Wisconsin residents need to put vehicles away in storage for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps you’re retired and no longer drive. Maybe you have an extra vehicle you don’t need at the moment, or your vehicle is a classic car that you don’t normally drive.
In some cases, vehicles need to go into storage because their owners are students heading off to college, military personnel getting ready for deployment, or people who go south for the winter.
There are numerous reasons you may need long-duration vehicle storage. And if it’s something you’re looking into right now, remember that it’s best to plan ahead with the correct maintenance.
In the article below, you’ll find out how exactly to prep your car for storage — plus how you should alter your auto insurance while your car isn’t being driven.
First Thing’s First: Proper Pre-Storage Vehicle Maintenance
It’s important to store your vehicle correctly with good pre-storage maintenance so that when you’d like to drive it again, the storage period hasn’t done long-term damage. Unfortunately, this is possible. Rodents, the elements, dirt and salt buildup, and other problems with the oil and fluids can all turn into bigger issues if they aren’t taking care of from the get-go.
Here’s how to appropriately prepare your vehicle for long-term storage:
- Use a fuel stabilizer in the gas tank.
Start by using a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL in the gas tank (in addition to filling the tank). This will keep your fuel fresh during storage.
- Prevent flat spots on the tires.
Flat spots on your tires can occur when the pressure in the tires has reduced over time, but the car remains in one spot. You can reduce the chances of flat spots by fully inflating each tire prior to storage.
- Fill all liquids to their full capacities.
Check all fluids in your vehicle (coolant, antifreeze, window shield wiper fluid, etc.), and fill them up.
- Sprinkle mothballs in and around the car.
Mothballs? It may seem odd, but mothballs (or fabric softener sheets) can prevent mice and other rodents from choosing your vehicle as a warm and comfortable nesting spot.
- Make sure the battery remains at least somewhat charged.
You should never let your vehicle’s battery run out of juice completely. To prevent this, you can do one of two things. First, you can drive your car periodically (every few weeks, for example). Second, you can take the battery out of the vehicle and hook it up to what’s called a “battery tender,” which will keep the battery adequately charged for the duration of your storage.
- Find a good location for storage.
Lastly, find a safe location where you can store your vehicle. Ideally, it will be indoors as Wisconsin weather can become harsh in the winter, and outdoor storage could cause damage. Your best options are a professional storage facility, a barn or garage with concrete floors, or at least under an awning with a vehicle cover.
How to Alter Auto Insurance While Your Car Is in Storage
If something catastrophic happens to your car while you are away (fire, theft, building collapse, etc.), you want to know that you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for damage repair or vehicle replacement. The only way to do this is to make sure that you have comprehensive insurance coverage while your vehicle is being stored. If you don’t have this type of coverage already, get it as soon as possible.
If you’re worried about paying for collision and liability coverage while your car is not being driven, it’s possible to remove this form of coverage, but make sure that you don’t have a loan on your car first. Lenders won’t allow removal of collision coverage.
Still confused about auto insurance during long-term storage of your vehicle? Feel free to contact Heinen Insurance. Our experienced and friendly agents are always here to help, so call or stop in today!