Are you going out of town for a while, and can’t take your car? Do you take your boat or motorcycle out much in winter? A lot of people have valuable investment vehicles that they don’t use for months at a time. Like beautiful classic cars or sports cars.
We often work with customers who are moving locally because they want to downsize. They don’t have space for their vehicle in the new place, but they need peace of mind that it’s in good hands.
So what’s the best way to prepare your vehicle for storage? However long you’re leaving it for, this is what you should start with.
CHOOSE A VEHICLE STORAGE COMPANY WISELY
Air1 Moving & Storage facilities are totally secure from thieves. What’s more, they’re climate controlled. And this is definitely what you want for your vehicle. After all, humidity and freezing conditions can lead to rust, and expensive repair jobs.
Don’t trust your vehicle to any storage company without great pest control, either. Because even clean cars are attractive to mice and bugs. Plenty of pests would love to live in your vehicle, and chew away on your cables while you’re away.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CAR FOR STORAGE
There are similarities between preparing any type of vehicle for storage. But first let’s take a look at cars, as this is the most common vehicle that customers need to be stored.
GET YOUR VEHICLE SERVICED
Have a mechanic check that the belts, hoses and filters are all working well. Then you’ll be able to drive your vehicle away after its time in storage with no issues.
LUBRICATE YOUR VEHICLE WELL
A quick job and one your car will thank you for. Especially in winter. When you spray a little oil on the hinges in the doors, trunk and hood, your car will rest easy in storage.
CHARGE THE BATTERY
Depending how long you’re leaving your car for, you may avoid the need to jump-start it altogether.
MAKE SURE YOUR TIRES ARE OPTIMALLY INFLATED
Car tires don’t really like being stationary for too long. The weight of the car can cause flat spots, especially in older cars. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you leave your car for a short time.
CLEAN AND WAX YOUR VEHICLE
As we mentioned before, your vehicle may look like a five star hotel to pests. So make sure there’s no restaurant on the first floor. Get your vehicle vacuumed thoroughly inside to eliminate old crumbs and other edible debris.
You’ll also be able to enjoy coming back to a car that smells great. A car left unclean might smell musty when you go to pick it up.
And have the outside cleaned too. Bird poop can wreak havoc with car paintwork when left for a long time. A coat of wax will prevent stains and corrosion.
COVER YOUR VEHICLE
Get a modern, breathable cover that won’t trap any moisture. This protects your car from any dust, so you’ll be able to enjoy your vehicle as clean as you left it.
DON’T APPLY THE PARKING BRAKE
Yes, really. If you use the parking brake for too long, the brake pads can fuse with the rotors.
So it’s best to purchase a tire stopper, also called a chock. You can get inexpensive tire stoppers for less than $50 and they’re well worth it.
PUTTING YOUR VEHICLE IN STORAGE MORE THAN A COUPLE OF MONTHS?
Then follow all the above steps too. Your car will require just a little more TLC if you’re leaving it for longer.
It’s a good idea to change the oil before leaving your car in storage. New oil is kinder to your car’s insides than old oil.
Also, make sure the gas tank is full. Why? So no moisture builds up in there. In winter this could mean ice, which is not what you want. Also, a full tank means the seals stay nice and lubricated.
And these are the other fluids you should fill up with. Brake fluid, coolant and transmission fluid. Check.
Does your car have power steering? Then you should fill it up with power steering fluid.
Coming back to your tires. If you’re leaving your vehicle several months you should consider removing the tires.
The car can be left on jack stands. This means the tires won’t be damaged by all the weight in one place for a long time.
To prepare your vehicle for storage for more than 6 months, you should disconnect the battery entirely. Then the battery can be safely stored in a cool, dry place.
I NEED STORAGE FOR MY MOTORCYCLE
Good news for bike owners! It’s almost identical to preparing your car for storage. And storing a motorcycle is simpler. Because you can skip the parts about vacuuming inside and the parking brake.
HOW ABOUT PREPARING MY BOAT FOR STORAGE?
Like for a car, change the oil and fill the gas tank. Grease the control mechanism so it’s ready to go once you take it out of storage. Lastly, clean your boat thoroughly and wax it.
If you’re preparing your boat for storage over the winter you should disconnect the battery, drain the coolant and refill with antifreeze. And don’t forget to apply engine fogging oil.
PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE FOR STORAGE WITH LA’S LEADING STORAGE COMPANY
Air1 Moving & Storage knows all about how to prepare your vehicle for storage. After all, we’ve been in the storage business for over 20 years. And we know how important your belongings are to you. You can rely on us to keep your vehicle in top shape while you’re away.
Learn more about our storage facilities here. And we don’t just store vehicles. Ask us about art and piano storage too.