If you should need to put your car into a self storage unit, it's not quite as simple as parking your car inside and then walking away. Your car needs to be properly prepared to ensure that it's in good working order when the time comes to collect it again. So what do you need to do?
The exterior of the car needs to be thoroughly washed before it's placed inside the storage unit. Pay particular attention to any bird excrement. The uric acid found in this excrement can corrode your car's paint, and this effect can be infinitely worse if the substance is left on your car for the duration of the storage period.
Most self storage facilities have some form of rodent control, although it's better to be safe than sorry. Block any access points on the exterior of the vehicle that might be a tempting place for mice or other vermin to crawl inside, such as any intake vents on the hood of the car, as well as the exhaust pipe. An old cloth can do the trick, although it's vital to remember to remove these blockages before driving the vehicle again.
Invest in a cover for your car while it's in storage. Even when it's stored inside, dust can accumulate on the vehicle while it's in the facility, and a cover will prevent you from having to wash the car once it's removed from storage.
Thoroughly clean the interior of the vehicle and remove anything that might be stored inside.
Reverse the vehicle into storage unit so that the engine is close to the door. This is particularly pertinent when the vehicle will be inside the unit for an extended period of time. Be mindful that your car's battery might discharge while it's in storage, and the engine needs to be in a convenient position if a jump start will be required. Of course, another vehicle will need to be positioned directly outside the storage unit for a jump start.
Do not apply the vehicle's parking brake. If the brake pads are in prolonged contact with the brake rotors, they might degrade or even stick. Invest in some wooden wedges to be positioned underneath the vehicle's tyres.
7. Motor Oil and Petrol
Read the owner's manual for your vehicle. You need to check the manufacturer's recommendations with regards to motor oil and petrol. Will the contaminants in any used engine oil potentially damage your vehicle's engine if left in there for a prolonged period of time? An oil change immediately prior to storage might be necessary. If petrol is to be left in the tank, you might wish to add a petrol stabiliser. Check with the manufacturer to ensure that such a stabiliser is compatible with your vehicle. This stabiliser simply keeps any petrol stored in the tank from degrading the engine, as well as preventing ethanol buildup within the tank.
By following these basic tips, your car will be waiting for you just as you left it.