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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 03 May 2010
Leaving your car unused for long periods of time can have a damaging effect the vehicle. A slow deterioration sets in and can create problems when you want to drive the car again.Besides the exterior body getting faded and corroded due to exposure to heat and rain, the interiors can get damaged too.
The critical components – like the fuel system can get clogged, the engine oil can get contaminated with sludge and acids.
Therefore it is necessary to take certain precautions before storing your car for an indefinite period of time.
- Protect your car from the forces of nature, preferably inside a building that’s cool, dark, and dry. If you don’t have a garage, try requesting a neighbour to rent out some space for you.
- If the vehicle is going be completely sealed, place a few desiccant bags inside the enclosure to absorb any trapped moisture. If it is going to be stored outside without an enclosure, make sure you protect it with a multi-layered fabric.
- Change the oil and filter. Used oil contains acids, moisture, and other combustion byproducts that, over time, can cause corrosion inside the engine. Drive the vehicle for a few miles to make sure the new oil gets thoroughly circulated.
- Pull the spark plugs and pour a few drops of oil into each cylinder before replacing the plugs. This will help prevent the cylinders from rusting.
- Seal off engine openings with absorbent cotton to keep moisture out.
- Remove the battery and clean its top with a mixture of baking soda and water.
- Use fresh fluids, including transmission and rear axle. Check the color of the brake fluid. If it looks brown and dirty, it needs to be flushed. Old brake fluid has a lot of moisture in it, which could cause rust in the system.
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