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How to properly store a car and where it is better to do it

27 Dec
posted: 27/12/2021

How to properly store a car and where it is better to do it

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Long downtime is bad for the car

Sometimes, there is no way to avoid a long parking. For example, there is a trial going on — and the car cannot be used or the car has a serious breakdown. Also, the car got into an accident, the driver does not use the car in winter, he/she was deprived of his/her license, got sick, is in quarantine or goes to another city or country for a long time. Even if the car needs to be left in a parking lot near the airport for just a couple of weeks, there are storage rules that will help avoid trouble.

The worse the car is prepared for storage and the longer it stands, the more devastating the consequences. At least the battery will run out. More serious problems are rust on the body, a burst washer tank, torn door seals, deformed wheels and wiring that was gnawed by rats.

Where is it better to store a car in winter

The car can be stored in a heated garage, on the street or in a guarded parking lot. A simple and affordable option is to leave the car in the yard under the windows. The car will always be under supervision, it can be periodically cleaned of snow and ice, re-parked and run the engine.

But if the owner is not near the car, then by the end of winter it will turn out to be a huge mountain of snow and ice.

The most popular option is storing a car in the garage. The most important thing when choosing a garage is that it is well ventilated. Ventilation holes should be not only on the facade of the garage. It is good if a separate ventilation pipe goes outside. If moisture accumulates in the garage, the car will rust faster than on the street.

The cellar and the observation pit are additional sources of moisture. It is important that they are also dry.

If the garage is not insulated, then condensation will accumulate on its walls and on the car. Ideally, if the garage is heated in winter, but this is rare. Even in the garage, you can better prepare the car for long-term storage.

How to preserve a car in the garage

Gas tank. Condensation is formed from long downtime in an empty or half-empty tank. This will accelerate corrosion if the tank is metal, not plastic. Therefore, it is worth stopping at the gas station and filling a full tank.

If the car will stand motionless for more than a year, it is recommended to drain the remaining fuel and fill in a new one. The fuel contains additives that lose their properties over time. For example, the octane number may decrease.

There are two types of fuel for diesel cars: summer and winter. If there is a chance that the engine will have to be started in winter, it is better to take care of winter fuel in advance.

Engine oil. Manufacturers of motor oils indicate the expiration date on the packaging. If you open the original packaging, the shelf life will decrease. Therefore, dealers advise changing the oil not only by mileage, but also by time: at least once a year.

In addition, the oil contains many additives that, with prolonged downtime, will precipitate to the bottom or form a film on the surface. At the first start of the engine, the heterogeneous oil will lose its properties and will ineffectively protect the parts. Therefore, if the car will stand still for about a year, the oil in the engine must be changed.

The washer tank. If you leave ordinary water in the washer tank, then in winter it will freeze in an unheated garage. Ice is about 10% larger than water by volume, so the tank can burst as soon as the water turns into ice. Before long-term storage, it is better to completely drain the water from the washer tank.

If the car is planned to be launched in winter, it is better to immediately fill the tank with high-quality non-freezing liquid. There should also be no water in the tubes and nozzles. Therefore, it is important to turn on the washer and make sure that the glass is no longer water, but frost-free.

The battery is more sensitive to cold than other parts and components of the car. In the cold, the battery loses its ability to quickly release energy. Therefore, in winter, when the car is idle for a long time, it is better to disconnect the battery terminals so that it does not discharge. The second option is to constantly monitor its density and periodically recharge.

Wheels. Due to temperature fluctuations, tire pressure decreases. At the same time, due to long downtime, the tires of the car deform — cracks may appear.

Exhaust system and engine compartment. There have been cases when rodents were started in the exhaust system of a car left for winter storage in the garage. Therefore, it is better to close the exhaust pipe. In addition, if there are garbage cans near the parking lot or rodents are found, they can gnaw through the wiring, the insulation of the engine compartment or the seat. In extreme cases, a rodent repellent can be scattered on the battery or engine.

Technical fluids. If the car is idle for a long time — this is 2-4 years — it is still worth replacing all the technical fluids of the car: brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, refrigerant.

The brake fluid is able to absorb moisture — the effectiveness of the brakes will decrease. Manufacturers recommend changing the brake fluid every two years. If the car has been standing for such a long time or longer, it is better to change all working fluids in accordance with the regulations. If the car has just wintered in the garage, this is not necessary.