In case you’re going away or participating in a large event for longer periods of time, then you should consider leaving your car stored well. In fact, if your car is going to sit around for an extended period of time like more than a few weeks or months, then you should follow the steps provided below so as to store it properly and to also avoid mechanical problems that may arise from poor storage:
Steps On How To Store Your Vehicle Properly:
-Begin by changing the oil and filter: If your car is being stored for an extended period of time like a year and above, then consider talking to a mechanic about using oils without additives which may include slightly caustic detergents.
-Fill the car fuel-tank with fresh & premium fuel: Condensation in the tank is a huge problem in stored vehicles and that why it’s widely suggested to fill the tank completely with premium non-alcohol fuel in order to avoid any empty space where water can accumulate. However, gasoline tends to become “gummy” over time and it’s for this reason that you should add a gasoline stabilizer which is available for lawn mowers and other seasonal yard equipment. On the other hand, premium gas does not contain ethanol which is corrosive and can release water when stored for long periods. So, check the gasoline company distributor to get premium fuel just before storing your car.
-Fill-up the coolant section: Make sure coolant levels are proper in-order to keep engine component in a pristine condition even after long periods of storage. However, get a high-quality coolant that won’t cause rust to car components.
-Inflate the tires to a proper pressure-level: in-case you are storing the car for winter in a cold climate, check the manual for proper pressures. In fact, over inflation while in storage may help to prevent flat spots. Likewise, after storage expect some thumping tires until they are driven 10 miles (16 km) or so.
-Clean & wax your car: Wash under the car to remove any dirt most especially from the the wheel wells. Clean the interior extensively and remove any scraps and particles. Likewise, you can also remove the carpets for heated indoor storage. Lastly, wax your car paint to protect it from fading and rust.
-Consider placing a sheet of vapor barrier plastic under the car on the floor if it’s being stored indoors: This will prevent water vapor buildup in an unheated garage, and also makes it very easy to spot fluid leaks when the car is removed from storage.
-Open the window slightly if the car is stored indoors: However, consider using strong-smelling chemicals like soap or mothballs to keep animals away from the car when it’s under storage.
-Get & use a battery maintainer if the car will be stored for more than a month: These are smart battery chargers that only turn on periodically. So, for a few months, the maintainer can be attached to the battery while still in the car. However, for longer storage periods consider removing the battery and attach the maintainer to it outside the car. Likewise, try contacting the car’s manufacturer to ensure that this will not confuse the on-board computers and that you have written down any needed access codes for devices such as the stereo or alarm.
-Place a piece of plastic wrap on the windshield under the wiper blades: This will prevent rubber from sticking to the glass. Likewise, consider removing the blades completely and store them in a warm place. If you remove the blades, be sure to pad the ends of the wiper arms since they can scratch the glass if inadvertently turned on. Lastly, you can also leave the wipers in place and just wrap them with plain plastic wrap.
-Remove the spark plugs and spray a small amount of oil into the cylinders to prevent rust then insert the plugs back in. Use of a spark plug anti-seize lubricant on the threads to prevent the threads from sticking. This will also help to make disassembly easier it’s time to change the spark plugs. However, if you wish to skip this process, consider using additives that can be added and then driven to coat upper engine parts.
-Jack the car up on axle stands to avoid flat-spots in the tires: In case the car will be stored for extended periods of time, consider jacking it up on axle stands to avoid flat spots. However, this depends on the type of tires like; bias-ply tires need to be jacked up sooner than radials and high-profile tires should be jacked sooner than low-profile tires.
-Release the car handbrake: If the handbrake is left on, the brake pads may stick to the rotors after some time. So, release the handbrake and place chocks under the tires to prevent movement.
-Place a note to yourself on the steering wheel outlining the steps you carried out: This will help you remember the steps you took when you return to the car after some time so that you can reverse these steps. The list should contain every item separately so that you can easily reverse each step.
-Lock the car doors: Locking the car doors will help to prevent malicious people from trying to steal something from your car when you’re not around.
-Use a car cover only for outdoor storage: Consider using a car-cover for outdoor storage or in very dusty locations. This will actually prevent harsh weather conditions from spoiling your car exterior.