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If for whatever reason you’re planning to take your car off the road for a few weeks, months or even years, then we’d advise following these few simple steps to ensure the vehicle doesn’t suffer any damage whilst in storage. After all, we don’t just want that classic or convertible car looking great – it needs to run like a dream too!

Avoid Condensation In Your Fuel Tank

It’s best to fill the fuel tank with premium fuel if it’s going to be stored for any period of time. Condensation in the tank is a problem in stored vehicles, therefore it is widely suggested that you fill the tank completely with premium non-alcohol petrol or diesel in order to prevent water accumulating in an empty space. However, the fuel can become “gummy” over time, so it’s best to add a gasoline stabilizer, which is widely available for lawn mowers and other seasonal yard equipment. In addition, check with your distributor that your premium gas does not contain ethanol, as this substance is very corrosive and will release water if left undisturbed for a long period of time.

Prevent Tyre Problems

Be sure to check your owner’s manual to determine the vehicle’s correct tyre pressures and ensure they are adequately inflated before the car goes into storage. If the types are over-inflated while the vehicle lies dormant, you may experience flat spots when you eventually take it out on the road again. You should also expect to experience thumping tyres when the car is driven for the first time, and these are unlikely to disappear until the car has been driven for ten to fifteen miles (or thereabouts).

Extra Tips

We’d recommend washing the underside of the car thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. Give the wheel wells a good going over, too. Clean the interior extensively and look out for food scraps and other unwanted debris, as these can attract pests. After all, small animals such as mice don’t just chew on leftover food – they may also be encouraged to chew on your car’s electric cables and other components, and you’ll be picking up the bill for the costly repair work. Remember to remove the car’s carpets and store them inside, otherwise they may become musty over time.

You should also consider placing a sheet of vapour barrier plastic under the car on the floor if it’s to be stored indoors. This will prevent vapour building up and makes it very easy to spot fluid leaks when the car is finally taken out of storage. When storing the car inside, always ensure that a window is left open slightly (but not enough to allow small animals inside the garage, naturally). If the car is a convertible, make sure you put the top up. Ensure the exhausts and air intake are blocked to stop animals from building a home for themselves inside your vehicle; ideally. placing a metallic screen about a quarter of a squared inch over these would eliminate this problem.

Last but not least, release the handbrake. If this is left on for too long the brake pads can stick to the rotors. Place chocks under the tires to prevent movement – you’ll find that these are more effective than your handbrake anyway.

Autovault provides professional car storage facilities in the UK.