If you want to keep your car safe and secure either during the wintertime or during periods when you’ll be out of town for awhile, you’ll want to implement some storage best practices.
Storing a vehicle for an extended period of time requires some planning on your part so that your car, truck or SUV is in good repair when you eventually want it back out on the road. With that said, here are 10 tips for storing your car safely and securely:
- Battery: If you have an older vehicle that doesn’t have engine computers, disconnect the battery and remove it from under the hood. But if you have a newer model of vehicle that has engine computers, leave the battery in place. You will, however, want to connect it to a smart charger to keep the battery properly charged during times when you’re not using the vehicle.
- Clean: Before storing away your vehicle, be sure to give it a thorough cleaning inside and outside. Also be sure to remove any food items that may otherwise attract vermin. When cleaning, go beyond the call to duty by ridding your vehicle of road grit and grime that can gather in fender wells and other places, and after washing your vehicle, dry it completely and then give it a nice wax.
- Fuel Stabilizer: Leaving untreated gasoline in your car for an extended period can cause all sorts of problems including oxidization. Using fuel stabilizer will keep your fuel fresh and prevent problems.
- Off the Ground: You’ll want to use car jacks under the front suspension as well as under the rear axle. Failing to do this could over time cause flat spots on your tires and compromise drivability when you finally do take your car out of storage.
- Block Exhaust Pipe: If you leave the exhaust pipe as is for an extended period, you might eventually find out that rodents have used it as an entryway into your vehicle. You can prevent this by covering the exhaust entry with, say, a rag and using some tape to hold it in place.
- Remove Blades: Wiper blades may affix themselves to the windshield if left unused for too long, which means that you should remove them and store them in the car. Before doing so, be sure to clean the wiper blades thoroughly.
- Fluids: Just before you store your car for an extended period, you’ll want to change the fluids. That means antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid and engine oil (note: don’t forget the oil filter).
- Tires: Use plastic sheeting to cover up the tires and ensure that the tires are correctly inflated.
- Cover Up: Cover your vehicle with a tarp whether it’ll be stored inside or outside. If outside, the tarp will protect your car from the elements; if inside, the tarp will protect your vehicle from dirt.
- Storage Facility: If you don’t have a garage and don’t relish the idea of leaving your prized possession outside, then you should consider storing it at a facility designed to look after cars.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about if you want to store your car. But if you follow these tips, you’ll be able to store your vehicle safely and securely so that it’s ready for the road when needed.