How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Storage - Part 3
Last time, we explained how to clean your exterior and what to do with your tires. In Part 3, well clean your cars interior and help you protect it from varmints.
Step 3: Inside & Out
If you plan to leave your car longer than a month, these are the tips youll want to follow. (For any trip that lasts less than 30 days, you might not need to go into this much preparation.)
Some storage tips seem like the opposite of what you should do. Remember how last time we told you to wash and wax your car? Guess what? You should also fill up your gas tank. When you use your car every day, youre constantly using fuel. But when you let your car just sit, moisture can actually build up inside the gas tank. To prevent that from happening (and to keep your seals moist), visit your gas station before packing it into the garage. And to prevent ethanol from building up, youll also want to use a fuel stabilizer (the team here at Precision Collision can explain the available options).
If you have a friend or relative willing to take your car out every couple of weeks, make sure they drive it for 15-20 minutes at a time. Not only is this good for your tires, it also keeps up the charge in your battery and gets your engine fluids circulating.
If you plan to put your car up on jacks to prevent the tires from developing flat spots, you can conserve your battery by disconnecting the negative cable. That way you wont have to drive it. (Bear in mind, though, that oil, if left to sit for an extended period, can stagnate and damage your engine.)
Also, when you park your vehicle for the last time, remember not to set your parking brake. The brake pads in your vehicle can actually fuse to the rotors if left attached. ItÕs a rare occurrence, but it can happen.
Finally, youre going to want to keep mice and rats from building nests in your car. You can do this by blocking off any sections of your vehicle that allow access to the inside. Put some steel wool into the pipes and air intakes and set up some mousetraps around the area.
Step 4: When You Get Back
Once youre back, make sure you remove the steel wool (and dont step on the mousetraps), then check your wires and hoses to make sure they havent been chewed on or degraded. Check your tire pressure, your brakes, windshield wipers and your battery. Check below your car to see if there are any signs of leakage.