There are many reasons when you may need to store your car or motorcycle for a long period of time. Heading for a long vacation, going for an extended business trip, whatever may be the reason you’ll need to put your car or motorcycle in storage. Leaving a vehicle unattended for long period of time can create problems when you try to drive again. Vehicle storage requires more than simply covering and parking it in a garage. When you are planning to leave you automobile for a longer period of time, you should take some necessary precautions. This will prevent common issues such as ruined tyres, damaged parts, and paints and so on. Here are few things you can do before storing your vehicle for long.
There are many options to store a vehicle; it all depends on how long you’ll be away. Indoor is always better, particularly for an older vehicle.
- Garage: If you have a garage at home you can store your vehicle there
- Storage facility: If you don’t have the place, better to rent a space at an indoor storage facility
- Family and Friends: You can keep your vehicle at your friend’s or family’s place if they agree happily to do so
The cleaner the vehicle the better. If you are storing your car, it’s important to clean the car from inside as well as outside. Water, stains and other substances can damage paint if left for long. Along with wash, wax the vehicle as well. You should change oil and oil filters so your car is ready to roll when you start it again. Fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer to prevent gum and varnish formation.
- Top off the tank: Fill the tank with fuel if you are storing for more than a month. This will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and does not dry the seals
- Prepare your battery and tyres: Remove the battery and clean its top with a mixture of baking soda and water. The unattended battery will lose its charge with time. Get someone to start your vehicle and drive for 15 minutes every two weeks. If this is not possible, a trickle charger can be a good alternate during vehicle storage
- Tyres are easily damaged as there is pressure on one small area. It is better to remove the tyres and place the vehicle on jack stands
- Keep away from ground moisture
Cover your vehicle properly
Even if you are storing your car or motorcycle in the garage, you should cover it. If you are storing it outdoors, consider a weatherproof cover.
Before covering your vehicle, make sure to:
- Close all windows and doors, in a car
- Store insurance, registration, and any other document safely in the glove compartment
- Clear out all valuables
- Remove windshield wipers to prevent it from sticking
- Above all it is important to maintain auto insurance during storage