Being away for a long time with your car unattended may pose some problems. Leaving them without constant care causes the vehicle to break down and fail. This increases repair expenses.
Keep in mind that cars break down even more each year despite new technology. If you plan to store your vehicle while you’re gone, you’ll have to do it properly to ensure it stays in good condition.
Not sure how to store a car and still keep the vehicle in shape?
For some preventive measures that you can take, the following tips have details on how to store a car long term.
1. Clear and Inspect the Car
When preparing to store your car in one of these storage areas, inspect the car and do some cleaning on both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. This means checking the engine, the wiring, and even the car interior.
While it seems unlikely and counter-intuitive to clean up the car before storing, there is a perfect reason behind it. For the exterior, leaving a droplet or stain unattended could cause damage to it. Cleaning the car acts as a preventive measure to avoid these kinds of problems.
As for cleaning the interior, you can ensure that there is nothing that would cause damage as well. Issues to take note of are creatures getting inside the vehicle due to food particles or other items left behind. Also, the interior can end up falling prey to mold if it is not properly cleaned and dried.
Include mothballs and make sure you closed the windows when storing the car.
2. Change the Oil, Fluids, and Filter
When preparing for long-term car storage, you will need to check your engine and all the fluids that keep it operational. In this case, you will need to change oil and engine filter. Otherwise, not changing any of these may cause serious problems for your engine or other devastating breakdowns.
Even if kept in the storage, changing the oil and engine filter can ensure that your car doesn’t face any sort of problems. Consult your mechanic to know which kind of oil should be in the car when you intend to store it.
As for the other fluids like the coolant, check them and ensure that those are properly regulated. If needed, try to replace or top up on them. Keeping these in check should also ensure other peripherals in the car are in working condition.
3. Fill up the Fuel Tank
A handy thing to note for long-term vehicle storage is to have fresh fuel fill the tank. This comes in handy especially when you will have it stored up for more than 30 days. By doing this, you stop moisture from building up within the fuel tank. This also keeps the inner seals from drying.
Also, when the car will not be in use for long periods of time, consider including an internal fuel stabilizer. This way, you can protect the engine from rust and gum. You can find these for lawn mowers and other seasonal yard equipment.
Or, if need be, check with the gasoline company distributor if their fuel doesn’t contain ethanol.
4. Flat Spot Prevention on Tires
One thing to note in storing a car is that you wouldn’t want your tires to develop flat spots. These are due to the weight of the vehicle pressing down on the tires. Certain weather conditions can cause this to occur at a faster rate, namely in colder temperatures. Vehicles with performance tires or low profile tires are also prone to having flat spots.
There are cases where driving the car brings the tires up to their normal operating temperature, remedying the issue. Though severe cases may have permanent flat spots instead, causing you to replace the tires.
Among the remedies you can consider when storing the car for a long time are as follows.
4.1. Over-inflate the Tires
Ensure that you inflate the tires to the proper pressure. At times, over-inflating it is another consideration to ensure that the pressure is well maintained and the tires don’t suffer from flat spots.
However, expect some thumping tires when this is the case until driven up to ten miles or more.
4.2. Place Vehicle on Jack Stands
Another setup you can attempt to protect your tires is to put the car on jack stands. After which, have the tires removed and stored. This way, the tires do not suffer from the car’s weight once left in storage for longer time periods.
5. Keep the Battery Charged
Batteries lose their charge when left unattended. There are methods for keeping the battery charged, some a bit of a hassle more than others.
One method that you can use is to have the car start its engine periodically. This is one of the easier methods to ensure the battery maintains its charge as if giving the vehicle a chance to stretch its legs in the figurative sense.
However, if you are storing it for a long period of time and may not have a chance to do some periodic engine ignitions, consider taking other methods to preserve and protect the battery.
One such method is to disconnect the negative battery cable. However, doing so may end up with the car losing the stereo presets and other settings. In case you prefer to have those in place, get a battery maintainer or trickle charger. These should ensure the battery doesn’t lose its charge.
6. How to Store a Car: Other Tips for Storage
There are some additional tips that you should consider when storing the vehicle, the following hold simple explanations behind them.
Release the Handbrake
By doing this, you prevent the brake pads from sticking to the rotors. For long storage, use a tire stopper instead.
Remove or Wrap the Wiper Blades
To prevent the rubber from sticking to the glass, use some plastic wrapper on the wipers or remove the blades. In case you do remove them, pad the ends of the wiper arms as they can scratch the glass. Or you can lift the wipers into the out position when storing the car.
Cover the Car during Storage
If you are storing it outdoors, have a car cover ready to prevent dust and other elements to cause damage.
Lock the Doors
One thing to not forget for storing the car. Lock the doors when you are storing it to prevent others from stealing the vehicle.
Place Note for Reminders
In case you have taken other optional steps, place a reminder note in the car where you are likely to see it before going in.
7. Inspect Before Using Again
After storing the vehicle for some time and you are ready to use it again, consider inspecting every aspect of the car before driving. Check everything if it is in good condition and if are any visible damages.
First off, check under the hood and inspect the engine if there are any damaged portions due to rodents or pests.
Check the windshield wipers if the rubber is either cracked or brittle. Regulate tire pressure and ensure that it is in the recommended specs, inflate as needed.
Also look at the brakes for rust. These should go away when the vehicle runs again.
Monitor the car fluids and ensure there are no leaks and are in the right levels. If you disconnected the battery, have it jacked in again.
And lastly, wash the vehicle for a thorough clean and a fresh look.
Store Your Vehicle Safe and Secure Today!
Learning how to store a car is only half the battle. The other half is finding one that matches your standards.
Looking for a car storage unit that fits all these requirements? We’ve got you covered! Feel free to contact us today and we can help you get the best storage available.