Storing Your Car Long Term: 5 Must-Know Tips

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Are you keeping your car but not using it for a long time? Leaving a vehicle parked and unused for prolonged periods can do significant harm. Numerous problems can arise, ranging from condensation in the fuel tank and tire flat-spotting to partial or complete battery drainage and cosmetic damage. It can also make your vehicle a haven for rodents.

Whether it’s the winter season, you’re an avid collector of classic cars, you constantly travel for work, or you’re on a month-long vacation, letting your vehicle sit for too long can result in maintenance issues. These issues can compromise its safety and make your car less valuable.

The good news is that proper planning and care can help preserve your car’s condition. Learn how to keep your vehicle in excellent condition while it’s not driven with the following long-term storage tips:

1.   Select the Right Vehicle Storage Facility

Selecting the right vehicle storage facility is critical for providing a secure environment for your car and ensuring its preservation. You need to consider several things, but location and convenience are the first. You’d want to choose a facility close to your residence or frequently visited so you can easily access it when needed.

Finding a vehicle storage facility won’t be a problem if you live in Perth or nearby cities. Perth has a thriving automotive community and a range of options for storing your car. While that’s a good thing, it can be overwhelming as well. Consider the following factors when seeking the best vehicle storage Perth has to offer:

  • It has on-site personnel, advanced robust security systems and round-the-clock surveillance
  • Provides climate-controlled environments to protect your vehicle’s integrity
  • Offers customisable storage spaces to accommodate different types of vehicles
  • Has flexible plans for short-term and long-term storage needs
  • There are additional services for vehicle maintenance, valet, and pickup.

2.   Get Your Vehicle Ready for Long-term Storage

Storage facilities specialise in protecting cars that are not actively being used. However, there are critical steps you need to take to get your vehicle ready for long-term storage. Here’s how you can prepare your car when storing it long-term:

  • Thoroughly clean the vehicle’s interior and exterior.
  • Fill the tank to its maximum capacity and add a fuel stabiliser for rust prevention.
  • Inflate the tires as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent flat spots.
  • Change the oil and replace the filter to protect your car’s engine.
  • Apply a paint-protecting wax to prevent fading and discolouration.
  • Avoid using the parking brake during long-term storage to prevent brake pads from sticking to the rotors.

3.   Keep Your Vehicle’s Battery Healthy

The car’s battery is one essential component that requires special attention. Even when they’re not running, cars still use electricity. Unlike when driving regularly, the alternator doesn’t recharge the battery on the go when your car is parked. Hence, leaving your vehicle unused for an extended period of time can drain the battery.

If left drained for a prolonged period, irreparable damage may happen inside, preventing the battery from taking the same charge it once could. One way to keep the vehicle’s battery healthy is to ask a trusted friend or family member to drive the car every few weeks. If that’s not possible, disconnect the battery’s terminal to prevent electrical drain.

4.   Invest in a High-Quality Car Cover

Likewise, investing in a high-quality cover is essential to protecting your vehicle from environmental damage. Even when your car is parked inside, a top-notch cover can help shield it from dust, dirt, and possible scratches.

Ensure that the cover is breathable to prevent moisture from entering. Moisture buildup can result in mould and mildew problems. A weather-resistant cover is particularly beneficial if you’re storing your vehicle long-term in locations like Perth, where weather conditions can be unpredictable.

5.   Conduct Periodic checks on Your Vehicle

Even when your car is in long-term storage, it still needs periodic checkups. If possible, visit the storage facility every few months to check on your car. Depending on the duration of the storage, checking the following can help you promptly address any issues that can prevent long-term damage to your vehicle:

  • Battery charge
  • Tire pressure
  • Fluids
  • Exterior and interior

Keep Your Vehicle in Tip Top Shape When Not In Use

A car stored in the long term also needs the same care and maintenance as a vehicle used on a daily basis. Doing so helps protect your investment and ensure it remains in optimal condition until it’s time to hit the road again. There’s nothing to worry about if you follow the proper long-term storage tips for your car.

It’s also wise to keep your insurance current if your vehicle is parked outside, whether in a public area or a paid storage facility. Although optional, it protects your car against risks beyond accidents that typically happen while on the road, such as theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

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