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How to Prepare Your Car for RORO Shipping

What's in this article?
  1. Clean Your Car Inside And Out
  2. Repair Any Fluid Leaks
  3. Make Sure Lights And Electronics Are In Working Order
  4. Remove Personal Belongings
  5. Ensure The Gas Tank Is No More Than A Quarter Full
  6. Disable The Alarm System
  7. Remove Or Fold In Loose Items Such As Antennas Or Spoilers
  8. Make Sure Car Windows Are Clean And Free Of Cracks
  9. Check Tire Condition
  10. Engage The Parking Brake (Manual Transmission Vehicles)
  11. Put The Car In "Park" (Automatic Transmission Vehicles)
  12. Engage The Emergency Brake And Chock The Wheels
  13. Secure Loose Items In The Trunk Or Backseat
  14. Wrapping Up
How to Prepare Your Car for RORO Shipping

When you're shipping your car overseas, there are a few things you need to do in order to prepare it for transport. In this article, we will go over the steps you need to take to get your car ready for roll-on/roll-off (RORO) shipping.

This process can seem daunting if you've never done it before, but don't worry. By following these simple steps, you can ensure your car arrives at its destination safely and without any damage in transit.

Clean Your Car Inside and Out

You should clean your car before shipping it, including the engine bay. Many people forget to clean their engine bay, but it's essential. Not only will a clean engine bay make your car look nicer, but it will also help to prevent rust and corrosion.

You'll need to gather a few supplies to clean your engine bay. You'll need a hose, degreaser, brush, and old rags. Once you have everything, you can start by spraying down the engine bay with the hose. Then, scrub away any dirt or grime using the degreaser and brush. Finally, rinse everything off with the hose and dry it with the rags.

Once you've cleaned your engine bay, you can move on to the rest of your car. Make sure to wash and wax the exterior, vacuum and shampoo the interior, and check all the fluids.

Repair Any Fluid Leaks

When preparing your car for automobile shipping, checking for any fluid leaks is essential. If you find any, repair them before shipping your car.

Fluid leaks can not only cause damage to your car, but they can also be dangerous for the ship's crew. So it's essential to ensure your car is in good working order before it sets sail.

Fluid leaks can occur for various reasons. Some common causes of fluid leaks include:

  • Worn or damaged seals and gaskets
  • Loose fittings or clamps
  • Cracked or broken hoses

If you're unsure how to fix a fluid leak, or if you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, take your car to a qualified mechanic before shipping it. They'll be able to quickly repair any leaks and get your car ready for its journey.


Make Sure Lights and Electronics Are in Working Order

It's essential to ensure that your car's lights and electronics are in good working order before shipping it overseas because RORO can be tough on delicate equipment.

Here are a few tips to prepare the lights and electronics:

  • Check all your bulbs, including brake, signal, and reverse lights. Replace any that are burned out.
  • Make sure your battery is fully charged and securely fastened.
  • Test your horn to ensure it's working correctly.
  • If you have a GPS or other electronic devices mounted on your dash, ensure they are firmly secured.

The lights and electronics on your car are essential for safety and compliance with local regulations in the destination country. By ensuring everything is in good working order before shipping, you can avoid any stressful surprises down the road.

Remove Personal Belongings

When shipping your car via RORO, it's essential to remove all personal belongings from the vehicle. This includes clothes, shoes, bags, laptops, electronics, and anything else that isn't permanently attached to the car.

The reason for this is twofold:

  • First, any loose items in the car can become damaged or lost during shipping.
  • If any items are left in the car when it's being loaded onto the ship, they will be considered cargo and subject to additional fees.

So before you ship your car via RORO, remove all personal belongings from the interior and trunk. This will help ensure that your belongings arrive safely and that you don't incur any additional fees.

Ensure the Gas Tank Is No More than a Quarter Full

When shipping your car overseas, it's essential to ensure that the gas tank is no more than ¼ full. This will help to prevent any potential problems with the shipping process.

If you have a lot of gas in your tank, it can put pressure on the seals and gaskets, which can cause them to leak. Additionally, if there's a spill during shipping, it could be dangerous for both the workers and your car.

Overall, ensuring that your gas tank is no more than ¼ full is a simple way to help ensure a smooth and safe shipping process for your car.

Disable the Alarm System

Your car alarm can go off and irritate everyone in the ship's vicinity. To avoid this, you should disable your alarm system before shipping your car.

Most alarm systems can be easily disabled by following these simple steps:

  • First, locate the control box for your alarm system. This is usually mounted on the wall near the front door or in the garage.
  • Once you have found the control box, look for a small switch that says "off."
  • If there is no switch labeled "off," flipping the entire breaker to the "off" position will also disable your alarm system.

If you cannot find the control box or if there is no way to disable the alarm system, you will need to contact your car shipping company and let them know that your car has an active alarm system. The company will then make arrangements to disable the alarm system before shipping your car.


