If you want to put your car in long-term storage, you should know there’s more involved than simply locking the doors and walking away. This is because leaving a car parked for an extended period of time with no preparation can cause engine damage. Additionally, it can leave your ride with flat tires and make it vulnerable to pests. Therefore, it’s important that you properly prepare in order to avoid. Here’s what you should do.
Wash your car. Dust and dirt on the outside of a car can damage the paint job over time, and dirt, crumbs and other debris inside your vehicle can attract insects or rodents. Washing your car inside and out protects your car and ensures that it’s clean and ready to go when you take it out of storage.
Perform routine maintenance. If you haven’t already this year, perform an oil change before putting your car in storage. At the same time, be sure to top up on essential fluids, such as brake fluid and antifreeze.
Use fuel stabilizer. Fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer, which will prevent the gas from deteriorating for up to 12 months.
Put the car on blocks. To avoid getting flat spots on the tires and take strain off the vehicle’s suspension system, it’s best to rest the car on blocks or jack stands. If you don’t have access to lifts, fill the tires to the manufacturers maximum recommended air pressure before storing and try to drive the car until it’s warmed up every few months.
Disconnect the battery. If a vehicle isn’t driven regularly, its battery can lose its charge. Protect the battery by unplugging it and storing it on a wood or cardboard surface. Alternatively, you can plug in a trickle charge, also known as a battery tender. This delivers just enough power to stop the battery from draining.
Cover the car. While an indoor storage unit is optimal for some vehicles, many will do fine in outdoor storage or a parking lot. If your car will be kept outdoors, consider covering it with a weatherproof car cover, which will keep it dry and clean in every season.