If you own a high-end European sports car or a beautiful European import vehicle, many of these cars are only meant for show. If you have a vehicle that you rarely drive, what is the best way to keep it stored and properly maintained? Even if your car sits in your garage or other storage, it still needs a little bit of TLC. If you plan to store your vehicle for a month or longer, check out these tips to keep it taken care of.
Prep for Storage
Before you put your vehicle in storage or leave it sitting idly by, get it nice and clean. Wash your vehicle from top to bottom and remove all dirt and debris like dust, tree sap, and bird droppings. Once it’s clean, polish and wax the paint. You can also add a protective undercoating for an extra layer of protection. Fill your tank with gas before you store it if you plan to do so for more than 30 days. This will keep moisture from building up inside the gas tank, and a fuel stabilizer is recommended. This stabilizer helps to preserve the fuel since most gas only lasts around three months. A full tank will also keep the fuel lines from excessive corrosion.
Inflate your tires before you store your car away. This will keep them from rapidly deflating when the weather and temperature changes. Top off all fluids including brake fluid, engine coolant, and transmission fluid. You may also want to get an oil change before you store your vehicle. And, before you park it, drive it around for a little while to circulate all the fluids through the engine.
Storing Your Car
Now that you’ve cleaned your vehicle, filled it with gas, inflated the tires and checked the fluids, you can get it ready for storage. Use a heavy-duty, high-quality car cover to keep moisture out. Make sure the cover is breathable so your car gets proper airflow. The cover should protect your car from unexpected scratches and bumps as well as any dirt. Another tip? Put steel wool in the air cleaner intake and exhaust pipe. This will keep small animals from entering the vehicle and using it as a shelter or nest.
Remember to take care of your battery while your car is in storage. The battery will likely lose its charge if the vehicle isn’t driven regularly. Connect the battery to a trickle charger or a battery tender that has an automatic shut-off. This device will help to ensure that your battery doesn’t overcharge but it can still maintain a good level whenever you’re ready to drive the car again. You can leave the battery in your vehicle or remove it whenever you hook it up.
These simple tips will keep your beloved car safe and protected whether you drive it every few months, once a year, or once a week.