Do you plan on putting one or several of your vehicles into storage for a long period of time? Unfortunately, doing this does not simply entail parking your car in your garage and leaving it.
You can do this, but you may return to some unwanted problems if you don’t take certain precautions before storage. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to safely store your vehicle long-term— whether you’re away on vacation, out-of-town, or simply not using your vehicle for a while.
Top Tips for Long-Term Car Storage
#1 – Choose a safe building
While it may be tempting to store your vehicle out back behind the barn, you’ll run into trouble if you don’t choose the right location indoors. After all, Wisconsin winters can be particularly nasty, and your vehicle may not be able to withstand the elements outside.
Instead of putting your car just anywhere, choose a safe, well-ventilated building that’s unlikely to be infested by mice. It should be fairly dry, and concrete floors are best.
#2 – Speaking of mice … protect your vehicle from pests
You can protect your vehicle from mice and other rodents by using mothballs inside and outside the cab and trunk of your car. Another tip is to put a steel wool ball inside the exhaust pipe and air inlet — just don’t forget to take it out before starting your car again.
#3 – Prepare all fluids and fill up tires
Check all fluid levels, and top off any that need it. This includes filling up the anti-freeze most importantly — and also filling the gas tank. It’s a good idea to add something like STA-BIL to the gas tank as well. Finally, don’t forget to fill up the air in the tires.
#4 – Remove the battery
It’s unwise to start up your engine on a weak battery when you do end up returning to your vehicle and using it again. For this reason, we recommend removing the battery before storage and taking it home. Place it on a piece of wood and attach it to a battery tender for the duration of your vehicle’s storage period.
Can’t remove your car battery? You should still use a battery tender. Simply run the cables for the battery tender under the hood and leave the hood slightly open.
Auto Insurance During Long-Term Vehicle Storage
While you may be tempted to completely switch off coverage for your vehicle while it’s in storage, resist the urge. First off, removing comprehensive coverage could leave your car susceptible to expensive damage via fire, theft, vandalism, or other “acts of God.”
Next, removing only parts of coverage may not be an option for some car owners. Many auto insurance agencies are unable to dice up coverage for certain vehicles, such as classic or collector cars, custom cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, etc.
Finally, if you do decide to remove collision damage, this could be a good idea as long as you do not currently have a loan out on the car. This is because a current loan often blocks the option of removing collision damage whether the car is being driven regularly or not. Furthermore, even if you don’t have a loan out on the car, remember that if you are removing coverage for just a short period of time, you may only be saving a few dollars and going through a lot of time and trouble.
Still have questions about auto insurance while your vehicle is in storage? Giuffre Insurance is here to help. Call today or stop by our office to speak with an experienced agent about your insurance options.