If you have a vehicle that won’t be used for a long period of time, you may wish to put it into “storage”. This can be in your own garage, a self-storage facility or some other secure location. If you are considering doing this, there are several things you can do to keep your car in good shape while it is hibernating.
Here’s a list of 8 things recommended by automotive experts:
- Clean your car’s interior. Don’t leave any garbage inside and certainly not any food or food remains (i.e. French fries lost between the seats).
- Give your car’s exterior paint a good waxing and polish up the chrome with a high-quality chrome cleaner.
- Consider putting a container of moisture dessicant inside the car. These are available at most hardware stores. These containers will absorb any moisture that penetrates the car from the outside air.
- Put a fuel stabilizer in your gas tank. Most ethanol-blended fuels have a shelf life of only a few months. If you’re storing a car for much longer, adding a fuel stabilizer should help prevent water corrosion in the fuel lines and engine.
- Inflate all your tires to the maximum allowed air pressure. They will lose pressure as time goes on so starting with maximum pressure is a good idea. By the way, for long storage, some people like to put their car up on jack stands. This is a really good idea if your car will be unused for a long period of time.
- If you live in a colder climate, make sure your car has enough antifreeze in the coolant. Two things you can do: You can have the coolant system flushed and refilled or, secondly, simply check to see if you have enough antifreeze with a tester (available at autoparts stores).
- Mice have a bad habit of nesting in vehicles parked for a long time. Use good old mothballs to keep them away. Put them into a glass jar or put a handful into an old sock on the floor.
- Your car battery should be either removed and stored, or even connected to a trickle charger. If your car is going to be stored for a considerable time, consider removing the battery and placing it in a heated location off the floor (in your basement for example).