Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

There may come a time when you would need to have your car stored for a long span of time. This could be when you have to go away for college, work overseas, or go on a long vacation. Whatever the reason is, you have to put your car in a storage that has a good condition. If you just leave your car outside or in a garage for months without any sort of maintenance, you may return to a vehicle that won’t start, has ruined tires, damaged engine, and even a rat’s nest under the hood.

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To avoid such to befall on your beloved property, here are some important things to do as recommended by car repair companies in Singapore before storing your car for the long haul. These necessary steps will preserve the life of your vehicle to ensure that it still works when you return.

Prep the Vehicle

The cleaner your car, the better—and that goes beyond just wash and wax. It’s highly recommended to have your car professionally cleaned by a car maintenance shop to avoid leaving marks and issues that can inflict permanent damage on your car’s components. Bird dropping and water stains are some of the most common things that can leave permanent marks on your car’s finishing. Likewise, clean the wheels and undersides of the fenders to remove grease, tar, and mud, if you are not able to, seek out car repair services in Singapore for the service. A coat of wax is recommended for added protection of your car’s finishing.

Keep It Indoors

An indoor garage is the best place to keep your car. This protects it from potentially harmful elements and keeps it at a stable temperature. If you don’t have a closed garage, consider renting a storage facility to keep your vehicle. If there’s no other choice but to leave your car outdoors, get a sturdy car cover that will keep your car clean and dry at all times.

Replace Engine Oil

You can skip this if you are only storing your car for a couple of weeks. But if your vehicle will be on stand-by for more than a month, consider having the oil changed before storing it. Car manufacturers in Singapore recommend not leaving used oil in the engine for extended periods of time as it contains contaminants that can potentially damage the engine.

Top Off the Tank

Fill up the tank if you need to store your car for a month or more. This prevents the accumulation of moisture in the tank and keeps the seals well lubricated. In addition, consider asking your car servicing professional for a fuel stabilizer. This prevents the build-up of ethanol, protect the engine from rust and varnish, and keeps the fuel from deteriorating for up to a year.

Skip Using the Brakes

It is usually a good idea to use the brakes to keep the car from moving, but car repair experts do not recommend this when leaving the car in storage for long periods of time. When brake pads are in contact with the rotors for too long, they might fuse. Instead, use a wheel chock to keep the car in its place.

Keep the Battery Charged

Car batteries gradually lose its life when the car is left unused for a long span of time. To avoid this from happening to your vehicle, ask a friend or a family member to take your car to a 15-minute drive every two weeks. It will maintain the battery’s life, help the components warm-up, and keep the car engine properly lubricated. It’s also ideal to use air-conditioner during every drive to ensure fresh quality of air. If you can’t ask someone to maintain your car, at least disconnect the negative battery cable or purchase a trickle charger, which connects your battery to a wall outlet to keep it from discharging.

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Inflate the Tires

Make sure that the vehicle’s tires are well-inflated, following the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. If a car is left on standby for months, flat spotting may happen as the weight of the car presses down on the tires. Your best bet is to let someone drive your car for at least 15 minutes every couple of days to keep the wheel’s pressure and maintain its operating temperature. If this seems impossible, consider taking all the wheels off and placing your vehicle on jack stands.

Keep Rodents Away

A garage is a dry and warm place ideal for storing your car, but it’s also an ideal environment for rodents and pests. Plus, there are so many spots in your car for rodents to hide and plenty of stuff for them to munch on. To avoid infestation in your car, cover every gap where critters could enter, such as an air intake or the exhaust pipe. Then, scatter moth balls along the perimeter of your car. The smell of mothballs is said to keep rodents away.

Getting Back On the Road

After a long break, here’s a list of the things to do before driving your vehicle again.

• Check for any signs of rodents, such as chewed hoses, belts, and wires. If you covered some areas, remove them first before starting the engine.
• If you have disconnected the battery connectors, make sure to reconnect it.
• Check the pressure of the tires, and have them inflated to the required specification.
• Check the rubbers of the windshield wipers to see if they are cracked.
• Check the brake system. There may be rusting in the rotors, which should disappear after a quick drive. If it doesn’t, take it to a car repair company for check-up.
• Check the fluids to ensure there are no leakages and that they are at the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
• Give your car a thorough wash to get rid of accumulated dirt and stains.
• Bring your car to a car servicing shop for a thorough check-up before going on long drives.

These are the essential steps to take when storing your car. Now, you can travel, work overseas, or do whatever you want, knowing that when you come home, you’ll be ready to hit the road again.

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