When taking a vehicle out of storage it is very important to check a few things before turning the key over. When vehicles sit for extended periods of time a few common issues can occur and it’s vital to do a thorough vehicle inspection to ensure your car is running in tip top condition. The following are things that can occur to vehicles that have been sitting in storage for extended periods of time:
- Belts and hoses start to crack
- Fuel begins to break down
- Seals and gaskets begin leaking
- Tires begin to dry rot
- Insects and pests make homes
By taking the following precautions as well as performing routine preventative maintenance to your car, you can rest assured knowing that your car is ready to hit the roads for summer:
- Check belts and hoses for cracking. Any signs of cracked belts or dry rotted hoses should be addressed immediately. Cracked belts can leave you stranded if they break and dry rotted hoses can burst and not only leave you stranded but cause potential damage to the vital components of your vehicle.
- Make sure you get some fresh gasoline in your car before taking it back out on the roads. The volatile parts of gas will break down over time which will decrease the octane while increasing the “gumminess” of the fuel in your tank. This can clog fuel filters as well as not allow the gasoline to ignite properly which can cause your engine to run very poorly. (Sta-bil can prevent this from happening)
- Check for leaks underneath your vehicle and ensure all fluids are filled to the proper level. Seals and gaskets can begin to dry rot when sitting for periods of time so make sure you aren’t running your car low on fluid.
- Check your tires for dry rotting, flat spots, and uneven wear. Tires will begin to dry rot over time when not used and can cause blow outs. Also, if a tire were to lose air pressure over the winter it could cause a flat spot in your tire from the weight of the vehicle. This can cause vibrations when driving. Uneven tire wear can be caused from worn out steering components or being improperly aligned. If you notice this, have the steering and suspension components checked so you can address the problem to prevent costly repairs down the road.
- Make sure no pests have made homes for the winter in your vehicle. Your air box is the first choice for animals and critters to make nests so make sure you pull the cover and check inside. Mice have been known to chew up electrical components so make sure to inspect under the hood and make sure this has not occurred. (moth balls can help prevent these issues)
Now that you have checked everything on your car you are ready hit the streets! Let’s hear those engines roar and have fun and safe travels this summer!!