Cars need to be driven on a regular basis or they begin to break down. Issues can range from ruined tires to rodents nesting under the hood. But fortunately, if you plan on placing your car in storage, there are some steps you can take to protect it. Follow these simple tips to secure your car while you’re away.
Disconnect the battery
The battery is one of the first things to go when a car is in storage for too long. If there’s no one to periodically start the car, it’s a good idea to just disconnect the battery because otherwise it can leak corrosive acid that damages the engine. In particular, older batteries lose a charge more quickly, but jumper cables can be used when you’re ready to drive your vehicle again.
Jack stands take weight off the tires, which will prevent flat spots from forming. Otherwise, as tires lose air pressure, the weight of the car can create permanent flat spots where tires meet with the ground. This happens more quickly in cold weather.
Change the oil
Change the oil before leaving your car in storage for longer than thirty days. Dirty engine oil can thicken, making it difficult to start a vehicle that’s been parked for weeks.
Use a car cover
A car cover is an easy precaution. Wash and wax your vehicle to remove any grime that might damage the paint then cover your car for added protection.
Top off the tank
A full tank of gas prevents rust from forming while your car is in storage. It will also keep the seals from drying out. A stabilizer can be added to preserve the fuel for up to several months.
Whether you’re traveling for an extended time, or have a spare vehicle that just isn’t suitable for winter roads, carefully planning to put your car in storage will save you time and money later on.