I have a 2010 Mazda 6 car. I received a letter for airbag recall. When I dropped my car for service they said it would take 1 hr to fix the airbag. Later they called me and said the parts are not available and it would take another 1 month for the parts to arrive. The provided me with an alternative car. They parked my car in an open parking space. When I called after 1 month, they said its an early stage for the recall. They were not sure when the parts will come. Is it ok the leave the car idle for few months in an open space ? Any damage will happen to the car ? Thanks, Vijay

1 Answer 1


Cars don't like to sit. There is an inside joke among mechanics, they call degradation due to sitting "lot rot".

The biggest impact to a sitting car is the rotors. They rust. Rotors rust even sitting overnight in a humid or rainy environment but when you drive the car in the morning the rust is cleaned off with the first few pedal applies. When the car sits for a few months the rust gets deep enough that it may not clean up. This will eventually lead to premature brake wear.

Batteries do not like to sit either. The car constantly draws on the battery but just a little bit. When you drive the car in the morning that little that was drawn by the car is replenished. When the car sits for a week the battery may get low enough not to start at all. When the car sits for a month the battery may go dead.

Those two things are just scratching the surface. There are more like flat spots in tires and so on.

Dealers that have a stock of new cars have a program where at least once a week all the cars are taken for a short trip and parked in a different spot. This minimizes the lot rot.

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    Depending on the weather, a car should be driven, with the engine heating up to normal temperature, at least once every two weeks. This will top off the battery, pop out those flat spots, clear rust off the rotors, etc. When temperatures hover around freezing, a car should be driven at least weekly. When the temperature plunges to frigid temperatures, I would recommend daily - my brand new vehicle struggled to turn over after sitting around three days in single-digit (Fahrenheit) weather. An older vehicle with a less-than-new battery could fare worse.
    – user4896
    Jan 3, 2017 at 7:12
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    This is all excellent and correct. I'd contact the dealer and bring up your concerns and have them address it. It's their responsibility to ensure they don't return a vehicle to you that's more broken than when you brought it in. At least if things go pear-shaped later you'll have a stronger leg to stand on.
    – atraudes
    Jan 3, 2017 at 23:16

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