You may need to put your car into long-term storage. There are things you should know about, and take care, of before parking that car for an extended period of time.
First, change the oil. That advice might seem odd at first, but the old used oil in your car has contaminants that can damage your engine if allowed to sit for a long period of time.
If possible, put your car up on jack stands, otherwise, flat spots can develop on the tires. If keeping it on jackstands is impractical, at least make sure the tires are properly inflated before storing your car. Tires will lose pressure over time whether or not you drive it.
Remove the windshield wiper blades. This keeps the rubbery material they are made of from sticking to the car’s windshield glass. Just make sure you don’t forget to replace them before turning them on again or you could scratch the windshield glass. You can cover the ends of the wipers with plastic bags if you are worried about this.
It’s a good idea, if you can, to remove the spark plugs and spray oil inside the cylinders to keep rust from forming on the inside of the cylinder walls.
Purchase some fuel stabilizer at any auto parts store and put it in the tank. This will keep the fuel healthy and ready to use when you’re ready to drive it again. Then, completely fill the tank with gas. The fuel will take up all the available space inside the tank and prevent air, which carries a certain amount of water vapor, from having a place to go. If allowed to sit in the partially empty take of your car, the water vapor can cool and condense on the inside of your gas tank. Water in your gas causes problems.
It’s not a common worry here in South Carolina, but in some places, winter temperatures can be a major concern. You want to make sure you have the right amount of anti-freeze in the car to make sure the liquid in your car’s cooling system doesn’t turn to ice. Water expands when it freezes and can cause damage, even cracking the car’s components. On occasion, it gets cold enough even here in the Greenville South Carolina area for this to create a problem.
Release the parking brake before storing the car. If you don’t, you run the risk that the brake pads will stick to the rotors. It’s a good idea to purchase some wheel chocks instead. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at any auto parts store. Placing them in front, and in the back, of your tires keeps the car securely in one spot.
Consider disconnecting the negative battery terminal if you are storing the car for a couple of months or more. The downside is that you lose your radio presets and your clock will be flashing the wrong time when you reconnect it. Instead, you could also hook up a trickle charger that keeps the battery charged when it’s not being driven.
It’s a good idea to wash the car. You don’t want things like bird droppings or tar to have time to penetrate the paint and damage the finish. Unless it will be in an enclosed area, buy and use a car cover.
Something you may not have thought about is your car insurance. Do you need car insurance when you aren’t going to be driving it for a long period of time? Well, yes, but there are ways to save money on car insurance while it’s in storage. Some insurance companies offer policies that don’t include liability while your car is in storage. Call your agent and ask about this before storing your car for a long period of time.
Cover openings such as the exhaust pipe and intake manifold to keep critters out.
To store your car in the Greenville South Carolina area, consider River Road Storage in Piedmont!