Preparing your car for long term storage. Steps YOU need to take!

4 Nov by Dr Dan Amzallag, PhD (Expert Mover)

Preparing your car for long term storage. Steps YOU need to take!

Having a car is a great advantage – shorter commutes, more comfortable travels, safer drives to school, etc. However, there are often situations when people need to store their vehicles for a while.  You may have to go away for a while, on a vacation or business trip, or you simply have a summer vintage car you don’t need during winter months. Another common reason for long-term storage is military deployment. Be that as it may, you can’t simply park your beloved car in a storage unit. There are steps to take to prepare your car for long-term storage so you make sure it is safe. Also, you’ll avoid common problems that happen when cars are not used for a while – dead battery, rust, flat tires, etc. Here are the best tips on how to protect your care while you’re not driving it.

Find a safe storage

To make sure your car is safe, be sure to find a safe storage unit to keep it in. Check the safety systems, lights, working hours, etc. Also, if you have other things to store, make sure to pick the right one. Make sure that you keep your items in a safe storage unit that gives you enough space and good storing conditions for your car and other items you need to place there.

And finally, make sure to know everything about storage unit insurance policies so you know your items are protected.

To prepare your car for long-term storage  – leave it sparkly clean

One of the key steps you need to take if you want to prepare your car for long-term storage is to deep clean it. First of all, take out all the rubbish that may have piled up in the car – all those takeaway coffee cups, parking tickets, snack bags, etc. Be sure to leave nothing that can cause further contamination – especially leftover food or drinks. Next, clean and vacuum the car thoroughly.  Once you’re done with the interior, be sure to wash the exterior, too. And finally, be sure to wax the car. This will ensure that the car paint is protected, so you’ll avoid finding rust once you come back to take the car.

Figure 1 Clean the vehicle well if you want to safely prepare your car for long-term storage  alt.tag: the way you should wash the car, trying to prepare your car for long-term storage

Fill it up

If you’ll be leaving your car for more than a month, a full gas tank is a must. The reason is very simple. If you leave no empty space in the reservoir, you will make sure that no moisture comes inside and creates condensation, which will protect the seals from getting dry.

Figure 2 Make sure to leave the gas tank full before you leave the car in a storage unit. alt.tag: a car being filled with gas at a gas station

Extra tip: To prepare your car for long-term storage, be sure to use a fuel stabilizer, so you can save the gas from losing its quality and avoid ethanol accumulation. Also, be sure to use high-quality fuel, too.

Make sure to change the oil

This step is particularly important if you are leaving the car in storage for more than a couple of weeks. The reason why you should change the oil completely is that the ‘old oil’ you already have in the car may be contaminated. So, leaving it like that for a longer period of time can cause further problems.

Check for the leaks

Make sure your car has no leakage before you leave it in storage. Check the brakes, engine, transmission, etc. Be sure to fix any problems your vehicle might have, so you avoid any additional problems that may appear while you’re gone.

Don’t forget the car battery

Car batteries are very sensitive to low temperatures and not using them for a long time. So, when you want to prepare your car for long-term storage, be sure to take care of the battery. There are three ways to do it:

  • First, if you have the opportunity, be sure to start the car every 15 days or so, or ask someone to do it. Starting the car every two weeks and driving it for 15 minutes will help it recharge and keep it healthy.
  • Another thing you can do is to remove the battery completely. Just be sure to store it in its original box, rather than putting it directly on a concrete floor.
  • And finally, there are some cars which don’t allow battery removal and require a constant charge. In this situation, you can leave the battery connected to a trickle charger and make sure the car computer is on all the time.
Figure 3 Be sure to prepare your car for long-term storage by taking care of its battery alt.tag: car battery cables on a car

Other tips to prepare your car for long-term storage

Here are some additional tips for safe car storage:

  • have two jack stands, so you can place your car on them and release tires from long-term pressure.
  • inflate the tires – but be careful to do it to the recommended tire pressure.
  • don’t leave the parking brake engaged – leaving it up for too long may cause damage.
  • do the grease service – make sure to grease the steering wheel and other similar components to keep them from drying out.

Do you need to move?

One of the reasons to prepare your car for long-term storage is relocation. Since the moving process involves many steps, it can be overwhelming. That’s why you need to make sure you have a smooth and hassle-free move.

The safest way to do it is to hire professionals to help you out. Letting an experienced moving company like to deal with your relocation will make everything easier. You won’t need to worry about these tiring details and you’ll protect your health and your items as well.

And finally…

Once you finish with all the steps to prepare your car for long-term storage, be sure to cover the car completely. You can get a special car cover that suits the model you have, so you don’t have a cover too big or too small. A climate-controlled storage unit is a great advantage, but covering the car is an easy additional step to complete safety.  Following all of the above tips will help you have your car ready for the next season or the time you get back from the road. Resource for all images on this article is listed below.

ByDr Dan Amzallag, PhD (Expert Mover)

20 years experience in the field of moving and relocation. Sharing tips and expertise in the proper ways to move, pack, and arrive at your destination. Managing, the leading consumer protection portal for the moving industry

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