Tips for Long-Term Vehicle Storage
There are plenty of reasons why you might need to put your vehicle into long-term storage: perhaps you’ve been put on an international job assignment, you’re being deployed, or you’ve moved somewhere like NYC where it’s much easier to take the subway than to attempt driving. Simply leaving your car parked on the street or in a pricey pay-by-the-day garage, could mean you return to a damaged car, or even worse, one that isn’t there at all. Finding long term vehicle storage for your car is more secure and usually reasonably priced. Before you park your vehicle in storage, New York storage company, Imperial Storage, recommends that you take some precautionary steps to ensure it stays in running condition.
Even with indoor storage you need to keep your car covered, but if you’re storing it outside try and get your hands on a weather proof car cover. It will protect your car from the elements and keep the temperature of the vehicle relatively stable.
Get it Detailed First
It sounds counterproductive to get your car washed and detailed before you store it, but water stains or bird droppings can do damage to your paint job when left sitting. In addition to a regular cleaning, including getting the mud and grease off fenders and the underside, add a coat of wax to help protect your paint.
Change the Oil
If you’re storing a car for a week or so then this isn’t necessary, but if you’re putting a vehicle away for several months then changing the oil is a must. Oil contains contaminants that can damage the engine when left sitting for extended periods of time.
Fill it Up
Filling your car with gas prevents moisture from building up inside the fuel tank and saves the fuel system from oxidation. While you’re topping off the gas tank, you can also add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the ethanol from building up and to protect your engine. When you go to drive your car again, it will also be one less thing to deal with.
Maintain the Battery
Ideally your car should be started and driven every few weeks to help maintain the battery’s charge, but that’s not always possible to arrange. If you can’t start it every few weeks then disconnect the car’s negative battery cable. If your storage unit has electricity you can install a trickle charger, that hooks up to your battery and draws electricity from a wall plug to prevent your battery from completely dying.
Prevent Flat Spots
Inflate your tires to the recommended air pressure to prevent “flat spots”. These happen when a car sits for a long time and the vehicle presses down on the tires where they are touching the pavement. Flat spots are more common if your car is stored in cold conditions or if you have low profile tires. This can be prevented if you can take your car for a spin every couple of weeks. If this isn’t possible, and you’re looking at several months of uninterrupted storage, you might want to consider taking the tires off altogether.
These are just a handful of the steps you should take to prepare your car for long-term storage. Here is a video from AAA that has comprehensive tips to ensure your vehicle runs properly when you take it back out of storage.