If you're anything like me, you might have the problem of acquiring cars while never really letting any go. It's nearly impossible to drive them all, all of the time, so inevitably, a couple of them might end up sitting for long periods of time. So, if you're anything like me, the five tips below are some of the easiest things that you can do to protect your car while it's longingly waiting to come out of storage. The added benefit of these is that when we're ready to get back to driving, our car will be ready, too.
Dead batteries. We've all had it happen, and it never ceases to be incredibly annoying—but it's more than just annoyance. Draining your battery below a certain threshold and leaving it there is detrimental to its overall lifespan. If left drained long enough, irreparable damage inside will cause the battery to not take the same charge it once could.
To prevent your battery from discharging too far, the use of a battery maintainer is crucial. With this CTEK MXS battery maintainer, you can leave your battery in your car, or remove it and leave it on your shop floor or workbench. It's as simple as connecting the two leads to your positive and negative terminal and plugging it into your wall outlet.
And while you're making sure your battery stays charged, you might as well maintain the terminals while you're at it. Over time, the terminals of your battery will develop corrosion that can lead to low-voltage being delivered to the rest of your car. CRC makes products to both clean the terminals of this corrosion and protect them for years to come.
As gasoline sits for extended periods of time, it experiences what's known as "loss of volatility." Essentially what this means is that over time, the volatile compounds of gasoline evaporate, reducing its overall effectiveness. One of the easiest ways to prevent this is to top your car up with fresh gas before storing it. With more fuel in the tank, there's less air volume in the tank and less space for these volatile compounds to evaporate.
When it's time to run your car once again, it's recommended to run a can of LIQUI MOLY's Fuel System cleaner through it. Drive your car for a couple of days, add the Fuel System Cleaner to your tank, and then top up your gas once again. This will help to ensure that it mixes with your old gas as specified in the directions.
I don't know about you, but one of the saddest sights is seeing a car sit there dirty. I know this all too well, mine is covered in a layer of dust and dirt that's quite literally piling up right now. But keeping your car clean isn't just for show—it actually protects your paint. Keeping it clean and waxed (or even better, ceramic coated) prevents harmful contamination from accumulating on your paint. Depending on where it's stored, bird droppings or tree sap can become a factor too.
We recently added Griot's Garage products to our catalog to complement the line of Sonax products that we've loved for years. You can't go wrong with products from either one and right now is the perfect time to try something new. Some of our favorites are:
Take a lesson from me, don't leave your car uncovered for an extended period to build up dust and dirt. The purchase of a properly fitting car cover is one of the best investments you can make to prevent your car from avoidable damage. Our indoor car covers are meant to protect your car from dust and dirt as well as light rubs from people potentially walking by constantly. Our outdoor covers help prevent harmful UV rays from slowly damaging your paint. No matter your use, we have both indoor and outdoor ones for you.
The last tip and probably the best one here is to simply drive your car. There are countless benefits to regularly driving your car—fluids stay flowing and fresh, your tires don't flat spot from sitting in the same position, and your battery stays topped up without the need for a maintainer. The list can go on and on. So instead of just looking at your car, go for a drive, enjoy it, and now more than ever, be safe doing so.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore