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How to hibernate your car for storage

posted by Chris Valentine

Whether it’s because the winter months are here or you are just taking an extended vacation, it’s certainly not unheard of for a car to be moved into storage.

In a bid to protect the engine, bodywork and maybe even security, most people will hide away their cars in a garage until its required again.

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However, “hibernating” your car for a prolonged period of time does require a slightly different set of rules to if you were just moving it away for the weekend. Suffice to say, with the vehicle being unused for such a long period of time, problems can start to emerge. We’re not going to cycle through each and every one of them, but the source of the damage is likely to mean that your warranty is not going to come in hand. As such, you’ll be turning to a firm like Omega Auto Care in a bid to make the necessary repairs.

Sure, some makes and models might have their own sets of rules and for these it’s advisable to turn to the owner’s manual. In general though, here is some safe advice to follow.

Now is the time to clean up your act

Most people will clean their car as a sign of prestige; let’s be honest, owning a dirty car on the road is hardly flattering.

With that, it might seem almost pointless to clean your vehicle if you’re intending to keep it away for so long. However, during this time even the smallest amount of build-up can worsen and damage your paintwork. In fact, left for even longer and rust can start to occur – turning that simple car wash into an extremely costly job indeed.

To provide even more protection during this period, it’s advisable to wax your car as well.

Keep charged up

Particularly if you are going away for a significantly long period of time, this next point might be a little tricky to keep on top of. Over time, a battery which isn’t being used will start to lose its charge.

The easiest solution is to ask someone to drive the vehicle every couple of weeks or so but naturally, this isn’t possible for everyone. If you fall into this category, you could disconnect the negative battery cable – although it’s worth mentioning by doing this you’ll lose several electrical settings like the time and stereo presets.

The other option is to buy a battery tender, which will plug into your battery and provide it with enough power to keep it ticking over during the time you’re not using the car.

Top up with gas

Just like the first point we looked at, this next piece of advice may seem a little odd considering the fact you won’t be using your car.

However, if your tank is empty, moisture will start to build up over time and cause future problems. By topping up with gas, you can ensure this doesn’t occur.

Then, so that ethanol doesn’t build up in the engine because of the gas, buy a fuel stabilizer which will provide further protection to your engine.

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