If you are planning on going away for awhile then you probably are going to be looking to storage for your larger items. If you are a snowbird in a place or for whatever reason will be gone for more than a couple of months, then one of the main things that you’ll want to look into is secure car storage. There are self storage units available for automobiles and boats and RVs. Long term car storage is more common than you might think but there are a few things that you will need to do in order to prepare your vehicle for being in self storage units for that period of time. Here are a few car storage tips to make the transition a little easier for your vehicle and yourself.
- Make sure that you get the oil and filter changed before the car goes into the self storage units. Using good quality oil is recommended because the oil will just be sitting there and not cycling or filtering through the engine.
- You should top off all the car fluids, especially the coolant. Making sure that the coolant mixture is the correct antifreeze to water ratio will ensure that your car sits happily throughout those months without drying up.
- You may not think it’s important to get a car washing but getting a good wash and a heavy coating of wax before putting the car up in self storage units can protect the car’s finish. It will also get rid of any grime or road salt than may be attached to the coat. These elements can eat away at the paint and cause rust and corroding if not gotten rid of periodically.
- A car cover will also be beneficial in protecting your car while it’s in storage. You may feel like a cover is overkill because it will not be exposed to the sun or the weather but the elements can still seep into the self storage units through tiny cracks in the foundation or the walls.
- Adding a fuel stabilizer to your tank will help to keep it from separating as it sits over the long period of time. After you add the stabilizer, fill up the fuel tank and that will help to mix the stabilizer. As an added benefit, when you get back, your car will be ready to drive without having to stop at a gas station.
- After adding the new oil and the fuel stabilizer and gas, drive the car around for several miles in order to help the fluids circulate a little bit before putting it in storage.
- Ensure that the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure so that the weight of the car is even. Uneven pressure on the tires can cause damage to not only the tires but the rims and the wheel wells if not seen to.
The longer that the car is going to be in storage, the more preparation you should put in to it. The car needs to be protected especially when you are not going to be driving it. Bushing, tie rods and other rubber pieces can being to break down over time if the car is left unmoved for six months or longer. Often times the engine seals will dry out and this can cause a need for major repairs. The above list is good if the car is going to be in storage for a season where the weather is not going to fluctuate a lot. However if the weather will be changing while you are gone, there is a lot more that you need to do to protect the vehicle.
Ideally, if you are going to gone longer than six months, you will want a trusted friend or family member that lives in the area to do the necessary preparations to your car every few months in order to keep it fully protected if you plan to use it once you are back in the area. Throwing a cover over it and sticking it in a unit is not going to be sufficient. Once you get back, you will find that your car needs a lot of repairs and work done on it that could have been avoided.