- June 16, 2014
Whatever the reason, you sometimes need to store your car. There are a number of things to do before you lock the door and walk away for a month or more. Letting your vehicle simple sit the way you left it while gone can lead to problems when you return.
Below is a list of tips and advice to help you store your vehicle while you are away.
Clean It Up
Make sure you car is clean when you leave so that any dirt and road grime doesn’t further adhere to your vehicle’s paint or undercarriage which can lead to corrosion and damage.
Keep It Covered
The ideal situation would be to keep your car in a heated indoor space. If you don’t have a garage available, consider renting a storage facility. You can also purchase weatherproof car covers for reasonable rates that will keep your car clean and dry while you are gone.
Fill up the Tank
If you expect the car to be in storage for more than 30 days, fill the tank with gas. This will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out. You should also purchase a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating over time.
Keep Your Battery Charge
A battery not in use will eventually lose its charge. If possible, get someone to start the car every two weeks and drive it for about 15 minutes. This will allow the battery to recharge and the car to maintain good working order.
Don’t Use the Parking Brake
It’s usually a good idea to use the parking brake, but don’t do it when you leave a car in storage. If the brake pads make contact with the rotors for too long, there is a chance that they might fuse. Instead of engaging the brake, you can purchase a tire stopper, also called a chock, to prevent the car from moving.
Prevent Tire Flat Spots
Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended tire pressure. If a vehicle is not driven for a long time, the tires can develop flat spots from the weight of the vehicle.
Keep Animals Out
A garage will keep your car dry and relatively warm. Unfortunately, those are also two things that make a garaged car attractive to mice or rats. There are plenty of places in your car for critters to hide and plenty of things for them to chew on. Try to cover any gaps where a mouse could enter, such as the exhaust pipe or an air intake. Steel wool works well for this. Next, spread mothballs or cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil along the perimeter of the vehicle. The smell is said to drive mice away.
Remember, Bellingham Automotive is here to help you with all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs. If you have questions about how to properly prepare your vehicle for storage, or need help getting a car running that has “sat” for too long, we are here to help!