How to prepare your automobile for long term storage

How to prepare your automobile for long term storage.

If you are leaving town for an extended period of time or are
storing a vehicle for seasonal use, there are several things you
can do to protect your automobile and insure it will be ready
for use when you retrieve it. Taking the time to prepare your
car right will save you a lot of grief and money later on.

The first step is to find a suitable location for long term
storage. This is critical. The location should be secure, dry
and clean. Putting it in a dusty barn is probably one of the
worst places for you car. Make sure the storage place is dry and
free of moisture. Moisture, humidity and condensation are the
biggest hazards to exterior, interior and engine. Rust and
corrosion can form on exposed metal and mold and mildew can grow
in the interior as well. The best place is a climate controlled
storage facility. Just look under storage in the yellow pages
and there should be some options for you.

Also, you will need to rodent proof your storage as well. Rats
can destroy the wiring system. They can also get into the
interior and build nests there. One option is to place rat
poison or some other pest control device around the car. Ma If
the storage unit has power to it, I would recommend getting a
noise box that repels rats and mice. You can buy them at your
local hardware store. These are very safe and will not hurt pets
or children.

Once you have picked a suitable location, it is time to prepare
your car.

Step one is to change the oil and replace it with a synthetic.
Changing the oil before storage will reduce moisture in the
system and help prevent corrosion in the engine. The reason for
synthetic oil is because of the coating properties and it will
not break down as quickly as conventional oil.

Now you will need to fill the gas tank completely full. Most
people siphon out the gas and leave the tank empty. This is not
correct and the moisture left in the empty tank will encourage
rust. Fill the tank as high as you can and leave it. This will
prevent moisture from forming and prevent rust accumulation. It
is also prudent to add in a gas stabilizer as well.

The next step is the battery. If the vehicle is in for short
term storage, you may want to hook up battery charger to the
battery. This will insure all electrical equipment like stereo
will have power and any saved settings will be there when you
return. For longer periods of time, remove the battery.
Batteries can crack and leak acid everywhere. In this case it is
best to just remove it and replace it when you return.

The next area to prepare is the external weather stripping and
tires. The best product to use for this is a lithium grease.
Stay away from petroleum based products. They will eventually
dry out and crack the rubber. To apply the grease, spray it on a
rag first and then wipe it on the tires and weather stripping.
Be sure to cover the gaskets in the doors, sunroof and trunk.

For the interior, use a leather or vinyl conditioner. This will
safeguard these surfaces from cracking and drying.

The last step is to thoroughly clean the exterior. After you
have washed it, apply a coat of wax and buff it out. If you have
an air buffer, this process will be a lot easier and will be
more effective. Then cover the car with a good quality car
cover. If you follow these basic steps, your expensive
automobile should be in the same shape you left it before your

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