How to store your vehicle

Do you need to store your car for a period of time? Here are some tips on how to do this so that you can get it back in service as quickly as possible, when the time comes.

Before you store the vehicle, clean inside and out thoroughly – you don’t want to come back to a nasty smell inside, or damage to the paintwork because of a deposit on the exterior of the car that could easily have been cleaned off before storage.

Don’t leave your car outside if at all possible – store it away in the best environment available. First prize will be a cool, dry, locked garage. If you don’t have access to a garage, and you have no other choice, cover the car with a car cover made out of thick, breathable material. Arrange for someone to check up on it on a regular basis, to ensure that no tears develop or that the cover is not stolen. Don’t park under trees, as tree sap, birds or falling branches could cause damage.

If you are planning to store your car for more than 6 months, it is worthwhile to find a storage company who will store the vehicle for this time. Make sure that the oil, oil filter and coolant are changed prior to putting into storage, and top up the fuel tank so that there is as little air in the tank as possible to avoid rusting in the tank.

Park the car on level ground and leave in gear if a manual transmission, in park if automatic. Leave the handbrake off.

Plug any possible entry points for rodents or other animals – block the air intake and exhaust pipes with rags.

Arrange for your car to be checked on a regular basis while it is in storage – checked for leaks, fluid levels and tyre pressure. The car should be started and the engine warmed for about 15 minutes,  every 2 weeks.

When you are ready to use your car again, check for evidence of rodents, such as teeth marks on wires, belts and cables. Check the fluid levels and the battery, as well as the tyre pressures before you start driving. Before you drive on an open road, check that the brakes are working. Book your car in for a service as soon as possible.