Autohouse Storage - Our Guide to Long-Term Car Storage
There’s no denying cars will cost money to run whilst on the road – however they can also be silent killers whilst tucked up in hibernation. Whether you are looking at long term vehicle storage or short term vehicle storage, here are a few tips we recommend to help mitigate any potential deterioration you might face:
1. Fuel Stabilisation
Fuel only has a certain lifespan within the petrol tank of the car, before it begins to form gum-like impurities that will damage fuel pumps, lines and engine components. Furthermore, lack of driving can lead to condensation forming if the fuel tank is only partially full, which can ultimately lead to oxidisation (aka nasty rust).
Storage up to 6 Months:
· Fill tank up with maximum capacity with premium fuel
Storage for 6 Months & Over:
· Fill tank up to maximum capacity with premium fuel
· Use a fuel stabiliser additive (we recommend Penrite), which will keep the fuel fresh for up to 12 months, helping to prevent it from going stale and forming gum molecules.
2. Tyre Pressure Management
Tyre’s will lose pressure over time if a car is not being regularly driven. The tyre slowly deflates, which causes flat spots that will compromise the safety performance of the tyre. Prior to storage, inflate the tyres to about 5 PSI above their recommended operating pressure (operating pressures typically range between 28 and 35 PSI depending on type of vehicle and tyre). Autohouse Storage offers tyre pressure management as an additional service, in which tyre pressures are regularly check and topped up when required.
3. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Its important to advise your Insurance company of your vehicles intended storage in a professional, secure environment. Pass on information such as the storage facility name, address, the security systems they employ and whether the vehicle is being stored either indoors or outdoors. Depending on your insurance company and how long you intend to store your vehicle for, you may be eligible for a discount on your premium.
1. Cover It Up
A premium dust cover is an imperative part of both short- and long-term vehicle storage. The cover should be a natural-cotton based material which both minimises damage to paint, and also allows the car to breathe, ensuring moisture is not trapped in. Autohouse recommends and supplies Autotecnica Show Car Covers, as part of our monthly Storage Care Package. It features a breathable fabric, and has elastic lining that form fits to the car, which will cover the exhaust and air intake, and will maximise dust mitigation.
2. Leave the Handbrake Off
This will help prevent the brakes from seizing up, which can happen if the brake pads fuse onto the disc over a long period of non-use. If your car is automatic leave it in park, and if it is manual, leave it in gear.
3. Maintain the Battery
Battery life can be significantly diminished whilst a vehicle is in storage, particularly in modern vehicles that are computer and electronic heavy. A low-amp battery conditioner can help to prevent this. Applying an automatic ‘set and forget’ charger such as the Noco Genius G3500 is an easy and effective way to maintain the battery's life. For longer term storage (6 months and beyond), it is recommended to remove the battery all together and store a cool dark place, whilst applying periodic charging as and when needed.
4. Regular Engine Start Ups
For regular road vehicles, an engine start-up and run is recommended at least once a month. Running the car up to temperature for 10-15 minutes will benefit the overall components of the engine and electronics, and help prevent fuel, oil and water pumps from seizing up. Autohouse Storage offer this service as part of their monthly storage care package.
Other Things to Consider Prior to Storage:
Servicing and Fluid Replacement - Fresh oils and fluids will minimise the contaminants that will be trapped in the vehicles systems whilst not in use. (Fluids include coolant, brake fluid, clutch fluid & power steering fluid)
Removal of Organic Matter & Rubbish - This will help deter undesirable temporary residents nesting inside the vehicle and causing damage.
Plug Engine Inlets & Outlets - Such as exhaust pipes and air intakes - again this will help deter rodents and pests.
Disclaimer: The above information is a general guide only - specific storage techniques will depend on the type of vehicle being stored. You should conduct your own research and consult your manufacturer before embarking on any storage techniques listed above.