Situations and issues can arise in your life that can prevent you from using your car for long periods of time. When this happens, the worst thing to do is simply park it somewhere unattended. The tires will go bad, the interior and exterior will fade in the sun, the brake pads will fall apart, and corrosion will begin to destroy the exterior. Follow these steps to make sure your car is stored safely.
Choose a Good Storage Facility
It is best if you can store your car in a cool, indoor area, such as a garage. If you can’t afford to store your vehicle in an attended garage, then it’s best to look into storage facilities. You want to choose a facility that is secure from the elements and even the smallest animals. Animals can do a lot of damage to your vehicle.
Prepare for Long Storage
First, you need to wash your car to get rid of debris that could damage the paint or glass. Putting on a coat of wax will further help save the exterior during storage. Make sure you take off the windshield wipers so they do not stick to the glass. It’s ideal to not leave the parking brake on. Brake pads that are in contact with the rotors for a long time will fuse.
If you are putting your car in storage for more than a month, you need to fill your gas tank and get your oil changed. Air space in the gas tank can lead to moisture and rust. It is a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from deteriorating. Take the spark plugs out and line the housings with oil.
Your tires will either need ten extra pounds of pressure added to each, or you need to take them all off and put the car on jacks. This is to prevent flat spots from forming on tires. For the battery, you need to completely disconnect it and clean all the connections. Another option is to buy a battery tender that sends a small current of electricity through the battery, just enough to keep it charged.
Follow Scheduled Maintenance
You are able to skip the battery and tire steps above if you can drive the car for 15 minutes every two weeks. This will keep the battery charged, the tires from getting flat spots, and lubricates the engine. If you can’t go yourself, ask someone else to do it for you.
While ensuring that the engine and battery continue working well, there are a few other checks you or someone else need to perform on the car. Look for evidence of rodents chewing on engine components. Make sure there is no rust accumulation on the brake rotors. Check the fluids and tire pressure to see if there are any leaks. Reconnect the battery as well and make sure the battery terminals are clean.
It is tempting to cancel your insurance while the car is in storage. Yet some insurance companies will raise the rates when you start using your vehicle again because of the gap in coverage. Talk to your insurance company before making any big insurance decisions.
Improper maintenance of your car can lead to a lot of damage. Follow these steps to make sure your car is in top condition while in storage.