They might be out of sight, but these critical mechanical elements will go rogue without close attention. Here’s how to keep them healthy and operational during long term car storage.
You probably already know that incorrect storage of your car can lead to issues with everything from tyres to paint finish. But it’s important to remember that parts that are out of sight, but definitely shouldn’t be out of mind.
Mechanical componentry is just as susceptible to damage when left unattended, with common issues including internal corrosion and seizing, causing power loss or worse. Here’s how to keep your car in shape, drawing on the methods we use at Windrush for our long-term car storage clients.
#1. Oil & Filter Change
During long term car storage, engine problems tend to arise due to gradual deterioration of oils through oxidation, contamination and breakdown in use. Engine oil can retain water and acids as combustion by-products, which can be extremely corrosive to inactive internal surfaces as they gradually lose their protective coating. These effects are exacerbated in used oil, which may have exhausted its damage-preventing additives. We recommend carrying out an oil and filter change prior to long term car storage, unless this has recently been done as part of regular servicing.
#2. Regular Running
Cars weren’t designed to be stationary. During long term car storage, it’s vital to run the engine regularly (at least every other month), as this will recirculate the oil to renew protection of the internal surfaces and allow belts on the engine to be run. When you choose Windrush’s long term car storage, we’ll also make sure that clutches, gearboxes and brakes are put through their paces, to prevent rust bonding to friction surfaces and commonly susceptible cast iron components. This is a particular problem unless the storage environment is dehumidified, like our specialist facilities in London and the Cotswolds.
#3. Fresh oil for piston lubrication
If an engine has been sitting idle for a long period, it’s advisable to remove the spark plugs and pour an eggcup-sized amount of engine oil down each of the bores to lubricate the pistons on initial run up. The ignition can also be disabled, and the engine allowed to spin freely on the starter motor with no load until the oilways are re-filled and pressurised, before being allowed to start properly.
#4. The right way to run it out
Don’t simply start your vehicle, leave it idling, then return it to storage – this often does more harm than good, allowing moisture-laden air into the engine and exhaust system, eventually causing deterioration of these components. In fact, when an exhaust rots, it’s usually from the inside-out, where moisture hasn’t burnt off after short journeys.
The best way to run a vehicle during long term car storage is to take it for a short drive, lasting at least ten minutes. This allows all the gears to be engaged and gives the clutch and brakes some activity. Of course, this isn’t always sensible in winter, when roads are often wet, icy or even salty. But at Windrush Car Storage, we solve that problem using our own internal rolling road, which lets us fully exercise the vehicle while ensuring pristine condition.
The Windrush Difference
Whatever the demands of your engine, transmission, brakes and clutch, at Windrush Car Storage, we’ll assess your vehicle and offer a classic car storage solution that’s ideal for you. After a thorough twelve-step induction, we’ll settle your car in its own dehumidified, climate-controlled indoor storage bay, maintained with 24/7 security, twice-daily checks and weekly battery and drip tray inspections. Meanwhile, every 60 days, we’ll give your vehicle an expert maintenance checkover and run it up to temperature on our internal rolling road. That’s the Windrush difference.
To discover more about Windrush long term car storage, get in touch today.