How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Storage - Part 2
In Part 1 of this series we gave you the best tips for finding the ideal location for long-term vehicle storage. In Part 2, well discuss cleaning your exterior.
Step 2: Washing Up
The whole concept of washing your vehicle before putting it away for long-term storage may seem counter-intuitive. You wash your car before going out on the town, not when its getting mothballed for several weeks. Its true that washing your car makes it look good, but thatŐs not the real reason you should be doing it.
The elements can wreak havoc on both your paint and whats under your hood, in the winter and in the summer. Bird crap, stains, dust and pollen will all fade and damage your paint if left on too long. Depending on where you live, the water that comes out of your local sprinklers and even the rain can contain chemicals that will negatively affect your exterior. If you havent already, check out our article on how to wash your car after a paint job. We go into even more detail there.
A handwash is always best, because that will allow you to get down and clean out any dirt and debris caught in the fenders and wheels. If you want to go the extra mile after cleaning, we also recommend a waxjob.
What to Do with Your Tires
This will really depend on how long you expect to be gone. In a perfect situation, you should remove your tires and put your vehicle up on jacks. That may not be doable, but it is the best solution. And thats because your car is heavy.
When youre driving regularly, your tires rotate and share the weight equally. But if left too long, your tires will develop flat spots that canŐt be fixed.
If you cant put the car up on jacks, see if you can get a friend or relative to take the car out for a drive every few weeks.* Youre going to want them to do that anyway to keep the battery charged, but well cover that in Part 3.
*If you do ask a friend to drive the car, make sure your tires are at the correct pressure level before you leave. Continue to Part 3