You might have a car that needs work, but you’re just not ready to address it right away. You might tuck your classic car into bed every night with the same pride and joy as a first-time parent. We don’t judge. We just offer sound advice. Before you put your car into storage, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that she’ll run when you decide to get back on the open road.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Even if you do everything right, your car is only as safe as the building it’s stored in. So, let’s check a few things off our list.
- Does the building have a tight seal to protect against moisture?
- Is everything thoroughly cleaned to prevent harmful dust from settling?
- Is there limited light exposure wherever the car will sit?
- Is the floor clean and dry? Will it stay that way?
- How’s security? Will your personal building be closely monitored? What extra security features does the storage facility offer?
- What are you using to cover the car? Cloth is always a better bet than plastic for protection from moisture.
If you’re certain that the building you’ve chosen will be storing your car properly, it’s time to get down to business. As long as the facilities are clean, dark, and dry, the rest is on you. Let’s get to work.
- Get serviced. Whether you’re a do-it-yourself type of car owner or trust yours with a seasoned professional, your vehicle should always have an oil change and a full tank before storage. Here’s why.A full tank prevents excess moisture from building up within the open spaces of your tank. Moisture can cause the tank to rust, so filling up with premium gas and keeping the storage facility dry year-round is an important investment. Most mechanics will also recommend adding fuel stabilizer and driving around for a bit to ensure it’s thoroughly worked through the system before storage. A few miles should do the trick.
Optional security step: You should also remove your spark plugs and lubricate the cylinders before long term storage. If you’re looking for added security, you can hold onto the spark plugs until you’re ready to drive again. Just remember to keep them in a safe place that you won’t forget!
- Take a bath. No, not you. A cleaned and waxed car won’t collect damaging dust and debris. It’ll also make sure unwanted pests steer clear by eliminating any food crumbs and old odors.
Running a hose over the exterior might be tempting if you’ve had a long day, but classic cars aren’t the only ones who may need a little extra TLC. You can go the extra mile by working the baking soda into the soft surfaces of the car to absorb unwanted smells, then vacuuming out. Block off the exhaust, lubricate any hinges, and dress the wheels. You’re almost done!
- Jack it up. Fill up your tires to the maximum recommended PSI, then lift the tires just off the ground with jack stands to relieve weight from the tires and suspension and prevent flat spots.
- Think long term. How long do you plan on leaving your car in storage before taking it for a ride? Classic cars that won’t hit the road regularly should have the battery removed entirely, but still stored in a climate-controlled environment.
If you still plan on using the car from time to time, you might want to look into a battery tender to maintain the battery for longer. For this to work, you’ll need a power source in your prefabricated metal storage building.
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