If you are going to leave your car parked for a while there are a few simple things you need to do before hand. Suzanne Keane has some tips for taking your car off the road
Whether it’s because of an extended holiday or just to save some cash, it may be necessary from time to time to park your car up for more than just a few weeks. But what should you do beforehand?
If your car won’t be taxed while it’s off the road you will need to fill out an RF150 form before your current tax runs out (Click here for more info).
If it isn’t going to be stored in a safe secure place you should still have insurance – ask your insurance company about “laid-up” insurance. This usually costs about 40% of your normal insurance cost but will mean that your car is covered against fire or theft but it can’t be used on a road or parked in a public place!
If your NCT is due to run out soon it’s a good idea to get the car tested before you park it up so you can get straight back out on the road when you’re ready.
Wash, scrub, clean every inch of the car (don’t forget underneath). Give it a quick polish and wax wax wax – you can never put too much on.
There’s nothing worse than a stale smell so make sure your interior is spotless – however if you wash any of it make sure it’s 100% dry before parking up the car.
Change the oil to avoid any engine damage and oil any hinges to prevent them from rusting shut.
If the car will be parked up over winter make sure to remove any water from the washer system and ensure there is plenty of antifreeze in your cooling system to avoid any cracked pipes!
Take the car for a good long drive before parking it up to make sure that any moisture in the engine has evaporated.
Do NOT park the car with the handbrake on – over time it will stick and you may need to replace your brakes afterwards. Try using blocks/chucks to stop the car from rolling instead.
Once your car is parked in its new home pop the bonnet and disconnect the battery – otherwise it will drain over time and may not fully charge ever again.
If you’re going to be away from home you may need to give someone else this job – Every few weeks roll the car forwards (or backwards) to rotate the tyres and avoid flat spots! To avoid doing this you could remove the wheels and park the car on axle stands.
Obviously being parked in a garage is a better option than being left outside – preferably with a dehumidifier. I’m not a fan of car covers as they can trap moisture and could cause more damage long term. If your car is going to be parked for a long time it may be worthwhile investing in a ventilated cocoon – these are available for both indoor and outdoor use and will usually require a power supply.
9th September, 2013