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Advice for Long-Term Storage of a Car

Seeing I will be leaving the country for 4 months next week, I thought I'd post something about long-term storage tips for your car ...

If you own an antique car or a summer-only convertible, you're probably aware of the importance of proper long-term car storage. If you're planning to let your car sit idle for a month or longer, you should take basic steps to protect it from damage from disuse.

Wash the outside of the car with soap and hot water. Apply a coat of wax to protect against the elements. Apply vinyl protectant spray to tires and other rubber or vinyl surfaces. After cleaning the outside, clean the interior using the appropriate vinyl and leather cleaners. Include the display, dashboard and console. Clear the interior and trunk of trash.

Check the Fluids
Correct fluid levels, always crucial to your car's operation, are especially important when the vehicle is in hibernation. A full gas tank reduces the chance that pollutants and water will get inside. When your engine is not used for a while, condensation occurs in empty areas of the tank. Certain additives, such as dry gas, can prepare gasoline for long-term storage. Changing your car's oil prior to storage cleans out pollutants and waste, and reduces the risk of rusting. Consider also applying the appropriate lubricant to the engine cylinders to protect against rust. Top off your antifreeze and brake fluid or, better yet, replace those fluids..

One Last Drive
Before putting your car into storage, take a drive for about 30 minutes to make sure the new fluids have a chance to work their way through their respective systems and to evaporate any water from the fuel system.

If possible, keep your car indoors for long-term storage. Purchase a cover to further protect the car from dust and other impurities. Remove the car battery and store it in a cool, dry location. Inflate your tires to a higher pressure than normal as they are likely to loose a little air over time. Remove any important documents and valuables.

Maintenance and Upkeep
Even when storing a car for long periods of time, you should try to take it on a short drive once a month. A 30-minute drive will keep the fluids flowing properly and help prevent against corrosion associated with disuse. If you cannot get on the road, idle the engine for 30 minutes (just be sure to open the garage door). If you aren't able to run the car monthly, consider buying a trickle charger to keep your battery in shape. Trickle charging your battery once a month helps ensure it will work when you put it back in the car.

Source eHow.com

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