If you’re planning to store your car for an extended period of time, whether it’s for a deployment, a long vacation, or simply because you won’t be driving it for a while, it’s important to take steps to maintain it during that time. Proper maintenance during storage can help ensure that your car is in good condition when you’re ready to drive it again, and can help prevent costly repairs down the road. Here are five tips to help you maintain your car during long-term storage:
- Clean and protect the exterior: Before storing your car, give it a thorough wash and wax. This will help protect the paint from dust and pollutants that can accumulate while the car is in storage. If possible, park your car in a covered or indoor area to further protect it from the elements.
- Check and maintain the tires: Tires that are left unused for long periods of time can develop flat spots or become misshapen, which can affect their performance and lifespan. To prevent this, make sure the tires are properly inflated before storing your car, and consider using tire covers to protect them from the sun and dust.
- Change the oil and filter: Old, dirty oil can cause damage to your engine during long-term storage. Change the oil and filter before storing your car to ensure that it’s running on fresh, clean oil.
- Disconnect the battery: If your car will be in storage for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery. This will prevent it from draining and potentially causing damage to the car’s electrical systems. If disconnecting the battery is not possible, consider using a battery tender to keep it charged.
- Use a fuel stabilizer: Gasoline can degrade over time, which can cause damage to your car’s fuel system. To prevent this, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank before storing your car. This will help keep the gas fresh and prevent the formation of gum and varnish in the fuel system.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your car is in good condition when you’re ready to drive it again. Remember, the key to maintaining your car during long-term storage is to start with a clean and well-maintained vehicle, and then to take steps to protect it from the elements and the effects of time.