When most people think about car maintenance, mileage will often be the biggest concern they have in mind. It makes sense that driving your car long distances will kill it quicker than going around the block once in a while. Along with this, though, leaving a car without the chance to get more miles under its belt can cause its own negative impact, with these machines requiring a balance if you want to get them right. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the work which can be done to ensure that your seldom used vehicles don’t expire.
First, though, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of why all of this is important in the first place. Most people will drive their primary car each and every day, and this means that time shouldn’t hurt them too much. For cars which are designed to go on the track, though, most people will only drive them every few months, and longer stretches can easily form when you have a busy lifestyle to contend with. With the time, effort, and investment you’ve made in this part of your life, though, you won’t want to risk letting things go wrong. This makes it crucial that you start taking action as soon as you can.
Preparing The Car
To begin this process, it will make sense to work on the car itself. The level of caution you take with this will depend on the length of time you plan to leave the car without motion, but this post will be assuming that the car will be left for more than six months. If you’re unsure about how far you should be taking this, it could be worth looking for some reviews about the car you have. If it is well-known for being reliable, you will have the chance to be a little more relaxed, though it will still be worth doing everything you can to protect the motor.
Draining: There are a surprising amount of fluids in a modern car, with all sorts of jobs being handled by materials like this. Most people rarely think about this part of their vehicle. When they are being stored, though, gasoline and oil can start to congeal, eventually changing enough to damage the car itself. You should work to get as many of the fluids as possible out of your car when you’re storing it for a long time. Thankfully, most vehicles make this nice and easy, and you should be able to find a YouTube video or two to help you out.
Disconnecting: Over the last couple of decades, cars have been becoming increasingly reliant on electronics to do their jobs correctly. Some will only use this component to get the car started, while others use them to help with steering, safety features, and even powering the car itself. While the batteries which car manufacturers use are great when a car is being used a lot, they will quickly lose their charge when they are left for several months. In extreme cases, the environment around the battery can even lead to leaks. This makes it well worth disconnecting the battery and taking it out to be stored elsewhere.
A Once Over: There are few things worse than getting your car out of storage only to find that it had a problem which you didn’t know about before it went in. Ruining track days and costing a small fortune for some, this sort of discovery is the last thing any car enthusiast wants. To solve this issue, making sure that you always have a fresh car to drive, it will be worth talking to a mechanic before you put the car away. They will be able to tell what is wrong with the car very quickly, and will usually happy to offer some advice to keep you on the right track.
A Place To Store It
Once you have your set up and ready for a bit of time off, it will be a good idea to start thinking about how you’re going to store it. There are loads of options out there for this, and the weather will be a big deciding factor for most people. Cars will usually be found when they are left in the sun, but will quickly start to age when they are subjected to rain, snow, and storms. You can find some of the most popular examples of car storage below, giving you the chance to choose the best option for climate and budget.
Covers: A lot of modern homes don’t come with much extra space. As time has gone on, the price of land and property in most places has ballooned, with even the smallest homes costing a small fortune. This has left a lot of places being built with a garage or the land to add one. To overcome this, a plastic car cover can be a great tool. Protecting the car from the sun and minor showers, covers will only really work in places which have good weather, and won’t be great for those who have to live through extremes.
Garages: While a lot of new homes are built without things like garages, you can still find a healthy number of places which have this feature, as long as you’re willing to buy something older. When you find a place with something like this, you will need to make sure that it can fit your car. Building a garage for yourself is far too expensive for most people to go through, making it worth looking at different homes, rather than trying to approach with DIY. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that you can’t build anything for yourself.
Carports: Over the last couple of years, carports have seen a dramatic spike in popularity. Not only are these structures cheaper than normal garages, but they are also more sustainable and easier to move, making them great for those who are conscious of the future. Metal carports kits come in loads of shapes and sizes and often go together as easily as a small shed. If you choose to put together a structure like this for yourself, it will be a good idea to try and find someone who can help out.
Other Storage: There are plenty of other storage options out there which can work for a car, and it doesn’t always have to be something which is designed for vehicles. Barns, for example, can make great storage spaces for cars, and a surprising amount of properties already have buildings like this. Being creative is the best way to save money on something like this. Of course, though, you also have to be sensible and might have to do some work to bring your shelter up to scratch before it can be used.
The Little Jobs
Unfortunately, however much you prepare your car for storage, it will always need to have a little bit of attention if it is going to run properly when you need to use it again. The sort of work you do here will depend on the range of factors. For example, it will make sense for everyone to take their cars out of storage and onto the roads every once in awhile. But, if you’re using a shelter which could be home to mice or rats, it will be worth inspecting the car on a regular basis to make sure that you’re not getting any nests.
Handling these areas correctly is going to take a little bit of patience. It takes a long time to build a routine, especially when you are working on something which you don’t have a huge amount of free time for. To help you out with this, there are loads of maintenance tracking apps around the web which enable you to keep proper tabs on the state of your machine. Offering reminders when something like your oil needs to be checked, this can save a lot of trauma when it is used correctly.
As time goes on, it is only getting easier to handle this sort of work effectively. While a lot of people struggle with it, the tools you have available make it surprisingly easy to keep a car going when it isn’t used very often. As long as you do your research, keep the car safe and secure, and work hard to maintain it, you can make a car last for decades. These machines have always been built to last, and they often use similar parts. You will only get out of this what you’re willing to put in.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on the time which you put into maintaining your car when it is off the road. A lot of people don’t realize that they could be hurting their prize possession when they don’t put the right amount of time into this, and this is always a big shame, especially when you’ve worked hard to have the car in the first place.