How to get your car ready for long term Storage
This is a common problem for people, for an example if you have a convertible which you love to drive in the summer however you will have to store it away for the winter season. Or maybe you are planning to go abroad for couple of years and need to store your car until you return.When you are about to store your car for more than one moth without using there are few key thing you should do. If you leave the car without doing them you might end up with a damaged engine, unusable tires and decayed body.
We will cover the steps you need to follow before you walk away from the car for a time period of more than one month.
Cover it up
The best place to keep a car is in a garage which will keep it safe from everything and at a fairly constant temperature. If you do not have a garage it is advisable to even use a public storage facility. If you are enable to do anything else and have to store it out doors you should get a weatherproof cover for the car, this will keep it dry and clean.
Clean it up
It might feel strange to wash and clean a car that you will not be using in the near future. However this step must not be ignored any stained left on the body work of the car could get the paint damaged, we would recommend giving the car a vax treatment too before storing
This step is not essential if you are storing the car for a small while like a week or two, however if you are storing it for over a moth you should change the oil. The old oil might damage the engine if it is kept for a long time
Fill the gas tank
This is another important step, if you are storing for a long while moisture tends to build up in the tank and the seals might tend to get dried out. These can be prevented by leaving the car with a full tank of gas. You should also buy a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating.
Charge the battery
When the battery is not used it will eventually lose its charge. The best solution would be to get a friend or a family member to start the car for about 10 minutes each day. If you are unable to do that a simple solution could be to remove the batteries connections (i.e. remove the negative wire) that will result in a loss of the electronic devices setting in the car such as time and date. To avoid that you could buy a device that plugs into the car battery and the house power outlet. This device is called the trickle charger, what it does is it periodically charges the battery which prevents it from discharging.
Avoid using parking brake
When you usually park it is advisable to use the parking brake however when you are going to park for a long period of time it is best not to use the parking brake. The reason is the two rods that connects the pads for the brake might fuse together if it is left for a long time.
Avoid flat spots
The tires when kept for a long time without use tend to develop flat spots. This process happens faster in colder temperatures. A simple fix for this problem would be to get someone to drive the car for about 15 minutes at least once a week. And to leave the car tires with the recommended air pressure.
How ever if this is not possible we would advise you to remove the four tires and leave the car on four jacks. Even though this step will require much more effort it would help to protect the tires.
When the vehicle is in storage you might feel like canceling the insurance too. Even though this might save you some cash once you try to get back the insurance after the storage time they might increase the rates. It is best to discuss your situation with the insurance company before canceling the insurance.
Taking the car out of storage
When you are ready to get the car out of storage back to use there are few step again to consider,
- Check the windscreen wiper blades for cracks or decay
- Check tires and tire pressure
- Check brakes
- Check all the fluid levels and see if they are in the recommended range
- If you disconnected the battery cable, connect it again
- Give your car a good wash!