Had Your Car in Storage? Here's How to Safely Get It Back on the Road

January 27, 2012

If you had your car in storage and are planning on using it again, it’s important to follow the tips listed in this article to bring the vehicle to its former working condition. Although you may have followed car storage tips before putting the vehicle in a long term car storage facility, you will have to follow a few preparation guidelines to remove the vehicle from storage.

Getting the Vehicle Safely Back on the Road:

  • When you take your car out of storage, you must remove the intake duct and the tail pipe heater vent sealing.
  • If your car has been in storage for a few months, the battery will have to be recharged. You might have to replace it with a new battery if the car hasn’t been driven for longer than a year.
  • The oil and oil filter will need to be changed. If the car has been in storage for a couple of years, it might be necessary to change the fuel filter as well. Spark plug cables also need to be changed in cars that have been in storage for a long time.
  • The engine of the car should be pre-lubricated. When doing this make sure that the spark plugs are removed and that the motor oil is squirted into each cylinder before it’s replaced. If the spark plug cables seem cracked, it’s best to replace them.
  • The air pressure in the tires should be checked after the car is taken off the jack stands. If necessary, more air should be pumped into the tires. The air pressure in the tires should be adjusted as per the recommendations in your car owner’s manual.
  • Inspect the suspension for any damage that might have occurred. Ensure that the shocks aren’t leaking and that the springs are in good working order.
  • If the car doesn’t run, it indicates that the fuel has gone bad and that it should be replaced.
  • Switch on the air-conditioner at idle and correct the state of charge if required.
  • If you had applied any oil to the brake rotors when preparing your car for storage, you should remove the oil with a cloth. Heavier oil will not come off with a cloth and you might have to use a degreaser to remove it.
  • The brakes might also not be in good working condition. It’s best to check this by gently applying the brakes several times at low speeds. If necessary, the old brakes should be replaced with new ones.
  • You should check that the engine and the engine bay are in good condition. Check for fuel leaks and replace hoses or gaskets as required.
  • Check the interior of the car and ventilate it before entering the vehicles. The seats should move correctly and any faults should be rectified.

Your car should be safe to drive once the above mentioned recommendations have been followed. The car should be driven carefully for the next hundred miles as storage related problems might arise during this period. If you lack the mechanical knowledge or the time, a good mechanic can help you out with these minor servicing tasks.

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