Don’t “Let It Be”
Storing Cars Without Causing Damage
Most of us have heard Beatles music and the calming words of their song “Let It Be.” While it was a very successful recording, perhaps it’s not the best advice for maintaining your car. If your car is going to be sitting unused for a long period of time, there are a few simple steps you can take to help keep in good shape and save yourself some repairs. The ASE certified technicians at Jeff’s Auto Repair in Bellevue, Washington, look forward to servicing your vehicle once it’s out of storage. In the meantime, we’ll give you a few tips to help you maintain your car so that it is more likely to come out of storage relatively unscathed.
Preparing the Car for Storage
The key to preserving your vehicle while it’s not being driven is to prepare it well for the storage period. First, you should wash and wax it well to remove any corrosive particles. (It’s best to clean and vacuum the inside, as well.) Use a car cover, even if the car is inside. It is best, of course, to find indoor storage space. Ideally, this will be a dry place, preferably climate controlled, so that your car won’t rust or develop other moisture-related problems. Also, using tire jacks will prevent the tires from flat-spotting. Because batteries can leak and corrode when left sitting, you should disconnect the battery when storing your vehicle. You’ll want to change the oil prior to storage, too. Dirty oil is more likely to thicken as it sits, making it more difficult to circulate once you restart the car. Finally, attend to the fuel system before leaving your truck or car. Although it might sound unusual, fill the tank. This will actually help keep the inside of the tank from rusting as it sits. Also, add a gas stabilizer to prevent the gasoline from degrading and damaging fuel system parts.
Getting the Car Road Ready Again
Once you’re ready to remove your car from storage, it will need some routine maintenance. Be sure your battery connections are well secured when you reconnect it and ensure that it is charged. Service needs include checking/topping off all fluids, checking the oil (and changing if necessary), examining wires and hoses, verifying that all lights work properly, looking for leaks, and checking the tires, looking for damage and adequate air pressure. When your car comes out of storage, you’ll be glad to see it again, and so will we. Thank you in advance for bringing it to Jeff’s Auto Repair in Bellevue, Washington, for its post-storage service needs.