A fuel stabilizer will prevent your car’s gasoline from oxidizing and thickening, which wreaks havoc on fuel systems. The shelf life of conventional gasoline is only three to five months without use. According to erie insurance, begins to break down after only 30 days. The best fuel stabilizers can extend that time up to two years.
Just like fuel, car fluids are also not meant to remain stagnant for long periods of time. Refilling fluids also prevents your vehicle’s seals from drying out and prevents moisture from building up. Before storing your car, fill the following fluids to their maximum levels:
Without periodically running the alternator, the battery will not go through the cyclical charge it was designed for and will slowly discharge over time. Fully charging the battery before storage will ensure it has as much power as possible before it goes into hibernation. a pinch explains that the correct charge for most car batteries is between 12.7 volts and 12.8 volts.
For especially long-term car storage, it’s even better to remove the battery and store it safely at home or in a heated garage (lay on a board or piece of plywood).
Dirt and grime can eat away at the paint and turn into rust. So wash and wax your car before you put it away for maximum protection. Especially in the context of the next step, be sure to clean the exterior of your vehicle before putting it away.
Once your car is spotless and free of corrosive substances, a properly fitting cover will protect it from further dirt buildup while also preventing rust if the storage environment becomes humid. Invest in a deck with a soft bottom or use a separate softer deck before installing a heavy duty one.
Putting your car on blocks or jackstands will prevent your tires from suffering from flat spots, which occurs when the same part of the tire supports the entire weight of the car for extended periods. Make sure you put the blocks on the car frame instead of the axle tubes; otherwise, you risk affecting the suspension.
It is not a good idea to keep the parking brake on for long periods of time. It contributes to rust and causes brake pads to stick to rotors or brake shoes to distort drums. Those are expensive problems, and there are virtually no benefits to leaving your car’s parking brake on. Use wheel chocks as an alternative, and for manual transmissions, put the vehicle in reverse.
Especially during cold weather, rodents will try to nest in anything that is insulated and can also chew through your car’s wiring. Make sure the storage facility is mouse-proof and thoroughly clean the interior to remove as much food debris as possible, even if steam cleaning is needed. If there is food, the mice and rats will find it.
Lastly, temporarily seal any openings, such as the steering column and entry points for cables and pedal spindles. For maximum protection, use a zipper bag to seal the entire car.
With these eight car storage tips, your wheels should be as ready to roll as when you left them. While it can be tempting to take shortcuts, you want to make sure your car is as well protected as possible, even when it’s just in storage.
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