I have a car that is garaged and not used much.

How often should I take it out for a drive and for how long each time?

I currently get it serviced every 10,000 KM.

1 Answer 1


This is quite variable - if you have a highly tuned car, it makes sense to drive it frequently to ensure oil covers all parts, as otherwise those tight tolerances add up to wear and tear, whereas a big engine that isn't tuned may cope just fine.

As an example: TVR's are an amazing English sports car, but they do have a stereotype which is that they always break down. And they do if only driven occasionally during the summer when the weather is nice. As a regular commute vehicle they last for ages and perform really well. Almost all of this is down to oil remaining on all relevant surfaces, the battery remaining charged, the cat not sitting corroding away.

Talking of the cat, when you do take it out for a drive make sure it is long enough to heat up sufficiently that no moisture can collect in the cat, as that is what causes most corrosion there.

tl;dr - not knowing your car, a good default is to drive it at least once a week, and go for at least 15 minutes. More is better.

  • I don't think there can be another answer. Once a week would be my mental limit. I'd have to take it out and get the cats good and HOT. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 1:31
  • I babysat a friend's classic 500bhp Jaguar that he had let sit with less than one drive a month. It was much happier once a week, but damage already done.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 6:58
  • We have a "granny car" always garaged and never used, it was always breaking down the rare times it was driven, spent a bundle to keep fixing it, stuff rusted, seized etc. We started using it just to get groceries and never a problem anymore... (of course now that I typed it I jinxed it) Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 14:16
  • What is the 'cat' ?
    – CJ7
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 22:48
  • Catalytic converter - clever trickery in the exhaust to convert some of the emissions to more harmless gases. If it doesn't get hot enough this doesn't work well, and you end up with a cat containing water/acid so it corrodes fast.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 22:50

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