Reviews 5 tips to keep your car tiptop while in storage
usage, age, storage - tire tips
motorcycle tires are black, round and extremely important as the only contact surfaces with the road. Accordingly, they should be given sufficient attention. © Jörg Künstle There are the little runners, grandfather clocks or garage finds that stand flat on their tires. Or the bikers who stock the tires to be ready at all times.
If your car or truck has to sit for a period of time, whether it's because of a surprise virus outbreak, a long vacation, or even just seasonal storage, there are some critical steps to take to ensure it's ready the next time you're ready to drive.
Steven Greenspan, an educational manager and ASE-certified master technician at trade schoolin Arizona, offers these tips to consider for our cars while they sit.
Gasoline and diesel will last no more than six months without degrading. The key is to put in a full tank if the car is going to sit for a few months. Weather and temperature fluctuations can cause the lighter-weight chemicals to evaporate, and in winter, condensation can create enough water to freeze the gas lines solid. Water also affects the way your engine runs, predictably.
$1 Million Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Unearthed After Owner Parked It for 40 Years
$1 Million Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Unearthed After Owner Parked It for 40 YearsThe story of this car apparently starts in the early 1970s, when an unnamed Midwestern man became infatuated with the 300 SL Roadster after driving one owned by his brother. Smitten, he hunted down an unsold example floating around Chicago, Illinois and purchased the car new in 1976, some 12 years after it exited production. Under his ownership, the car accumulated 14,558 miles before mysteriously going into storage in Indiana around 1980, going entirely untouched since then.
E85, notes Greenspan, has a higher alcohol content and when the vehicle isn’t driven regularly, lasts less than six months.
As for oil, today’s cars and trucks usually have computers and sensors that tell you when to change the oil, but even if you haven’t hit the mileage recommendation, UTI says a driver should change his or her oil every six months. Weather and temperature do the same to oil as they do to fuels, namely degrade it.
Additionally, the battery will take a hit if the vehicle isn’t driven. Those computers and sensors draw power even when the car isn’t running. If a car is just sitting, says Greenspan, a battery can die in as little as two weeks. A trickle charger works here, but better, take it for a 10-minute spin every two weeks if you can. If nothing else, it’s a reason to get out and drive the thing.
How to Maintain Your Car When You’re Not Driving It Much (or at All)
If you’re like the rest of us, there very likely is a car in your garage or driveway that hasn’t moved much for a few weeks now, if at all. Whether by pandemic, seasonal downtime (such as winter for those of you located in the snowy North), or extended travel, there are plenty of ways your car could sit idle for long periods of time. Cars don't like this. New or old, when your car isn't racking up miles, it still needs regular maintenance and at least occasional attention to prevent problems from metastasizing later when you return it to the road.
Tires also lose air when a car sits as the temps rise and fall, so frequently check those pressures with. If a car sits longer than six months, those tires could develop flat spots as well. Nitrogen filled tires are less susceptible to weather changes.
If you anticipate that your car is going to sit, fill up the gas tank, make sure all the fluids are full, clean it inside and out, drying well, and change the cabin air filter.
Most if not all of these problems can be mitigated or eliminated by driving your project/classic/collector car every few weeks. Maybe we’re not supposed to go for long joyrides every day, but you do need food, toilet paper and gas. Use those shorter drives to keep your car in working order for when we can go for pointless cruises. The Woodward Dream Cruise, which we’re still hopefully planning for, is only five months away!
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