Many people who are fortunate enough to have seasonal cars, or simply need one for business, or because of the area of the country they live in, turn to self storage units to take care of their vehicles during the long winter months. Putting your car into self storage over the winter involves some special procedures to make sure it is fully functional when you take it out, but taking it out also involves some care and consideration to make sure you are not damaging the car. Below are some tips for taking your old car out of winter storage.
Inspect the Battery
The most important step when removing your car from a self storage unit is inspecting the battery. Hopefully you have had your battery connected to a battery maintainer while you weren’t driving it, but check the battery to ensure that it is fully charged before you attempt to drive your car again. A dead battery means you won’t be going anywhere. A battery that has been left out all winter, and hasn’t been cared for might even be permanently damaged.
Test Your Engine Oil
Even if you changed your engine oil just before putting the car into storage, it is a good idea to change it again once you have taken it out. Old oil is inefficient oil and the last thing that your car needs after a long time inactive is oil that is not going to be properly lubricating the engine. This is especially true for older cars whose engines have already withstood the test of time.
Check Your Other Fluids
The oil isn’t the only fluid that you have to check before getting your car back onto the road for spring. Coolant, power steering, brake and windshield wiper fluids should all be checked and topped up if need be. You also should consider adding some high octane booster to the fuel that you had in the tank before the car went into storage, as well as filling it up the first time after getting back on the road with high octane gas.
Check Your Tires
Even if you overfilled the tires before putting the car into the storage unit for the winter, check your tire pressure, they can lose significant air during the months of inactivity. Look for cracks or bulges in the rubber if the temperature fluctuated dramatically over the winter, and fill the tires to the recommended PSI if need be.
Whether your spring/summer car is something that you drive purely for pleasure, is part of your livelihood, or is needed for a long haul trip, get off to a good start this spring and keep the above winter car removal tips in mind.