Long-term storage of a vehicle isn’t as simple or straightforward as it may sound. For starters, you’ll need to maintain your vehicle prior to storing properly. Furthermore, you might be considering adjustments to your insurance policy.
All of these steps will be addressed in the following article to assist you in the safe and sound storage of your vehicle in Madison.
Wisconsin Winters Mean Indoor Storage Is Best
As a Wisconsin resident, you are keenly aware of how harsh Wisconsin winters can be, and this means that outdoor storage of your vehicle is not a good idea.
Instead, find a safe location indoors where you can store your vehicle. Your best option will be a paid storage facility. If you can’t store your vehicle at a storage facility, consider your garage, barn, or outbuilding. Just remember that it’s best not to store a vehicle on a dirt floor or in a place where critters or the elements would have easy access to it.
As a last resort, it is possible to park your vehicle under an awning or pole building and cover it with a vehicle cover as tightly as possible.
Pre-Storage Maintenance Is Essential
Once you’ve found a safe location for your vehicle, it’s time to perform some routine pre-storage maintenance. Take the following steps.
- Start by giving your vehicle a tune-up. Fill all of the fluids that need replenishing, including the anti-freeze, coolant, windshield wiper fluid, steering wheel fluid, and any others. You’ll want to replace the air filter and change the oil as well.
- Next, inflate all four tires to the maximum allowed pressure. This can help avoid what is called flat spots on the tires. You should also fill up the gas tank, taking care to add a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL.
- As a final step in your tune-up, give your car a good cleaning and waxing on the outside, and clean and vacuum the inside as well.
Don’t Forget to Remove the Battery
Here’s a step that many car owners forget. You should take out the battery of your vehicle prior to storage. The battery should be hooked up to a battery tender to keep it from completely losing its charge. If it’s impossible to remove the battery (as is the case with some newer cars), you can hook the battery tender up to the battery while it’s still in the engine bay without issue.
Keep Pests at Bay
Mice and other critters may find their way into your vehicle as a warm place for the winter. To avoid this, a good preventative measure is to strategically place mothballs or fabric softener sheets in your trunk, on the seats or floor of your vehicle, and around the outside of the car.
Don’t Forget to Reexamine Your Insurance Policy
While it may be tempting to cancel your auto insurance altogether during your car’s storage; make sure you consider several points before doing so.
First, if you’re still paying off your car, your lender will not allow you to remove collision insurance. Next, removing any part of your insurance is going to leave a gap in coverage, which could raise your rates when you inevitably return to using your car on a regular basis again.
Finally, comprehensive insurance should never be removed from your policy as it protects against events that could happen at any moment in time, including fire, vandalism, building collapse, theft, and other acts of God.