Tips To Store Your Car Properly
Posted in: News.
Almost everyone has experienced this, you leave your vehicle unused for an extended period, be it a vacation or a situation whereby you’re relocating and cannot take it with you immediately. Ensure that you have the appropriate insurance cover at car.co.uk. Later, you discover you need to have it serviced in order to run again. Well, the good news is that you can avoid this if you follow a few simple steps. That being said, here are a few tips on how to store your car correctly so that it doesn’t call for servicing the next time you need to hit the road.
Park Indoors or Use a Cover
If you are leaving your vehicle unused for a long period, it’s best to park it indoors. It will be safer and cleaner this way. If you cannot afford to keep it indoors, then use a cover. Ensure you get one designed for your car type or model. Also, do not use the cover if you park the car indoor as it will trap any moisture left inside.
Don’t Engage the Handbrake
Leaving the handbrake engaged for an extended period can lead to brake pads being stuck to the drums or discs. If this happens, you will experience issues the next time you fire up the car. Instead, use wheel chocks, perhaps a brick or a piece of wood to prevent the car from rolling. Also, leave the vehicle in first gear.
Clean the Interiors
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something that most car owners usually forget. People tend to leave all sorts of items in cars, from biscuits or chocolate wrappers to water bottles, old newspapers, and everything in between. All these items are likely to rot or attract rodents that might cause damage to your seat covers, floor mats, and even wiring. If you don’t want this nightmare the next time you want to use the vehicle, ensure you clean the interior thoroughly and spray some freshener. However, do not spray too much as it’s bound to stink when confined for a long time.
Spark Plug Care
If you know you’re going to leave your vehicle sitting for an extended period, then remove the spark plug and spray a little oil into the sockets before putting back the plugs. This helps prevent the cylinder-head interior from rusting and keeps away any moisture. Also, you can use fuel additives that create a protective layer to the interior of the engine. Of course, it’s advisable to do this if you’re able to handle the mechanics of your vehicle.
Next, you’ll want to remove the battery. Smear some petroleum jelly on the wire ends and terminals to avoid rusting as well. Before storing it in a cool and dry place, ensure you top up the battery’s water level and charge it fully.
Fill Up the Fuel Tank
One of the biggest issues of leaving a vehicle idle for an extended period is rusting on the interior of the fuel tank. To prevent this, fill the tank to the brim and add some fuel additives if possible. This will prevent moisture from making its way into the tank, which often results in rusting. Of course, ensure that the tank is sealed tightly.
Change Oil and Filters
You will also want to replace the air filters and oil. Used oil contains sludge, metal fillings, moisture, and other elements that contribute to corrosion. It is therefore advisable to put new filters and fresh engine oil. Before storing the car, ensure you drive the vehicle for several miles in order for the new oil to circulate inside the engine.
Jack Up the Vehicle
Vehicles that have been idle for an extended period tend to develop flat spots on tires. As such, consider using four jacks or wood blocks to prevent the car from resting on the wheels. If you are dealing with a sports car, you can leave it without support for as long as 2 months without the tires sustaining damage.
Keep the Tires Inflated
Speaking of tires, you’ll want to check the pressure and ensure it’s at the right level. Ideal inflation can help prevent flat spots and the sidewalls cracking. Check the valves for leaks and ensure the caps fit correctly.
Protect the Paint Job
A vehicle’s paint job can sustain damage if the car is parked outside, even with a cover on top. This can be attributed to dust, moisture, and grime. To protect the paint job, ensure you clean the exterior properly. Ensure you get rid of any dust, grime and dirt stuck on the car before applying a coat of polish or wax. This will help keep moisture at bay.
For complete protection, do not forget to use the cover.
With these tips, your car should run as normal even after months of sitting idle.