07 Feb Maintain a Seldom-Used Vehicle
Many of us have a vehicle we use only on occasion that we keep parked in a garage or covered beneath a sheet in the back alley. The vehicle runs perfectly fine, but it’s used for special purpose: i.e. a truck used to haul yard waste to the dump, or a hot rod taken out on sunny days, for conventions or parades. And if you plan to store the vehicle for a month or longer time, then there are a few considerations for maintenance that are important to remember.
First, remember to keep your stored vehicle clean. Clean out the inside, vacuuming the carpets and hosing down the mats. Any organic material left behind for months at a time could mold or rot and cause smells or unsightly stains on the carpet and upholstery. You should also clean the exterior of the vehicle from top to bottom. You will want all the contaminants and rust removed. Any debris like sap or bird poop needs to be washed away. And if there is any bare metal, then consider covering the metal with an inexpensive spray-on undercoating, or in the case that the vehicle is for show, take it to a professional body shop.
You should also store a vehicle with a full tank of gas. Moisture can build up in the gas tank and cause problems for the engine. A full tank will help to limit/prevent the build-up of any moisture. And the shelf-life for most fuels is three months—you can usually get away with a few weeks more—so if you plan to store the vehicle for longer, then add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to keep the fuel lines and engine from corroding. Also keep the battery connected to a battery tender, which will ensure that the battery is charged, but at the same time the tender will ensure that the battery doesn’t overcharge.
You will also want to keep the vehicle covered and protected from the elements. A simple car cover or tarp will work, although a tarp should be adequately tied down, because a strong breeze can lift the tarp fabric, unseating it, making the tarp flap in the wind like a flag, and the sound of the tarp would be extremely unwelcome in the middle of the night.
And if you find that your garaged vehicle doesn’t run, the experts in tow/repair services at City Towing are ready to help.