Remove or Fold In Loose Items Such As Antennas or Spoilers

It's important to take a few minutes to remove or fold in any loose items such as antennas or spoilers before shipping your car via RORO.

Most car shippers will ask that you remove or fold these in to prepare the car for shipping. This is primarily for two reasons:

  1. To prevent damage during transport
  2. Because some countries have import restrictions on certain items

If you're unsure how to remove or fold a particular item, your best bet is to consult your car's owner's manual. Alternatively, you can always contact the car shipping company for guidance. They should be able to provide you with specific instructions on what needs to be done.

Make Sure Car Windows Are Clean and Free of Cracks

One crucial step you need to take is cleaning the windows. During RORO, the vehicle will be driven on and off the ship, and any dirt, debris, or cracks in the windows can cause problems during loading and unloading.

To clean your car windows, start by using a glass cleaner and paper towels to remove any grime. If there are any stubborn spots, you can use a razor blade to scrape them away. Once the surface is clean, inspect it for any cracks. If you see any, use clear packing tape to cover them up. This will help protect your car windows from further damage during shipping.

By preparing your car windows for RORO shipping, you can help ensure a smooth and successful journey for your vehicle. So don't forget to clean those windows before rolling your car.

Check Tire Condition

In order to ship your car with RORO shipping, the tires must be properly inflated and have enough tread. This ensures that the car can safely be loaded and unloaded from the ship.

To check the tire pressure, use a digital tire pressure gauge or an analog gauge with a reliable reading. The proper tire pressure for your car can be found in the owner's manual or on a sticker inside the driver's doorjamb. Once you've checked the pressure, inflate or deflate the tires to reach the correct level.

To check the tread depth, insert a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tread is shallow, and you'll need new tires before shipping your car. On the other hand, if the tread reaches the top of Lincoln's head, it has good depth, and you're all set to ship your car.

Engage the Parking Brake (Manual Transmission Vehicles)

The parking brake is a vital safety component in any vehicle, but it's imperative when transporting your car via RORO shipping. Engaging the parking brake will help prevent your car from rolling or shifting during overseas shipping, making it easier for the crew to load and unload your vehicle.

If you're unsure how to use the parking brake, consult the owner's manual or ask a qualified mechanic. Once the parking brake is engaged, you can release it when you're ready to drive off the ship at your overseas destination.

Engaging the parking brake is simple, but it can save you a lot of trouble down the road.


Put the Car in "Park" (Automatic Transmission Vehicles)

It's essential to put the transmission in park for the following reasons:

  • It helps keep the car from rolling while it's being loaded onto the ship.
  • It secures the wheels, so they don't move while the car is in transit.
  • It helps to protect the transmission from being damaged during shipping.

Here's how to do it:

  1. First, find the "park" position on your shifter. It should be marked with a P.
  2. Apply the parking brake. This will help keep the car from rolling while it's on the ship.
  3. Turn off the engine. This will prevent any potential problems with the engine during shipping.

Putting your car in park may seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference in RORO shipping. By taking this simple step, you can help to ensure that your car arrives safely at its destination.

Engage the Emergency Brake and Chock the Wheels

Engaging the emergency brake and chock the wheels. This is important for a few reasons.

  • It helps to prevent the car from moving during transit.
  • It helps to protect the tires from unnecessary wear and tear.
  • It can help to prevent damage to the brakes themselves.

There are a few different ways that you can check your car's wheels:

  • First, use wheel chocks that are specifically designed for this purpose. You can usually find these at any auto parts store.
  • Use something like a piece of wood or rock. Make sure that whatever you use is sturdy enough to keep the car in place.

You're ready to load your car onto the RORO ship once you've engaged the emergency brake and choked the wheels.

Secure Loose Items in the Trunk or Backseat

It's essential to secure all loose items in your trunk or backseat before shipping your car via RORO. This includes things like a spare tire, tools, jack kits, and other loose items that could potentially roll around and damage your vehicle during transport. Even something as small as a water bottle can become a projectile if it's not properly secured!

There are two main ways to secure items in your trunk or backseat: use bungee cords or rope to tie them down, or put them in heavy-duty plastic bags and then tie them shut. Whichever method you choose, ensure everything is nice and snug so it doesn't shift during transit.

By taking a few minutes to secure your loose items, you can help ensure that your motor vehicle arrives at its destination country in the same condition it left in. And that's definitely worth the effort.


Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to prepare your car for RORO shipping, you can rest assured that your vehicle will arrive safely at its destination. Just follow the steps outlined above, and you'll be good to go.

With A-1 Auto Transport, shipping your vehicle has never been easier. With a network of 40 terminals and 30 modern carriers, you can get your car where it needs to be—quickly and safely from start to finish. Contact us for more information about our comprehensive shipping services.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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NO. 018191NF
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Paramount, CA 90723
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Boca Raton, FL 33431
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Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
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Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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