Ten Steps to Properly Storing Your Automobile Long-Term

Posted on 07 September 2011 by Tony Santos

Long-term vehicle storage is a procedure you can only afford to get right once. Otherwise, you risk causing serious damage to what is surely a valuable machine that means a lot to you. But it isn’t hard to do it right. The following are the ten steps to ensuring you store your vehicle long-term the right way: 

1. The first thing you need to do is settle on a satisfactory self storage unit to place your car. Many cities offer a wide variety of self-storage centers, many of which accommodate the storing of vehicles. It’s important you choose a storage unit that’s climate controlled, waterproof, and bug-free. Take your time though to find the location that offers the best long-term rate.

2. Change your oil and replace the filter. This should be done the day before you store your vehicle.

3. Clean and/or replace spark plugs.

4. Drain and replace all fluids.

5. Have the vehicle detailed. You want every crumb sucked from the carpet and any grit and grime cleaned off the upholstery to keep critters away and further damage from occurring. Place a bowl of charcoal on the backseat floorboard to absorb odors. In addition, have the outside washed and waxed to leave it free from corrosion and armed with a durable coating.

6. Run the engine until the tank is near-empty. Opinions differ on the state of the gas tank of a stored vehicle with some suggesting that you add a mix into the fuel to prevent corrosion. But since it presents a potential fire risk, you might as well leave it empty and bring a gas can with you when you return later.

7. Drive the vehicle into the storage unit onto wooden planks under the tires. Keeping the car directly on the concrete won’t hurt the vehicle, but the wood will absorb mostly anything that could potentially leak out onto the floor. Jacks that keep the car a few inches above the ground work too, but risk harming the suspension. It’s better to risk damaging the tires than the car itself.

8. Turn the HVAC system to OFF to keep any pests from setting up shop inside during the storage period.

9. Remove the battery and take all essential papers out of the glove box.

10. Cover the vehicle with a clean waterproof tarp.

And there you go – your car is safe for long-term storage. Go gallivant without it; confident your baby is safe and sound.

Categorized | Car News, Car Tips, Featured

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