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How to Prepare Your Vehicle For Longterm Storage

Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2022 | 883 views

Car stored with coverIf you’re thinking about storing your car for a while, do the following things to ensure sure it doesn’t get damaged or loses its value. The following are 10 simple tips by a mechanic that will help you prepare your vehicle before storage.

Remove Most Things from the Vehicle

First, remove all loose items from your vehicle. This includes trash and debris as well as any other items that could become loose or airborne during storage.

Leaving these objects in the car could cause them to get damaged or even cause your vehicle to smell bad after you open your car up for driving again.

Wash and Dry the Vehicle

First, wash the car. Simply use a convenient hose and bucket and give it a nice thorough wash. After washing it, dry it thoroughly before storing it away for months or years at a time.

Let it sit and dry or dry it with a soft towel. Any type of blower is not recommended for drying it because it may cause chips in paint finishes and cause other damage that can lead to future rust problems.

Just use a soft cloth and dry everything from top-to-bottom: roof, trunk lid/hatchback/lift-gate/roof rack crossbars/bumpers/fenders etc., along with wheel wells since moisture can collect there during storage periods too.

Vacuum the Entire Interior

Clean car dashboardYour vacuum cleaner is one of the best tools for cleaning the interior of your car and you should put it to good use. While vacuuming, use the crevice attachment so that you can get into all the tight spaces—under and behind seats, in cracks and crannies, and also between seat cushions.

Don’t forget to vacuum the trunk. Start by removing it from its hinges with a screwdriver or wrench if necessary. Vacuum around anything that would be hard to reach. If you need to just use the brush attachment to vacuum around such things as the hoses and wires.

It may seem obvious but don’t forget to vacuum the dashboard—it gets dusty fast. Also make sure you vacuum under your sun visors, air vents, around your steering wheel and the sides of the doors.

Many people forget about these areas because they think it’s just going to collect dust anyway.

The facts are that if these areas are left alone long enough without regular cleaning, mold could start growing and cause bigger problems in the future.

Change Your Oil and Filter

Mechanic doing oil changeMake an appointment with mechanic and get your oil changed. Even if you’re only keeping your car parked for a few months, it’s important to change the oil before storing it. If you don’t, there’s a high likelihood that the engine will gunk up, and that can cause some expensive damage.

While changing your oil it’s also a good time to look over the rest of your car—if there are any warning signs (like fluid leaks or visible damage)—now is the time to deal with those issues before they get worse.

If you do have the time before storing your vehicle, checking over and changing some of these fluids will help ensure everything will work properly once you start the car again.

Add a Fuel Stabilizer to Your Gas Tank

If you plan to store your car for more than a few months, add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank. Fuel stabilizers are readily available at auto parts stores and gas stations, and it keeps fuel from degrading while the engine is off.

If you don’t have time to change the oil before storing your car, adding fuel stabilizer can help ensure the gas remains stable until you decide to resume driving again. Fuel stabilizers add a protective layer for the sitting fuel and prevents evaporation so all your fuel doesn’t dry up while storing it.

Clean the Car Battery Terminals

Cleaning the battery posts and cable ends before storing your vehicle is important. Simply use a wire brush or a battery terminal cleaner to remove any corrosion from the battery posts and cable ends. Take a close look and make sure there’s no debris on any of these surfaces.

Also make sure to clean the battery tray and the hold-down clamp using a soft cloth and a mild detergent solution. Try to make sure not to get any liquid on your hands during this process.

Fill Your Tires with Air to Recommended PSI Levels

First check your current tire pressure. If you find it needs air, fill tires with air to recommended PSI levels. If you’re not sure what the recommended PSI level is, check your owner’s manual or look on the door frame for a sticker that lists them.

Disconnect or Remove the Battery

Before putting your car into storage for prolonged periods of time, you’ll want to disconnect or remove the battery from your car and store it in a cool, dry place. Batteries can be easily damaged through longterm storage and should be kept in a sealed plastic bag or case to prevent corrosion.

Cover Your Car to Keep Dust Away

You may be able to cover your car with a tarp or plastic sheet, but if you can’t, it’s still important to keep dust out of the interior.

Car covers are available for all types of vehicles and can be purchased online or at auto parts stores. If you don’t have a car cover you can also use an old blanket or even a thick towel that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Using a Car Storage Facility

If you can afford it, considering using a car storage facility for longterm storage if possible. A storage facility provides maximum protection from dust and moisture and does a great job of keeping thieves away from your vehicle.

If this option isn’t available in your area, consider using a garage or under-carport area instead where possible.

The Take Home

The key thing to remember is that you want to prepare your car for longterm storage so everything is stable and working properly when you decide to drive again.

If you need to store your vehicle but don’t want the hassle of of taking care of the above suggestions, just make an appointment with your mechanic and let them know your long term storage plans. They’ll be able to set your car up so it’s ready for storage and will work when you take it on the road again.

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