Long Term Car Storage
Storing a car the correct way is more than just driving it into a storage shed and shutting the door. If you want your car to come out as good as when it went into long term storage then you will want to take a few extra steps to take care of your car. Some of the below steps and tips for storing your car can depend on how long you are planning on having it in storage. If it’s just going to be for a month than just top off the tank with gas and don’t worry about it. But if it’s going to be for several months or even longer than you want to prepare for it. So let’s see what kind of things we can do to keep your newer, or older, or classic car to survive it’s time in storage.
The gas tank – gasoline over time will absorb moisture and this can cause it to go bad. One of the ways to get around this problem is to reduce the amount of air that can come into contact with the gas that is still in the tank. The simple solution is to just top off your tank before storing your car. Without any air left in the tank there isn’t much moisture there for the gasoline to absorb.
Tires – older tires are notorious for developing flat spots would be in part for a longer period of time. This would cause such joys as a vibration below 20 mph; getting worse the slower you went. Newer tires, such as radials, are not as bad as older tires. One easy way to get around this problem is to overinflate the tires about 10 more pounds than the manufacturers recommended pressure. You can get away with this as you’re not driving down a hot freeway or anything. Just be sure to restore the pressure to the correct level when you pull the car out of storage. You can also jack the car up in the air and set it on jack stands to take the load off of the tires. If you do put the car on jack stands, put the stands at the ends of the suspension so that the suspension components are not sitting in an extended state. This can also simply be a pain to do when storing and removing a car from storage, so just over inflating the tires is the easiest and effective solution.
Engine oil – engine oil also has the ability to absorb moisture from the air in this can help promote some rusting on the inside of the engine. Before storing the car, do a fresh change of oil and then run the car so that it gets up to full temperature.
Car covers – car covers can be an effective way to keep the dust off of your car’s finish. Car covers should only be used inside where there is no wind. The reason behind this is that when will flap a car cover around and beat the snot out of your paint. This gets even worse if any dust or anything else gets blown up in between your paint in the car cover. So only use a car cover when a car is stored indoors.
Brakes – brake fluid is another great fluid on your car that has a fantastic ability to suck the moisture. This can cause rusting out of your brake lines from the inside. If your car is going to be stored for a long time then it is a good idea to flush out your brake system with new fluid. They should be done every year or so anyway. Also top the brake fluid reservoir all the way off so that there is less moisture in less air available for the brake fluid to absorb.
Battery – there are two ways to approach this, if you have an older car just pull the battery out and take it home and store it in a semi-warm place occasionally putting a charger on it to keep the battery topped off. If you have a newer car and the storage time is not going to be that long then you are better off leaving the battery in the car due to the electronic systems that require some power to contain information such as your seat settings, radio, and any settings that the computer needs. If you can put a small battery charger/monitor on it to keep it topped off and ready. Some of these can be solar charged and you can simply plug it into your cigarette lighter and set it on the dashboard.
Guarding against mice – if you can set mouse trap’s underneath your car and also clog any holes up with steel wool. It seems that mice can get into just about anything. So take some time and see if your car has a drain hole for the heating and cooling system and stuff some steel wool in that. That drain hole may look small but a mouse can go right up it and then it will build a nest in your nice interior.
Engine compartment – to keep some surface rust off the engine simply take a can of WD-40 and spray it around the engine compartment. The WD-40 will leave a protective covering over everything it hits stopping surface rust in its tracks.
Hopefully these tips and tricks for long term vehicle storage would help you out when you’re looking for information on how to store a car.