With most of the country on quarantine and social-distancing appearing to be the new normal for the foreseeable future, most North Carolina residents aren’t driving much these days. Whether you’re doing your part to “bend the curve”, short on cash, or simply have nowhere to go, more-than-likely you haven’t used your car much lately. You may own multiple automobiles, or possibly an entire fleet of business vehicles sitting unused due to these unprecedented times. Cars and trucks are highly susceptible to a myriad of environmental threats causing premature wear-and-tear when parked for extended periods. In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at proper vehicle storage during the Age of Coronavirus and beyond.
Making Sure The Gas is Full is The Proper Vehicle Storage
Topping off your car or truck’s gas tank is essential to proper vehicle storage. Over time, condensation will form inside the vacant space within your vehicle’s gas tank, leading to corrosion. Keeping your tank full also prevents the fuel system’s seals from drying out and failing. If you plan to park your car or truck for more than 30-days, you may want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer additive to prevent fuel degradation. A full tank of gas also provides an extra sense of security in these uncertain times.
Having a Fully Charged Battery Helps With Proper Vehicle Storage
The battery in any car, truck, or SUV will slowly lose its charge the longer it stays parked and out of commission. That’s why maintaining your automobile’s battery is vital to proper vehicle storage. Driving to the supermarket or drugstore weekly is the best way to charge your car or truck’s battery. If driving is not an option, starting your vehicle’s ignition once-a-week and letting your engine idle for about 15-minutes is the next-best choice. Plug-in trickle chargers are another solution to the battery-drain associated with long-term vehicle storage. Disconnecting the negative cable on your vehicle’s battery is another way to reduce the loss of charge.
Proper Vehicle Storage Means Maintaining Your Tires
Inflating your automobile’s tires to their OEM factory-specified levels is key to proper vehicle storage. Improperly inflated tires are more likely to develop flat spots. Flat spots occur when an automobile is parked for an extended period-of-time and the weight of the vehicle causes the tires to crease under pressure. Over time, flat spots will permanently damage tires, requiring costly replacements. Driving your car one-a-week even just a few blocks greatly reduces the chance of any flat spots developing. If you plan to store your car or truck more than 30-days, you should consider jacking the vehicle and removing the wheels.
The best storage option to protect your beloved car, truck, or SUV from the wear-and-tear of the elements is a garage. If you don’t have access to a garage or are out of space, the next-best-option, in terms of proper vehicle storage, would be a weatherproof automotive cover. Owners of late-model, luxury, classic, or other specialty vehicles will want to consider shelling out the extra cash and renting a storage unit. Prior to storing your vehicle, washing and waxing are highly advisable, especially if you plan to use an automotive cover.
No Parking Brake
If you plan to stash your car or truck for more than 30-days, then you should not use the vehicle’s parking brake. Engaging your automobile’s parking brake for extended periods causes the brake pads to gradually fuse to the rotor. Utilizing chocks (tire-stoppers) in place of the parking brake is highly recommended when storing any vehicle 30-days or longer.
Critter Prevention is an often-overlooked aspect of proper vehicle storage. Whether you park indoors or out on the street, even for just a few days, you run the risk of a critter invasion. Mice, rats, and other rodents like to crawl into tailpipes, vents, under-the-hood, or just about any other space they can squeeze into. The last thing anyone wants to deal with coming out of quarantine is a colony of mice living in their car. Make sure to block off any openings to your vehicle, especially the tailpipes, vent shafts, and any other opening a small rodent could enter and wreak havoc on your automobile’s wiring, belts, hoses, etc.
Depending on how long this national health crisis persists, you may consider reducing your auto insurance premiums. Times are tough and many of us North Carolinians. Many are out-of-work and struggling to make ends meet due to the pandemic. Not only that, but many of us are also hardly even driving, if at all. Auto insurance companies are seeing increased profits at-the-moment due to a dramatic drop in auto accident payouts. Speaking to an insurance agent about reduced rates is a great way to save money. Anytime you plan to store a vehicle long-term we recommend this.
Here at Carolina Mobile Auto, we wish all members of the Winston Salem community safety and health. We praise all our local front-line medical staff, essential workers, with our utmost gratitude. We look forward to serving all of your automotive repair and service needs in the very near future.