The Right Way of Keeping Your Car in Storage
Worried of what will happen to your car if placed in a storage area while you are away on a holiday or a business assignment? Worry no more! These ten precautionary measures will ensure that your vehicle will be in the same state as when you left it.
Photo source: http://www.carstorage.uk.net
- The vehicle should be kept in a dry place. It can be stored in the garage of your home or in a rented storage space but you just make sure that the area is clean and has no trace of moisture and dampness. You could also place a plastic under the car to spot any fluid leaks easily. If you own the best car vacuum there is, then it can really help.
- Gasoline and water should be kept fresh and full. In the case of the fuel, it is advisable to have it in completely full tank as condensation is likely to take place. Water can start to accumulate in a free space which can cause the gasoline to be gummy-like over time. For it not to happen, it is advisable to get a gasoline stabilizer which is serviceable in yard equipment and lawn mowers.
- The oil and oil filter should be new, especially if the vehicle is kept longer. In this case, oils without additives are recommended but seek the advice of a certified mechanic first. Anyway, it is also a good idea to change oil even if you are still halfway due for one. When oil is continuously consumed, corrosive components can start to rust and impair the engine while in storage.
- Take out all the spark plugs and apply a modest amount of oil into the cylinders to prevent them from rusting and from possible corrosion to take place. Also, never use old oil; instead, a special “fogging oil” used in storing boats is highly recommended as it will make dismantling and assembling effortless when the time to change spark plugs again comes.
- Take the battery out and make sure that all connections are clean. If the vehicle is going to be kept long, a battery maintainer can be attached to it outside the car. This maintainer is a “smart” battery charger that turns on systematically. However, get in touch with your car manufacturer first to ensure that this will not disrupt their computer system as codes or access may be denied or disabled. On the other hand, if the car is up for storage for a short time only, you can attach a battery maintainer while still in the car.
Photo source: http://www.epe.com/facility
- Start your car regularly to ensure that it remains to be in good condition even while in storage. You can do this twice or thrice a month to lubricate cylinders as well as start it up easily the next time it is pulled out of the storage area.
- Jack up the car on axle stands and put pressure to the tires, about 10 pounds each, if you are thinking of storing it for a year or more. This will prevent the tires from having flat spots. However, please note jacking the tires up will also depend on the type of tire the vehicle has.
- Clean the car by using the best car vacuum you own. Wax the car well before putting it in the storage area so the paint will retain its shine and color. Also, the interior should be free from dirt and any leftovers that can attract tiny animals. Carpets should be removed so there will not be any putrid smell circulating inside. The exterior should also be thoroughly cleaned especially the wheels and the area under the car.
- Remove the wiper blades so they will not stick to the windshield and place them in a warm and dry place. If you want them in place, you can just wrap them in clean, plastic cover.
- Finally, the parking brake should be released to avoid it from sticking to the rotors.
If you just prepare your car well for its planned hibernation, then you will be getting back to it in the same condition, no more, no less!