10 Long Term Storage Tips For Your Car
If you need to store your car away for long periods of time there are a few tips you can follow to make sure your vehicle survives in the best condition possible. Your car service mechanic will be able to give you some tips regarding the engine and lubricants, but there are still many things you can do yourself.
Don’t be daunted by the prospect of having to store your car. Most vintage vehicles have been maintained using the same principles in maintaining their pristine appearance over many decades, and there is no reason why you cannot do the same, even if your vehicle is only being stored for one month.
Here are some easy to follow tips you can use:
All vehicles benefit from being driven regularly. If your car is to go into long-term storage try to get a friend or relative to drive the car at least once a month or least turn the engine over for 20 minutes or so.
Try to store your vehicle out of the wind so that dust and dirt cannot blow into your car or on to the surface which makes cleaning much more difficult later.
Keep the battery connected so that essential systems settings are maintained. If it is not possible for your friends to regularly drive your car during your absence, try to make sure that the battery is regularly charged by using an electric plug-in charger to maintain power.
Make sure your tyres are properly inflated at the beginning of your storage so you do not return home to a flat tyre.
Change your oil before you store your car as dirty oil will thicken over time making it more difficult to restart your car on your return.
Make sure your car is filled with petrol to avoid air build up in the tank, but remember that fuel can break down in as little as three months. Adding a stabiliser will help prolong fuel life in older vehicles. Some careful drivers also like to plug the tailpipe to prevent moist air from entering and causing corrosion.
Clean the interior of the car so that unpleasant odours do not develop during storage. Don’t forget to clean the boot too!
Polish and wax the car prior to storage so that the protective coating of the wax will make it easier to clean the exterior of the vehicle afterwards.
If your car is being stored inside you should also use a car cover for added protection. A car cover is not recommended for outside storage.
Do not place the vehicle on car jacks as this place is an unnecessary strain on suspension springs and bushings.
The longer your vehicle is in storage the more likely it is that problems could emerge. At the end of the storage period it’s a good idea to call in the mobile mechanic to check things over before heading out on the road.