How to Store Your Car

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Are you going away for a while and your car won’t be used? If so, there are steps you can take to keep it ready for your return. Here’s a checklist of steps that you can follow to keep your car in tip-top condition while you are gone.

Eliminate rodents – Mice love cars and you want to keep them from setting up house in yours. Consider placing mice traps around the car have someone check them periodically. An old trick to keep them out of your car is scatter strong smelling dryer sheets around (rodents dislike the smell).

Put in fresh oil – if you are going away for years, consider changing the oil with a standard oil that doesn’t contain caustic detergents.

Put in fresh fuel – Condensation in the tank is a big problem for stored vehicles. Water condenses out of humid air and it sits on the bottom of the gas tank. It is suggested that you fill your tank with premium non-alcohol fuel in order to avoid any empty space where humid air can infiltrate and condense.

Use a gas stabilizer – Gasoline can become “gummy” over time so it is useful to add a gasoline stabilizer to the tank. You can get gas stabilizers at most hardware and auto parts stores.

Clean thoroughly– Clean the interior extensively, being especially careful to get all the food scraps and soiled napkins as these can attract small animals.

Lay down a vapor barrier – Consider placing a sheet of vapor barrier plastic under the car on the floor if your car is being stored indoors. You can get large plastic sheeting like this at hardware stores and home supply stores. These sheets will prevent water vapor from seeping up into the car.

Use a trickle charger – These are battery chargers that only turn on periodically while your car is in storage. A battery trickle charger will keep your battery charged so all the car’s computers and other electronic devices stay “on”.

Put the car up on jack stands – If your car will be stored for a long time, it is advisable to put it up on jack stands to avoid flat spots in the tires.

Don’t put on the parking brake – If the parking brake is left on, the brake pads can stick to the rotors. Place chocks under the tires to prevent movement if the car isn’t up on jack stands.

Spray oil in the cylindersEasthills Subaru of Roslyn, NY suggests removing the spark plugs and spray some “fogging oil” into the cylinders to prevent rusting, then insert the plugs again. Fogging oil is a common item used in the boating business and you should be able to get some at any marina.

Note: Be careful of leaving wiper arms extended if you remove the windshield wipers. If they snap back on the glass, the arms can break the windshield, especially in colder conditions. Instead, wrap the arms in a washcloth wrap it with a piece of duct tape, then lay the arm back on the windshield.

  

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