How to Prepare Your Car for Storage
If you have separate cars for winter and summer, it can be difficult to manage where you keep your cars. During the winter season, your car can experience a wear and tear associated with weather exposure if you leave it in the driveway. In order to both protect your car and keep your garage free, you may want to consider putting your vehicle into a storage facility.
However, before you put your vehicle in storage, you should make sure that you adequately prepare your car for a long period of disuse so that it does not experience any deterioration or mechanical problems. This preparation will keep your car in good working order when you take it out of storage.
Maintain the Car
The most important thing that you should do to your vehicle before you move it into a storage facility is to either check all the systems under the hood yourself, or get a mechanic to do it for you. You'll want to check for any minor repairs that are in need of fixing so that minor problems don’t turn into major ones while the car is in storage.
This maintenance includes checking for leaks in your brake lines, ensuring that your oil and transmission fluid are clean, making sure that your air conditioner is working properly, cleaning out vents if they have any mold or mildew and performing a handful of other routine checks.
It's also a good idea to wash the car before you put it into storage: this can remove dirt, grease and grime that can eat away at your paint and allow rust and corrosion to develop on the body of your vehicle.
Top Up the Fuel Tank
Another important thing that you should do before you put your vehicle into storage is to make sure that your fuel tank is as full as possible. A half-empty fuel tank can pose a serious risk to the structural integrity of your vehicle. Moisture can accumulate in the empty space in your fuel tank where the moisture can cause rust to form on the inside of the tank, eating your vehicle away from the inside out.
However, you need to be sure that you add in a fuel stabilizer, available at most hardware and auto supply stores, as this will prevent your fuel from breaking down over the few months that it will be sitting idle in your vehicle. When you add a fuel stabilizer, you will make sure that your car will start on the first try when you take it out of storage.
Check the Tires
You should also make sure to check your tires to ensure that they are at the right level of inflation. Over inflation can cause your tires to run the risk of bursting, whereas under inflation can speed up the development of flat spots on your tires when they are sitting idle.
In order to prevent flat spots, you may want to remove your tires from your vehicle entirely while it is in storage and store your car on blocks. Alternatively, you can take your vehicle out of storage every few weeks and drive around a few blocks to ensure that the tires are properly rotated.
Plug in the Battery
Finally, because the alternator won’t run while the car is in storage, you need to make sure that your car's battery is kept in good condition while not being used. You can purchase a trickle charger from an auto supply store that plugs right into your battery and provides a small amount of power over a long period of time. The trickle charger will keep your battery topped up without burning it out.
For all of your vehicle storage needs or if you have any questions about vehicle storage, you can contact us at Delray Storage.