Antique car buffs, jet-setting travelers and snow bunnies headed for Florida often have one thing in common: the need to put an automobile temporarily in storage. They also need to know that when they return, their cars will still run properly.
There are right and wrong ways to prepare a car for storage. These tips are from Cypress mini storage, Cypress self storage and Katy self storage professionals that can help keep your stored vehicle in tip-top shape.
Thoroughly Clean the Interior
To prevent mold and mildew from invading while you are gone, you will need to clean the trunk and passenger compartments. After clearing out all trash, remove the mats and vacuum everything thoroughly. When every crumb is safely gone, replace the mats and wash hard surfaces with a mild cleaning solution.
You might also choose to treat leather areas, but if the product you choose leaves a slippery residue, it is best to skip the steering wheel, pedals and gearshift knob.
Wash and Wax the Exterior
Since left-behind surface mud and dirt can contribute to rust formation, run the vehicle through a car wash and treat it to a heavy coat of good-quality wax.
Keep the Critters Out
A stored vehicle will often spell “home” to unwanted visitors, but they are ways to prevent this. Setting the ventilation system to “recirculate” will shut the door on one potential means of entry. Experts in long-term auto storage solutions also recommend closing off the tail pipes and air intake vents.
Change the Fluids
About a week before the big date arrives, be sure to change the:
- Oil and filter
- Brake, transmission and power steering fluids
Remember as well to fill the tank. At the optimal temperature of 80 degrees, a tankful of gas will stay fresh for up to a year, but if there are any concerns, the addition of a gasoline stabilizer will help.
Consider the Battery
A discharged car battery will often spell trouble. To prevent leaking acids from damaging your car, it’s best to remove the device entirely. If that is not possible, either disconnect it or attach it to a battery tender to help maintain the charge.
Care for the Tires
Your vehicle’s tires will need some attention of their own. Wrapping them in plastic sheeting will guard against moisture, and raising the vehicle on jack stands or blocks will prevent the formation of flat spots.
Position the Brakes
When storing your vehicle for any length of time, it is best to disengage the parking brake. This will keep it from sticking to the brake drum. Use wheel blocks instead to prevent the car from rolling.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Many insurance carriers offer special coverage for vehicles in storage. You might also want to check with the Department of Motor Vehicles concerning any need to file a non-use affidavit.
Store Your Car Indoors
The last thing any car owner needs is a vehicle that has rusted or corroded in their absence. Modern automobile covers may look substantial, but over the long term, they offer little protection from the elements. To ensure your car’s well-being and guard against its theft, experts recommend storage in climate-controlled storage. Facilities like Cypress Self Storage and Katy Self Storage offer units large enough to accommodate your vehicle. Some Cypress Mini Storage units and others of its kind also provide ample room for a car.
Bringing the Vehicle Back to Life
When you come to collect your car, open all windows and remove any stuffing from the vents, intake and exhaust pipes. Check fluid levels and, if necessary, replace or recharge the battery.
Now, give the car some exercise. If you did what you should have done back at the beginning, all systems should now be good to go.