for an extended period.

How to Keep Your Car Running During Stay-at-Home Orders

So, if you’re wondering, “Should I run my car during stay-at-home orders?” The answer is yes, but only a little. All you need to do to keep your car up and running is to take it for a quick spin around the block every few weeks.

But, if you do wind up breaking down, don’t panic. We’re here to help.

Contact us for more information about our services today!

Leave a Comment