Own a custom convertible that’s only drivable in the summer? Going on a long-term trip and won’t be bringing your vehicle along?
In both of these situations and many others, proper vehicle storage is what you need. And this doesn’t mean just parking your car in a storage facility. Numerous other steps must be taken to ensure the proper safety and security of your vehicle. That way, when you return, it’s like you never left!
From tires and fuel to rodent-prevention and insurance, we’ll set you up for success when it comes to proper vehicle storage.
First Steps: Prepare Your Vehicle for Storage
Take the following actions before putting your vehicle into storage.
- Start by finding a good location for your vehicle — indoors, in a dry, secure place is best. Look for a location that has concrete floors. While leaving vehicles outdoors in the summer, late spring or early fall may be okay in Wisconsin. A Wisconsin winter can wreak havoc on your vehicle.
- Second, remove the battery if possible. You’ll want to hook it up to a battery tender indoors. If you cannot remove the battery (a possibility with some newer cars), go ahead and connect the battery tender to the battery while it’s in storage. Simply pop the hood slightly and prop it up, enabling the cables to connect inside.
- Next, check the fluids. Begin by changing the oil and filter. Anti-freeze is the second most important fluid, but you’ll want to check things like steering wheel fluid, wiper fluid, coolant, and fuel as well. For the latter, fill up the tank, then add a gas stabilizer (like STA-BIL) as well. This will keep the fuel from separating during storage. Fill up all four tires at the same as filling the fluids.
- Finally, protect against critters like mice by placing dryer sheets and mothballs in and around the vehicle. Putting them in the cab and the trunk is a good idea. You may even consider sticking a ball of steel wool into the exhaust pipe for good measure — just remember to remove it before starting up the car again!
- Bonus Tip: Here’s one other tip — don’t use the parking brake when storing your vehicle. Contact between the rotors and the brake pads might cause the brake pads to fuse. A chock or tire stopper is better to keep your car from moving during storage.
Dealing With Insurance
Many car owners feel that they should halt all of their auto insurance while their car is in storage, but this isn’t exactly true. There are many considerations to make when it comes to auto insurance and cars in storage.
First, keep in mind that if your car is registered with the state and parked in any place that’s public, it needs to be insured for liability at the very least. Furthermore, if you have a loan on your car, you need to have collision insurance to be in good standing with your lender.
Finally, comprehensive auto insurance should never be halted. At any time (whether your vehicle is in storage or not) a fire, theft, vandalism, or any other unexpected event could occur in which case you’d be liable to pay out-of-pocket for your vehicle if you didn’t have insurance.
Getting Your Car Out of Storage
Remember that when you take your car out of storage, you should always give it a good visual inspection, check all fluid levels, and make sure the battery has a good charge before starting her up!
Allow Anton Insurance to assist you with all of your auto insurance needs. Call or stop in today to learn more about our auto insurance policies or how to obtain adequate coverage for your vehicle while it’s in storage.