How to Prep Your Car for Long-Term Storage
For most people, driving a car is an everyday occurrence. You use it to get to work, go grocery shopping, or even go on a vacation. When you don’t drive for a few days, you might feel a little weird returning to such a mundane task. However, life can throw other things your way, and you may not be able to drive for a while. Whether it is an injury, an extended vacation, or simply a vehicle you don’t drive all year long, preparing it for storage requires some thought. Even when you’re moving, you might need to hire auto transport Florida to move it for you. In both cases, you need to prep your car for long-term storage to preserve its condition. Read on to learn the tips from the experts!
Why do you need to prep your car for long-term storage?
Even though it might not make much sense, a car is always in better condition when people drive it. If it sits in your garage for too long, and you only use it a few times in the year, it can become damaged. Simply put, if you’re intentionally planning to store your vehicle for a long period of time, you need to prepare it well. First things first, consider proper storage Florida for this situation. It’s not a good idea to leave your car in the driveway or anywhere outside for that matter. If you do, you’ll return to a damaged engine, flat tires, a dirty car that needs plenty of repairs. Make sure to store it in a safe spot inside if it’s going to sit there for a while. Whether it is your garage or a professional storage unit, it depends on you and your needs.
Before you store away your vehicle, make sure you service it
There is nothing worse than picking your car from storage after a few months and not being able to start it. In order to avoid this, do a full-service check on it before you store it. This includes getting your oil changed if you are storing the car for more than a month. Cross Country Moving Group FL experts say that used oil can damage the engine, so you should make sure you have it changed beforehand. Another thing you should do when you prep your car for long-term storage is filling your gas tank. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, it will prevent the moisture from entering the tank, and it will keep the seals from drying out. Depending on your situation, you might need to invest in a fuel-stabilizer as well.
After you service it, you should also thoroughly clean your car
Even though it might seem weird to clean your car when you’re not going to use it, hear us out. Water stains or any dirt that’s been sitting on your car will be much tougher to clean when it has plenty of time to dry and stick to the paint. Also, you risk your paint getting damaged in the process. Give the tires a wash as well, getting rid of all the mud and grease, so that they don’t crack. It’s not a bad idea to give your car a coat of wax either – it’ll prevent corrosion and keep the paint looking fresh. Vacuum the inside to get rid of any crumbs that can get stuck in the creases and attract rodents.
Keep the battery charged
If you leave the battery unused for a long period of time, it will eventually lose charge. The best solution would be to actually have someone drive it, at least for a few minutes every two to three weeks. This will keep the car’s engine in check and maintain the battery’s charge. Also, it’s great if the air conditioning is turned on at the same time, to circulate the air and keep the air fresh.
However, if you are moving long-distance and you can’t get anyone to drive the car for you, there are other things you can do. For instance, you can disconnect the negative battery cable. Even though you’ll lose some of your settings, such as stereo preferences or the clock, your battery will stay safe. But, if you really want to keep those settings, you can purchase a trickle charger. This is a device that can deliver some power to your battery to keep it from dying but won’t drain too much power. All you have to do is connect one part to the battery and the other to a wall outlet and you’ll be good to go.
Last but not least, cover your car to finish prepping it for long-term storage
As we already mentioned, keeping your car outdoor for a long time isn’t really a good idea. Bad weather can do a lot of harm to it. Imagine a heavy storm coming through, strong winds breaking a tree and having it crash your car? Nobody wants that. Therefore, you should definitely keep your car in a covered area. To be extra safe, invest in a waterproof car cover and cover the car after it’s been serviced and cleaned. Even though it is inside, it’ll still keep the critters and insects from trying to creep inside.
Our final tip for preparing your car for long-term storage is to refrain from using the hand brake. Instead, get a tire stopper and place it under your wheels. It’ll keep your rotors from fusing, and your car from rolling into the street. When you’ve done all of this prep before storing your car, you won’t have to worry about a thing!