How to correctly store your vehicle
Storing a vehicle correctly is imperative in avoiding long term damage
Many motorists might be unaware that parking a vehicle for extended periods of time may cause damage. The reality is that driving a car regularly is the best thing that can be done to ensure that it stays in optimum condition, however that is not always possible.
If you will be travelling or don't plan on using your car for more than 30 days, it is a good idea to take the following into consideration when preparing to store your vehicle.
Store it in a dedicated facility
If the vehicle needs to be stored, the best place to do so is in a dedicated facility such as a garage. This provides protection from the elements and ensures dry storage at a fairly constant temperature. A dedicated car cover will ensure an extra layer of protection.
Look after your battery
Batteries will lose their charge over time and if this happens they can incur permanent damage. It is a good idea to invest in a dedicated charging system that ensures that the cars battery remains at an optimum level while in storage.
Happiness is a full tank
Always store your vehicle with a full fuel tank. This ensures that there is no room for moisture build up and that all the seals in the fuel system remain adequately lubricated and thus leak free.
Clean your car before storing it
Never store a dirty car as dirt such as bird droppings and mud can cause long-term damage to the paint, while interior dirt can develop into mould. It is highly recommended that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned and dried inside and out, before being placed in storage.
Put it in gear
When storing the vehicle put it in gear but do not use the parking brake unless absolutely necessary. Storing a vehicle with the brakes engaged can cause them to bind over time, causing damage to braking components.
Correctly inflate the tyres
Ensure that all tyres are inflated according to the manufacturers recommended pressures before placing a vehicle in storage. Under inflated tyres will be more prone to flat spots caused by standing for an extended period of time.
Read: "How to extend vehicle tyre life" here.
Change the fluids
If the vehicle has been standing for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to replace fluids such as engine and gearbox oil as part of the recomissioning process.
Correct vehicle storage is important to maintain a vehicle’s longevity and to prevent avoidable mishaps down the road.