by Pat Goss
No matter what the vehicle, long periods of disuse can be very damaging. So if you’re going to have anything in storage for a long period of time, proper prep can prevent damage. Change any of the fluids that are due to be changed. Always change the oil; you never want oil to sit in an engine for a period of time. Oil that’s been used. And if it needs transmission or cooling systems service, do that before storage.
Also, if it’s going to be less than a year, fill the fuel tank, and use a fuel stabilizer to keep the fuel from turning into varnish. If it’s going to be more than a year, completely drain, evacuate the entire fuel system.
Wash it, wax it if need be. Do whatever is necessary to protect the finish on the vehicle. Then, here’s something a lot of people don’t think about. And that is, the intake and the exhaust. Now, true you’re going to use a fogging oil. Follow the label directions, before you close everything up. But once you’re done with the fogging oil, well, you want to close the exhaust, and you want to close the intake. You can do that with masking tape, but make sure that the masking tape is the type that releases, so it doesn’t bond with the finish on the exhaust or on the intake.
You may want a cover for the vehicle. If it’s going to be outside, you’ll want an outside cover. If it’s going to be inside, you’ll want one specifically for inside storage.
You’re going to want to raise the vehicle up. You want to get the weight of the vehicle up off of the tires, because that will destroy the tires over time. That means you’ll need jack stands or some sort of supporting device. On a vehicle, you want the jack stands out as close to the wheels as is possible. Because you want the springs compressed. You do not want them hanging down and unloaded. Which can damage them over time.
Now, of course you certainly want to take care of the battery, and that means you need a battery maintainer. Traditional type we have over there… but here’s what we’re seeing today. This is electronic, and you can set it for different types of batteries, you can set it for different voltages. It has a lot of different features in it, and it’s very precise at keeping a battery healthy while it’s not being used. Do all of these things, and do it right, and you’ll wind up with a vehicle that will go right back on the road with no problems whatsoever. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.