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5 Tips to Store your Car Properly

Posted in Motoring Tips

5 Tips to Store your Car Properly

When you have to leave your car unused, or driving a lot less then usual for a long period, be it because you are in self-isolation, on an extended holiday, or you are moving and can't take it with you immediately, it's important you store your car properly to maintain it's condition. Here are 5 tips to do so!


One of the major problems of leaving a car unused is rusting on the inside of the fuel tank. The best way to avoid this is to fill the car with quality petrol, like 95 or 98 (not E10 or 91). Depending on the length of time it won't be in use, you may need to add some fuel additive / preserver to extend the life of the petrol. Generally speaking, fuel will be ok in a tank for around 4 weeks, or up to 6 months in a sealed container. After this time, the fuel quality will degrade and performance will be reduced. A full tank of petrol will also keep away moisture entering the tank, and prevents rusting of the fuel tank. Of course, be sure that the tank is sealed properly as well.


Engaging the handbrake over an extended period can result in the brake pads getting stuck to the brake discs or drums. Needless to say, if this happens, you'll be in some trouble the next time you drive the car. The smarter thing to do would be to use wheel chocks, say a piece of wood or even a brick, to keep it from rolling, and leave the car in first gear.


It will really help to change the engine oil and air filters. Used oil contains moisture, metal filings, sludge and other corrosive elements. It's best to put in fresh engine oil and new filters before leaving. A good tip is to ensure you drive the car for a few kilometres so that the fresh oil is circulated inside the engine.


Check the tyre pressure and make sure the tyres are at the correct pressure.

Proper inflation help prevent cracking of the sidewalls and flat spots.

Check the valves and valve caps for leaks, and ensure that the valve caps fit properly. Don't forget the spare tyre also.


People tend to leave trash in cars, including food wrappers, old newspapers, water bottles and so on. All of this could rot or, worse, attract rodents & pests that can damage floor mats, seat covers, and even wiring / electrics. Clean the interior thoroughly, wipe clean the windows to remove any residues, and spray a little freshener. But don't use too much - it will stink in the closed confines over a long period.

A car's paint job can be damaged if the vehicle is parked outdoors, even with a car cover protecting it, due to daily dust, grime and moisture. To prevent damage, clean the exterior thoroughly. Make sure to remove any dirt, dust or grime stuck to the vehicle before applying a coat of polish and wax. This will also help in keeping moisture away. If the car is to be left outside, consider using a car cover.

There are a few things to run through with your car if your planning to not drive it as regularly as usual. It is also worth checking when your next vehicle service is due.

It may be worth bringing your car service forward to ensure that your car is in the best shape it can be, prior to having a few weeks / months of reduced, or no driving at all.

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