When you become a trusted mechanic, customers may ask you for advice on car care. One area they might need guidance in is long-term car storage. A luxury car owner might need to store their car outside of driving season, or a retired couple might head south for the winter each year, storing their car while they’re away. Maybe a car simply isn’t going to be used for a while. Whatever the reason, storing cars doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right preparation, a car can be kept safe and in good condition, until it’s time to hit the road once again.
Read on for some interesting car storage tips that you might be able to offer future clients.
How Graduates of Auto Mechanic College Can Deal with Moisture
The first step to ensuring proper protection is choosing the right space for the car to be stored. A lot of parts you see in a mechanic program can be damaged by condensation. Moisture is an enemy when storing a car, so a dry, covered area is necessary. A lot of drivers will use their home garages, but if one isn’t available, storage facilities can be rented.
A concrete floor will be best for keeping moisture away from the vehicle. Dirt surfaces are poor substitutes, as they hold dampness. In a pinch, a vehicle can be kept on earth with a tarp between, and plywood underneath the tires. It doesn’t hurt to put a tarp beneath the car even on concrete flooring, to further protect it.
Maintenance of Fluids and Air Is Important for Preventing Damage
Fluids inside of the car are just as important as avoiding excess moisture from the exterior. Antifreeze and gas should be topped up, adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas and running it briefly for circulation. The emptier a gas tank is, the more space there is to build excess moisture inside, which can lead to rust or contamination.
Tires can develop flat spots if left static for a long time. You may encounter drivers in your career after auto mechanic college who come to you with this problem. Many times when this happens, it can be reversed by driving the car, heating up the tires. However, sometimes this is not the case and the flat spots are permanent. Making sure tires are properly inflated while in storage will fight this effect. Some people choose to remove the tires altogether and store the car on jack stands. This is more time-consuming and requires the appropriate resources, but might be worth it long-term.
Detailing Before Storage Is a Good Idea
Detailing is not something mechanics typically do, but you can recommend that clients look into contacting a professional detailer if they plan to store a car for a long time. Water stains and bird droppings that are left on the car can slowly damage the paint over time, so it’s important to make sure the car is squeaky clean. After a wash, it should be driven around one last time to be sure all of the water is gone from little crevices. A wax will further block dust and dirt from settling.
Prevent Furry Visitors from Damaging Stored Cars
A stationary car can become a rodent hotel if an owner isn’t careful. During harsh weather, it provides a warm, dry home for small animals. These critters can get into nooks and crannies within the body and potentially chew through wires, damaging the vehicle.
Drivers should be advised to cover gaps where mice could enter the car with steel wool. Then, cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil can be placed around the car on the ground, as the smell deters mice.
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