Whether you own a vehicle you only use in the summer or leaving town for a business trip, there are a lot of reasons to store a vehicle for an extended period of time. Vehicle storage requires more than just covering and leaving it in a garage or driveway. You can prevent common problems like damaged parts and ruined parts if you correctly prepare your vehicle for long-term storage. The following are some things that you can do in order to prepare your vehicle for a season in a storage unit.
Protect your Car from the Elements
Sunlight, rain, moisture and wind can be greatly damage a vehicle. Also, a car left outside may become a shelter to small animals that can destroy the interior and engine of the vehicle. The best automobile storage options are indoor storage units. Although you can get indoor covers, these won’t protect your vehicle.
Rodents can live in a garage as in the outdoor, though the floor and walls can offer some protection. When your garage or storage facility has some animal life, consider leaving mothballs inside the vehicle and around it on the floor.
Clean the Vehicle Inside and Outside
You have to thoroughly clean and wax your vehicle before car storage. Bird droppings, water stains and other substances can be destructive to the paint if left for a long time. Also, ensure the fenders, hubcaps and wheels are cleaned and waxed.
When the outside of the car is cleaned, clean the inside. When you are leaving your vehicle for over a month, you must change the oil filters and oil to prevent sludge and contamination from damaging the engine. The tank should be filled with gas. Also, you have to add a fuel stabilizer which will prevent the breakdown of fuel into gum and ethanol.
Prepare the Tires and Battery
When a batter is not used, it tends to lose its charge. Try to have somebody start and drive your vehicle for around 15 minutes every couple of weeks. This keeps the battery charged and prevents tire damage. When this is impossible, ensure you disconnect the negative battery or purchase a battery tender. This will provide small amounts of charge to allow the battery to be ready to go if you can drive your vehicle again.
Moreover, tires can be damaged by sitting with the pressure on a small tire area for a long time. When you are leaving your vehicle for more than one month and won’t drive it occasionally, remove the tires and put the vehicle on jack stands or blocks. When the vehicle sits on tires for an extended period of time, it is likely that the tires develop permanent flat spots which cannot be repaired. When you have to leave your tires on the car, ensure you inflate them to the right pressure and that the parking brake is off. As it is possible for the brake pads to fuse to the rotors, use a tire stopper or chock.