Everyone has that one prized possession. For some, it might be a piece of jewelry that belonged to their grandmother. For others, it might be a watch. For the lucky ones, it is a car.
There’s nothing like sitting behind the wheel of your dream car. Many people in northern states choose to store their cars during the colder months. Other people may decide to store cars because it’s taking up too much space in the driveway or they just want it to be safely protected. Whatever the reason may be, you should be able to store your vehicle without any big expenses because of deterioration.
Here are some tips to ensure your car will be stored safely:
Clean Up the Car
Did you know that bird poop and water stains can damage the paint from the car? You may think it’s not necessary to get the car washed before placing it in storage for a while, but it actually offers more benefits than you think. When you clean the car, make sure you are getting all the hard to reach spots. Clean the tires and under the fenders to get rid of any mud, grease, or tar. Dirt holds moisture, and the combination of moisture and air causes iron and steel to rust. If you want to be extra prepared, give the car a coat of wax.
Don’t forget to clean the interior of the car, too – including the trunk. Use a skinny vacuum cleaner to clean up all those nooks and crannies. Even those tiny crumbs can lure in tiny critters and keep them well fed. Some experts even recommend placing a few dryer sheets or mothballs inside your vehicle to keep pests away.
Keep the Car Covered
Even if you’re storing your car indoors, you need to keep it covered. If you are storing it outdoors, you need to cover it with a weatherproof cover. Make sure all the windows and doors are closed and all valuables have been removed before covering your vehicle.
Keep the Car Stored in a Garage
It is always better to keep your car inside than outside – especially if you are storing an older vehicle. Even during hot summer months in Texas, it is best keep your car garage-kept.
Change the Oil
Changing the oil is only essential if you are storing your car for over two weeks. Old lubricants can become acidic and contain contaminants that can damage the engine. Once fresh oil has been installed, run the car long enough to circulate the fresh oil and replace the old oil.
Top Off the Tank
Before you leave your car in storage, fill up the tank with fresh fuel to prevent moisture buildup. This can occur if your vehicle is stored for over 30 days. You may also want to purchase a fuel stabilizer to prevent ethanol buildup and protect the engine from gum, varnish, and rust. The fuel stabilizer will also prevent the gas from deteriorating for up to one year.
Charge the Battery
If a battery isn’t being used, it can lose its charge. If you can, take the car out for a short drive every two weeks. If you can’t do it yourself, find someone who may be able to. This can maintain the battery’s charge and keep the engine properly lubricated.
If you don’t have access to someone who can start your car regularly, there are a couple other solutions. You can disconnect the battery from its cables. However, you might lose the stereo presets, time, etc. The other option is to buy a battery tender. This will connect to your car battery on one end and plug into a wall outlet on the other end. This will keep the battery from discharging by proving just enough energy.
Don’t Use the Parking Brake
You might use the parking brake as a good rule of thumb, but you should avoid this if you are leaving your car in storage. It is possible for the brake pads to stick to the rotors, which can cause problems when it is time to drive again. If you are worried about the car rolling, purchase a tire stopper.
Make Sure the Tires Have Air
Tires can develop flat spots if they sit for too long without enough air. Flat spots develop when tires lose their round shape. You may want to consider overinflating the tires by 2-5 PSI to compensate for lost air.
Keep Critters Away
Unfortunately, vehicles offer many hiding spots for critters and plenty of areas for them to chew on. If you notice any gaps that creatures can enter through, like the exhaust pipe or the air intake, cover the areas. Many people like to spread mothballs around the vehicle to ward off tiny critters.
Find Various Storage Options at Storage 4U
If you are looking for vehicle storage options in your area, look no further than Storage 4U. We are one of the top choices for boat, auto & RV storage in San Antonio. For more information, call 210-714-2459.