When a car, or any other motorised vehicle for that matter, is to be stored, there are many things one can do to protect the vehicle. A car is designed to move, and while it doesn’t travel all the time, extended periods of inactivity can cause serious problems. So, if one is planning to store that prized soft top that is only used in the summer months, consider the following tips to ensure it will remain in good working order.
Preparing the vehicle
The first thing to do is fill the tank with fuel, then add fuel stabiliser to the petrol, which will prevent the fuel from breaking down. The reason for filling the tank is that any airspace can cause rust and corrosion, so a full tank is better. Drive the car until the engine is warm, as this allows the stabiliser to fully mix with the petrol.
A good wash and wax
This might sound a little strange, but the car should be cleaned before it is stored. The exterior should be given a thorough wash, and wax if possible, as the waxing adds a layer of protection for the paintwork. Remove all dirt from the underside, especially in the wheel arches, as dirt and grime hold moisture, and a combination of air and moisture causes steel and iron to rust. The ideal way to do this is with a steam cleaner, or high pressure water gun. Once the vehicle is ready for storage, click to see more information about a reputable storage facility in Perth.
Clean the interior
The car’s interior should be thoroughly cleaned, and vacuumed. Use a house vacuum rather than the flimsy ones that are made for cars, as the suction isn’t quite enough to remove all the edibles, such as bits of bread, jelly beans, dog biscuits, and other little titbits that small animals and insects would eat. Do the same inside the boot area, and use the attachments that get into every nook and cranny.
Remove the park plugs and coat the cylinders with oil to prevent corrosion, then with the car in gear, push it until the engine turns over a few times, to allow the oil to cover all the cylinder surfaces. Once this has been done, replace the spark plugs and leads. Remove the battery and give it a good clean, then place it on a piece of plywood or polystyrene. This is a good time to check the battery holder for corrosion, and also give that a good clean.
Caravans are frequently stored over the winter months, and should also be thoroughly cleaned inside and out before storage. If the caravan is stored outside, it is a good idea to cover it with a large tarpaulin, or something similar. For those who live in Western Australia, there is caravan storage in Perth, where the holiday home will be safe until next summer. Boats also require secure storage during the winter, and should be cleaned and covered before storage. Outboard motors should be removed and stored inside, for better protection.
Preparing the vehicle will ensure that no serious damage occurs while in storage, and will be ready for use the following spring.