Spring is the season of riding around in the car with the top down and your music blaring and a lemonade in your hand. If you have a car in storage, chances are you have gone to the storage facility several times over the cold months to check on your car to sure that it is safe. No matter how long it has been since you last drove your car, by the end of winter, you are ready to get your car on the road again!
When placing a vehicle in storage for any period of time, there are important things you must remember to do to maintain your car’s current state. While it is easy to drive to the storage facility, open your garage door, drive the car in, lock it up, and leave, there are very important steps that you may have forgotten to do that could end up costing you greatly in a few months when you take it out of storage. While springtime is supposed to be an exciting time for people who own classic cars, it can become a dreaded time if they haven’t handled their vehicle properly prior to the season changing.
Here are three vehicle storage mistakes that classic car owners make, and can be avoided if you take the time to address them.
- Never Check the Car’s Engine While in Storage
Most people can’t stand to be away from their classic car and will go to the storage facility and check on the vehicle by turning on the engine and revving it up to hear it purr. Because the engine is so cold from sitting in storage, if you go and start the car up, you will get fuel dilution in the crankcase which can cause issues if it is not properly handled. In order to get this all burned off, the engine has to be hot enough to get rid of any buildup of fuel that might have leaked. When you crank your car up for a short period of time, the car doesn’t have enough time to get hot to take care of this problem. It is best to just keep the engine off and your key away from the ignition during the winter months. Chances are, your car is just fine sitting in storage because it is protected from any weather elements and potentially causing damage is not worth it to just hear the purr of the engine when you are not able to enjoy it.
- Don’t Change the Oil
When your car is in a storage unit for months at a time, you probably think that as soon as you get it out and start driving again it will need an oil change. When discussing the car that has been in a storage unit all winter long, there are two different approaches to whether or not the oil needs to be changed. The one side comes from the man who spent his entire winter months going and revving up the engine and staring at his car when he shouldn’t have. The other is that the oil is just fine.
Oil has a lifespan of at least six months of sitting in your car before it needs to be replaced. There are only three times that the oil must be replaced after your car has been in storage: if you are that guy that cranks the engine all winter long, if you didn’t change the oil before putting the vehicle in storage, or if the oil that was in the car was not fresh when you put it in storage. There are additives you can purchase that can be placed in the oil to help preserve it while the car is sitting in storage. There are natural additives already in the oil, but to help it last longer, consider purchasing some additives from your local store.
You need to research and talk to your car mechanic about the additives you can purchase to protect your fuel life while your vehicle is in storage because you need to make sure that whatever you decide to do will help your car to stay in a healthy state. Before first driving your car in the spring, you can add another additive to help boost the engine and overall function of the entire car.
- Protect Your Fuel and Fill it Up
Even though you went through the hassle to handle your oil the right way before placing it in storage, you still might need to replace it when you get the car out for your springtime enjoyment. If you used ethanol-blended fuel before you placed the car away, you will need to replace it because it is not a good quality oil. If the engine is not acting how it normally should, you can almost always pin the blame on your engine.
Ethanol fuel is something you want to stay away from if you have a classic car. The way these cars work is by having the gas tank breathe through the portion of the car known as the filler neck. Ethanol is a chemical that soaks in moisture from the air and can cause a lot of damage as well as prevent the fuel from burning how it should. If the fuel has too much moisture, you will know immediately because the engine will not start.
Properly caring for your vehicle does not require a lot of work or a lot of effort, but if you fail to do so, you might have a huge expense on your hands in the springtime if your car will not start due to laziness on your part. Classic cars are expensive to begin with, and worth any amount of money it might take to protect them against the weather that comes with each season of the year. Making storage mistakes can be prevented by taking a little extra time to love and care for your vehicle.
For more information on our storage services, give UltraStor a call at (289) 812-0153 or contact us online.