If you don’t plan on using your vehicle for an extended period of time, putting your vehicle into storage is a great way to ensure its safety — and possibly even save some money.
Here are the most important steps you’ll want to take when putting your car into storage.
How to Safely Store Your Vehicle
- Choose the right location.
Not all locations are good for vehicle storage. In Illinois, winters can be harsh, and even if your vehicle is indoors in a garage or shed, the elements can become a problem. It’s best to store your vehicle in a well-ventilated, dry, and safe building.
- Protect against rodents.
During long-term storage, little critters like mice may find their way into your vehicle. To keep them at bay, you’ll want to take several precautionary measures. For starters, put a ball of steel wool in the air inlet and exhaust pipe. In the trunk and cabin of the vehicle, put mothballs and/or fabric sheets.
- Prepare tires and fluids.
Inflate all four tires to their maximum capacity as labeled on each tire. Fill the gas tank, and add STA-BIL or another type of fuel stabilizer to the gas tank. Finally, fill other fluids like anti-freeze and window washer fluids for good measure.
- Consider removing the battery.
This isn’t a must-do, but you might consider removing your vehicle’s battery completely and taking it home to attach to a “battery tender.” In cars where you cannot remove the battery, consider connecting the battery to a battery tender while it’s still inside the car.
- Consider adjusting your auto insurance.
You might consider changing the auto insurance policy you have on your vehicle if it will be in storage more than a few months. Just keep several things in mind:
- In some instances, by the time you change your auto insurance, the amount of work and trouble you’ll have spent will not be worth it.
- It’s not a good idea to remove comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. Just like at any other time, something unexpected like an act of God, theft, vandalism, or a fire could occur, and with a comprehensive plan in place, you’ll be covered.
- In some cases, removing liability and collision coverage could save you some money. Just remember that if you have a loan on your car, collision coverage may be required full-time.
- If you have a classic car and insurance coverage for this vehicle, you likely won’t be able to suspend just a part of your insurance plan.
- It may also be difficult to remove part of your coverage if you’re insuring and storing a motorcycle, recreational vehicle, camper, or other collector vehicle.
- Know how to restart your vehicle when you come back.
After you return to take your vehicle out of storage, remember that you shouldn’t just drive it out of the building and go on your merry way.
Take a few precautions before turning on the engine:
- Examine all fluid levels in the vehicle, especially the oil. After checking the oil, check brake oil, power steering fluid, coolant, and fuel. If you didn’t put a stabilizer in the fuel tank, add some octane booster.
- Check the air in the tires.
- Re-install and inspect the battery. Use a charger before turning on the vehicle if the battery has been depleted. It’s better than trying to start the car on a weak battery.
AFI Insurance can help you find optimal storage insurance options for your stored vehicle. Call or stop in today to learn more!