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How to Remove Your Car From Long Term Storage
When you prepare your car for long-term storage, you do your best to protect it during its idle months by taking certain steps involving fluids, parts, and such. Understand how to remove your car from long-term storage when you are ready to drive it again to ensure its transition back onto the road goes smoothly.
Air out your car.Lower your car if you put it up on blocks when you put it into long-term storage. Then remove the vehicle cover and open the windows. This helps get rid of any musty smell. You can also remove any mothballs you placed in your vehicle.
Check your battery by making sure the connections and posts are free of any corrosion that can build up over time.Electronics can quickly drain battery power, so have a plan in place in case your battery is dead. If you put your car on a trickle charger when you put it into long-term storage, remove that. Do what you need to so that your battery is fully charged, even if that means getting a new one.
Prepare your car for driving.Many of the things you did to prepare your car for long-term storage helped, but they may not have prevented leaks or other damage. Before you start it back up, it is important that you look over your car to see if there is anything wrong.
- Check the engine. Make sure belts and hoses are not damaged. Change any dirty filters. Look for nests that birds or mice may have built during your car's time in storage.
- Look at your fluid levels of oil, water, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, coolant, and power-steering fluid. Change or add more if needed. If one is particularly low, look for puddles underneath your car to see if it leaks.
- Check the pressure of your tires. Adjust as needed to get them back to normal.
- Put windshield wipers back on your car.
Start the engine.Let your car run for 20 minutes in order to warm up. Look for any warning lights on your dashboard. Also, check the brake pedal to make sure it feels normal. The brakes could respond noisily after storage if rust accumulated on your car's brake rotors. This brake noise is normal and should go away quickly.
Wash your car.Though your car was no doubt clean when you put it into storage, chances are it gained some dirt during the storage period. When you remove your car from long-term storage, give it a thorough washing. Take special care to wash the underside of your car, as dirt can build up there as well.
Take your car for a drive.Driving it around for an hour or so will help you ensure all systems are working properly. It also lets your car get back up to normal temperature after sitting in storage for an extended period. Be sure to take the first few miles slowly. It is normal for your car to make some unusual sounds until it gets properly warmed up.
- Refer to your owner's manual for other specific instructions, as each vehicle has unique considerations and guidelines.
- Contact your mechanic if anything seems unusual. He can help you determine if it is typical of a car just removed from storage or if there is something you should be worried about.
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