Long Term Vehicle Storage: How to Prep Your Car or Truck
Keep it Covered
It seems like common sense, but the first step to preventative care is making sure your car is covered. Garages or public storage facilities are the best places to store your vehicle since these environments will keep your vehicle away from damaging elements (rain, win, animals, etc.) and are usually temperature controlled. Simply letting your vehicle set on the street is never a good idea since it could be stolen or broken into, the battery will easily drain, and your tires and engine could easily be ruined. But regardless of where you decide for your vehicle storage, it should be sheltered with a weatherproof cover.
Fill Your Fluids
Before storing your vehicle, top off all fluids including anti-freeze, brake fluid, oil, and even your gasoline. Cars and trucks that are placed in storage low on fluids often end up corroded. This is especially important during season changes since temperature fluctuations can cause some of the fluid disappear naturally. If you will be storing your vehicle longer than 30 days, an oil change is a must regardless of levels since debris in old oil can damage a motor once it is restarted. Topping off your gasoline and a fuel stabilizer will protect against varnish, rust, and deterioration for up to a year.
Beware of the Brakes
One final thought is to make sure that the parking brake is left off. Though it might be tempting to turn it on to keep your car “in place”, leaving a parking brake on for a long period of time can cause it to seize or lock up. Sometimes, the brake pads can make contact with the rotors and fuse together. Talk about a mess! Thankfully, there is a cheap alternative. Instead of using the parking break, place blocks behind the tires.