Vehicle storage can be pretty basic if you’re storing it for a short period of time. In that case you just need to find a suitable self storage facility that allows cars to be stored either in an indoor or outdoor storage unit. You’ll need to make sure you can show proper ownership of the car and insurance on the car. If you’re storing your vehicle for an extended period of time, however you may need to take special steps to ensure mechanical problems don’t arise. Here are a few quick “to do’s” if you plan on storing your car for an extended period of time:
- Change the oil and filter
- Make sure coolant levels are proper
- Inflate the tires to proper pressure
- Clean and wax the car
- Slightly open a window
- Release the parking brake
- Lock the doors
Other things to think about when you place your vehicle in storage for an extended period of time is making sure you periodically check the vehicle and run it for a short period of time (outside of your storage unit, of course). Storing your vehicle in a secured storage unit could also lead to insurance discounts so be sure to let your insurance agent know when you place your vehicle in storage so you can see if you qualify for any discounts.
Tips for Storing
Almost all automobiles and any other means of transportation that uses moving parts to function need to be regularly used or maintained. If the car is left too long, then corrosion may be imminent as well as the formation of sludge in the engine and other parts that use lubricants and oils to function. When vehicle storage is looming, there are several things that the owner needs to keep in mind before leaving the automobile. Consider disconnecting the battery cables in order to prevent possible problems with the circuitry when you return. Some batteries discharge after they have not been used for a long period of time. It is dangerous to leave the cables on the battery because these can corrode and produce some substance that may be unsafe. Leaving the automobile for just a few days (three to four) will not affect the battery that much.
Another vehicle storage tip is to have the car cleaned thoroughly before leaving. The cleaning will take away any potential mud or dirt that can be the starting point of rust and corrosion. Usually, mud contains some moisture that can corrode, even the best paint jobs or anywhere else that it may be stuck in. The Wheel wells are prone to rust because they are the first place where mud and water can actually be stuck in. It is a good idea to have the automobile cleaned well before going on a trip in order to prevent this. Longer periods of inactivity in the car can also result to the acids in the lubricants to corrode the engine. A week or two is acceptable, but months on end may require the oil to be changed before actually storing the automobile. It is not advisable to take out the lubricant and then not replace it with new oil because this can cause the engine to corrode. The presence of new, unused oil can help to prevent this. This action is advisable if vehicle storage may be several months to several years. If the oil change was not done before leaving, the owner should ask someone to at least start the vehicle every few days if he or she foresees not coming back for several months.