Circumstances such as long vacations, winter seasons, military deployment, or a temporary relocation may force you to store your vehicle for a long period. Preparing your long term car storage can help maintain its good condition and longevity. Choosing the right storage for cars helps prevent common issues such as damaged engines, dead batteries, and ruined tires. Here are steps for preparing long-term car storage:
How to Prepare for long term car storage
Clean the Car
Bird droppings, water stains, and other substances can cause damage to the paint if left for an extended time. Clean and wax the wheels, hubcaps, and fenders before long term car storage. Clean the underside of your car to remove anything stuck at the bottom that could trap moisture and lead to rusting. Lift wiper blades or remove them so they don’t become flat or deformed. Remove all pine needles, leaves, and other debris from the windshield wiper cowl and the engine compartment.
Once you clean the outside, clean the inside. Vacuum up floor mats and the seats to remove any dirt and crumbs. Avoid using chemical protectants on vinyl, leather, and other fabrics, as they may cause excessive damage to surfaces. Clean the inside of the windows. Keeping your vehicle’s interior in shape helps prevent smells and possible damage from heat or the sun.
Charge the Battery
Leaving a car battery unused with no charge in low temperatures for a long time can cause serious damage. Charge the battery fully to prevent this, and remove the terminals before long term car storage. Cars drain some power from the battery even when not in use. Removing the terminals prevents the battery from draining and the need to jump-start the vehicle when you return. Find a storage unit that will allow you to store the battery in a warm place to keep it in good condition.
Change the Oil and Lubricate the Car
If you plan to leave your vehicle for over a month, change the oil filters and oil to prevent sludge and contaminants from damaging the engine. Old engine oil contains contaminants, acidic molecules, and moisture that can affect the engine and its components if left for a long period. Lubricate the hood, door, and trunk latches and hinges to prevent them from rusting or freezing shut. Use graphite-based lubricants or silicone spray for the latches. Spray the rubber parts of the door with white lithium grease or silicone to stop them from freezing shut.
Fill up Fluids and the Tank
Fill up all fluids in your car, including coolant, power steering fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. After filling up the fluids, check the car for leaks from the brake lines, engine, and transmission, and do repairs if necessary. Fill the tank with gas to prevent the seals from drying out and moisture from accumulating in the fuel tank. Use a fuel stabilizer to preserve the engine from rust, varnish, and gum and to prevent ethanol buildup.
Keep It Covered
Vehicle covers protect the car from minor dings, dust, and sun damage. Look for a vehicle cover that is specially designed for longer storage. Such a cover won’t trap any moisture but will allow your car to breathe. Find a facility that offers storage for cars where you can keep your vehicle safe for an extended period. A storage facility keeps vehicles in units with stable temperatures to protect them from the elements.
Seek High-quality Storage for Cars
Choose a dry and clean storage facility to prevent rusting when the car is exposed to damp air or moisture. The facility you choose should be well-ventilated to prevent car seat cracking and drying. If you stay in a cold climate, choose a temperature-controlled facility to keep the car and its parts above freezing point. Start your search for a quality car storage unit today.
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