How To Prepare Your Car For Long Term Storage
There comes a time in every vehicle owner’s life when he or she needs to place their car in long term storage. Whether you’re storing your convertible for the winter, protecting it while you take an extended vacation, or deploying overseas with the military, long term storage provides a way to keep your car safe while out of town.
If you’re putting your car in long-term storage, here’s what you need to do to get the vehicle ready:
- Cover it — If you can park the vehicle in your garage or a long-term storage facility, that’s the best choice. You want it protected from the elements (sun, wind, rain, heat, cold, etc.). But don’t just be content with a roof over the vehicle–add a car cover as well! This will add an extra layer of protection against dust and debris!
- Change the oil –– If the vehicle is to be stored for more than 30 days, it’s best to give it an oil change. Used engine oil may contain contaminants, which could damage your engine if left to sit.
- Clean it — Give your car a wash! Stains, dust, droppings, and dirt can damage your paint job, and mud, tar, or grease on the undersides and wheels of your car can wear away at the metal. Give your car a thorough washing (including the undercarriage) before storing it. Consider visiting your shop for collision repair in San Fernando Valley to get a proper detailing job before storage!
- Arrange for a driver –– If you don’t use the vehicle, the battery may lose its charge. Arrange for a friend to turn on the car for about 15 minutes every two weeks, as that will ensure the battery stays charged.
- Fill up the tank –– If there is air in the tank, moisture may accumulate inside and the seals may dry out. With a full tank, there is a much lower risk of damage. You can even use a fuel stabilizer, which will help to reduce ethanol buildup and protect your engine.
- Use a Chock –– If you use the parking brake, there’s a chance the brake pads will fuse with the rotors. A chock is a simple tire stopper that will keep the car immobile, and it’s a much cheaper, safer alternative!
- Protect the car from vermin — Plug up the exhaust pipe with a bit of steel wool, lay down mouse traps and rat poison, and spread mothballs or cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil around the vehicle. This will stop critters from getting into your vehicle. Have someone check in on the vehicle once a month or so to get rid of any deal vermin.
- Inflate the tires –– Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure, as this will help to reduce flat spots. Ask a friend to drive the car once every couple of weeks, or consider taking the tires off (placing the vehicle up on jack stands) if you’ll be gone for more than 30 days.
Follow these tips, and your car will survive long term storage in tip-top shape!
About the Author: Network Auto Body is proud to offer premium auto collision repair in San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. As an Authorized Collision Repair Facility for vehicle manufacturers like Honda, Jeep, Ford, and Chrysler, you can trust that Network Auto Body will offer quality, customer-oriented service.