Long Term Vehicle Storage | Shelter Insurance®

Long Term Storage Vehicle Maintenance

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Leaving your car behind is sometimes inevitable. A long vacation might require you to leave your vehicle in a garage while you enjoy your time off. Many military members would understand the struggle when it comes time for deployment. In these cases, it is important to take care of your vehicle before you leave it behind—but you don’t need to be a mechanic to prepare your “baby” for a long break.

Choose Your Storage Place
This might sound too “high maintenance” but the climate matters to your vehicles! If you can leave it in a dry and clean garage, you can prevent rusting and other damage to the tires and paint. Open spaces are also acceptable, but they can cause more damage to your car. Sunlight, temperature, hail and wild animals are all factors that might cause problems for your car.

Refill the Empty and Drain the Old
Don’t park your vehicle for a long time with an empty gas tank. Fill up the gas tank to make sure no moisture causes corrosion. And while you are getting gas, set up an appointment to get your oil changed or do it yourself. Before the nozzle stops pumping gas, take a knee and check for any leaks. If you see any, don’t ignore it. Get it fixed!

Squeaky Clean
Imagine when you get back to your car after an extended absence. Wouldn’t it be better if you came back to a clean car that doesn’t have funky odors?  You should wash and wax your car before leaving it in a garage for a long time. Take any trash out of your car and if you have leather seats, it is a good idea to condition them to prevent any cracks and dry spots. Throw away any food or drinks that you have left inside. Things like that would not only go bad but also encourage small animals to get inside the vehicle.

Your car’s tires and battery will also need love. You can lift up your car on two or more jack stands to reduce pressure on the tires. It might seem safe to have your parking brake on, but it is not recommended for long-term storage. Another thing you can do is disconnect the battery of your vehicle and store it in a box.

Tuck in Your Baby Before You Leave
It might not be cold outside, but you should consider purchasing a high-quality cover that fully encloses the car to prevent any small animals entering the vehicle. To protect the bottom of your vehicle, you can also place a plastic sheet under the car and park on top of it to protect the tires from oils and elements that can damage them.

Make sure that you take care of your vehicle even if you don’t use it for a long time. Preparing well and providing the best environment for your car can prolong the life of your car and save you a lot of money in the long run.

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