Whether you’re heading overseas or on a long trip, or you need to put a collectible car or another vehicle into storage for the season, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to store a car for a few months or longer.
If this is the case, you’ll want to take some special precautions to store your vehicle properly, and make sure it’s in great shape when you return and need to drive it again. In this guide, A-1 Auto Transport will discuss a few tips for proper long-term vehicle storage.
Protect It From The Elements In A Garage, Storage Unit, Carport Or Car Cover
First, you’ll need somewhere safe and secure for your car. A garage or storage unit is the best choice, since you can lock the door to secure your car and keep it safe from the elements.
A covered carport is also a good solution and keeps sun, snow, dirt, and rain off of your car, but doesn’t offer the same level of security.
If you don’t have any of these options, consider investing in a car cover. Car covers can be strapped around your car and protect it from debris, sun, rain, and more, so they offer reasonably good protection if you have to store your car outside.
Clean Up The Exterior & Interior
You should clean up the outside of your car before long-term storage, since bird droppings and water stains could eat away at the paint over time. Clean the entire exterior and wax it to protect it. You should also clean up the interior to get rid of any trash and to remove any valuable personal items.
Change Your Oil
Contaminants in used oil can damage your engine over time, so if you plan to store your car for a long time, you should have its oil changed to ensure it’s fresh and free of metals and other contaminants.
Top Up The Fuel Tank
Filling up your fuel tank will help prevent moisture from accumulating over time, and will stop the seals in your fuel system from drying out. You should also add a fuel stabilizer to help protect your car and its engine. Stabilizers like Sta-bil will stop gasoline deterioration for up to 12 months.
Keep It Charged Up
Over time, car batteries lose charge if they’re not driven. Consider getting someone to drive the car about every 2 weeks to charge it up. If this isn’t an option, you can use a “battery tender” or “trickle charger,” which plugs into an electrical outlet and provides just enough power to keep your battery charged.
Or, for a low-tech solution, just disconnect the negative battery cable, and the battery won’t discharge over time. You’ll just have to reconnect it when you start your car again.
Avoid Using The Parking Brake
Use rubber chocks to keep the car in place, rather than the parking brake. If you leave the parking brake on, it could fuse with your rotors over time. This is particularly common if the car is left outdoors.
Care For Your Tires
Inflate your car’s tires to the recommended PSI before you store the vehicle. If you’ll be storing the car for more than a month or two, you’ll need to be aware of “flat spots” that develop if the car’s tires are left in the same place for a long period of time.
Having someone drive the car every two weeks will prevent flat spots, since the tires will rotate while it’s driven. If this is not practical, consider removing your wheels and using jack stands to support the car until you drive it again. This will protect your tires from flat spots.
Follow These Tips To Keep Your Car In Great Shape
If you follow these simple tips and instructions, you’ll be able to store your car for months without any damage to the paint, interior, tires, and other components. And if you need to store or ship a car anywhere in the United States or internationally, remember that A-1 Auto Transport is here to help. Contact us now to get a quote and get started.