There are many reasons why someone would need to store a motorcycle or vehicle; with most storage properties offering a choice of outside parking spaces and parking your vehicle inside a storage unit. Want to protect your vehicle from harsh elements that can arise with outside parking spaces? Then parking your vehicle inside a storage unit is your best option. Keep in mind that most storage properties have rules and regulations. You must follow these rules in order to park your car in a storage unit. Here are some of those rules and the best steps to take to store your car.
Take care of the fuel
It can be extremely difficult to drain all of the gasoline or diesel fuel out your vehicle fully; however, this is RULE #1 when storing your vehicle in a storage unit. Most facilities require you have an empty tank. Others may want you to have a completely full tank to reduce fume buildup. At Storage West Eastern, you are required to have less than 1/8 of a tank of gas. You want to have as close to empty on your tank as you can. Gasoline can oxidize and form deposits over extended periods of time. Fuel stabilizer is recommended if there is minimal fuel left in the tank. This helps reduce oxidation and deposits accumulating in your gas tank.
A clean car will shine
This is one that will take a little more attention to detail but you are going to want to remove any and all accumulated road grit and dirt from the nooks and crannies of your car or truck. Give the car a thorough washing, including the underside of the vehicle. Towel drying and a waxing are strongly recommended. You are cleaning your ride because if you don’t do this before you store the vehicle, rust and corrosion can occur and it will be more damaging over time if uncleaned.
Tail pipe entry way
Do some investigating on where you are storing before you commit, making sure to see what kind of pests or rodents a place may have. If you fear that rodents may be an issue, be sure to plug the tail-pipe(s) with a rag and tape it in place. This will keep the rodents from building a nest in the exhaust, or worse, in the engine. Make sure to take this rag off the vehicle BEFORE you start it, as this can be disastrous to your engine. Here at Storage West Eastern we take precautions to prevent critters, but it never hurts to be extra careful.
If the vehicle will be sitting for an extended timeframe (i.e. a full season, months, or even years), then you will want to jack the vehicle up and place jack stands under the rear axle and the front suspension; limiting the weight each tire is dealing with. With the tires off the ground, they will not develop any flat spots or damage that is caused if the tire were to go flat during the vehicle’s storing time. This damage can cause structural damages which causes vehicle vibration when the car gets back out on the road.
Interior cleanliness is key
As well as cleaning the outside of the car, the cleanliness of the vehicle’s interior is just as important. Giving the vehicle a good cleaning inside before storing it reduces any and all odors that are attractive to pests and rodents. A deep vacuuming to remove any food particles or crumbs in the vehicle’s nooks and cranny spaces is very important. Vacuum all seats and carpets, wipe down the dashboard and doors, and clean every nook and cranny, every little hiding spot where debris and food junk can accumulate. Doing this ensures that mice and other critters will be less likely to want to sneak their way in!
Batteries sold separately
For older model vehicles, both cars and trucks, without newer engine computers, it is better to disconnect and remove the battery altogether. However, if you have a newer model vehicle that has an engine computer, you could install a smart charger in the vehicle that will require the battery. Taking care of the battery of the vehicle you are storing is vital to maintain the inner workings of the vehicle itself.
Even indoors, a car cover is needed
Having a canopy or car cover sized to the make and model of your vehicle is the best approach to protect your stored vehicle from dust accumulation or on the off chance your storage space suffers leaks. Car covers are now sized based on year, make, and model, to best fit your car or truck, thus, completely covering the extensive cleaning that you have already done before you are about to store the vehicle. Protecting the vehicle further by using a car cover is the best way to ensure that your car is not going to suffer damage, even parked inside a storage unit.
Now that you have completed the before mentioned steps to storing your vehicle; here are a couple of BONUS steps to adhere to in order to protect your stored vehicle even better.
Remove the wiper blades from the front and back windows of the vehicle and store them inside the car. Make sure you take time to clean the blades well before storing. Because they are rubber, they have a tendency to stick to the glass and if left long enough, the blades edge can deform from being pressed just one way. You don’t want to have to worry about replacing these once you get your car out of storage.
Sizing up the space
Take some time to measure the vehicle you are going to store. Sedans and SUVs have different size needs. Most modern cars can be stored in a regular 10×15 drive up storage unit. If you have an SUV, a space of 10×20 should be sufficient. Don’t get too much space and be caught overpaying for that space each month. BUT, don’t be too strict on size, just in case you want to keep some of the items needed for your vehicle when you retrieve it from storage.
You may think it best to leave the parking brake engaged while the vehicle is being stored, but DON’T do it. If the brake pads make contact with the rotors for an extended period of time, there is a chance that they might fuse. Instead, you can invest in a chock or wheel stopper to prevent the car from moving.
You may be drawn to the idea to cancel your vehicle’s auto insurance while your car is in storage; although that might initially save you some money, there is a big chance that your insurance company could raise your rates due to the gap in vehicle coverage, which could cost you more in the long run. This can vary based on where you live and who your provider is, so your best bet is to contact your insurance company to see what options you have available.
Storage West Managers and Associates can help with all your storage questions. Do not hesitate to contact your local Storage West location for assistance.