One of the many concerns that comes with traveling for any extended period of time is the need to take care of the vehicle being left behind. This worry can be taken off of the table when you understand the simple steps needed to put your car into long-term storage. Some people may think that this action is unnecessary. However, there is plenty of damage that will occur to any car when it is left untouched and exposed to the elements for long periods of time.
Bring It Up to Date
Moving your car into long-term storage for six months or more involves more than signing the paperwork and turning over the keys. There is a definite checklist that car owners should go through before leaving their car in the hands of a storage facility. The first is to ensure that all your paperwork will be current for the duration of time that the car is in storage. Letting tags, insurance, and other necessary items lapse while the car is in storage can lead to costly reinstatement fees when it is time to take the car out of storage again.
Tires and Fluids
The actual body of the car can suffer as well when the car remains inactive over six months. Check the air pressure in the tires. Even the most rugged tires, including Jeep Wrangler Tires, are susceptible to rotting and degradation when left untouched. Deflate the tires to less than 10 psi, and put the car up on jacks if at all possible. All of the fluids in the car should be serviced before moving the car into storage as well. This maintenance should include the oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and brakes. These should be topped off or changed completely to reduce the amount of sediment that will be sitting in the engine. Other fluids should be drained to avoid freezing. The windshield washer fluid must be completely emptied before leaving the car behind.
Keep it Full
Contrary to popular belief, the tank should be filled with gas before dropping the vehicle off. The presence of fuel lessens the space in the tank for air full of moisture to enter. This air can create condensation. However, in order for the gas to still be usable at a much later date, add fuel stabilizer that is available at any local parts store.
It is also wise to ensure that the battery is fully charged. Electronics, even when not in full use, can still drain the battery of the vehicle. The car may not be able to crank when it is removed from storage if it does not go in on a full charge. The alternator will not be run in storage in order to recharge the battery itself. For storage times that will exceed six months, it is recommended that the battery be removed completely and stored in a cool, dry space.