There’s much more to keeping your car safe when it’s not in use beyond simply making sure the doors are locked. Whether you’re going out of town for an extended period, have a vehicle you don’t plan to use during the winter months, or any number of reasons, cars need regular maintenance and operation to ensure their engine and other systems work as they should. Leaving them unattended at home presents both maintenance and theft concerns. Many facing this situation opt to keep their vehicle at a car storage facility.
Vehicle storage facilities can range from secure parking lots to dedicated warehouses with technicians who keep up with a car’s maintenance schedule. Depending on how long you plan to be away, choosing a facility with full-service maintenance options can be well worth the investment.
Why Full-Service Maintenance is Important in Car Storage
Cars are designed to be driven. Not just for enjoyment, but to properly maintain different components and systems. Here are some of the bigger concerns to keep in mind when leaving your car idle for weeks or months.
Brakes Can Become Stuck
As you’ll see in many of the following concerns, moisture can wreak havoc on a car over time. With brakes, rust can build up, causing the brake components to become stuck in place. Even without rust, the pressure from a car’s emergency brake can cause the brake and rotor to fuse together. Learn more about brake maintenance.
Tires Can Develop Flat Spots
All tires have a recommended pressure rating to ensure they offer enough support against the weight of the car. However, over time, that air pressure can decrease, and the car’s weight can create flat spots where the tires are touching the ground. Here’s how to prevent tire flat spots.
Oil Can Build Up Excess Water
Another way moisture can harm your car when it’s left unattended is through its engine oil. Built-up moisture can lead to water gathering in the oil chamber. Normally, this water is burned off when a car is driven, but when it’s idle, the water can build up and lead to rust within the engine. For further reading, see these oil maintenance tips.
Water in the Gas Tank As Well
Moisture also can accumulate in the gas tank, watering down your car’s fuel. When it comes time to start your car up again, this water can harm a number of systems including its fuel injection system. Learn what to do if there’s water in your gas tank.
Diminished Battery Performance
Even when not in operation, a car’s battery is being used for things like anti-theft systems. This can slowly drain your car’s battery if it’s not properly recharged, which happens when the engine is run for approximately 30 minutes. Learn more about how to maintain your car battery.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Storage Facility
Finding the right storage facility for your vehicle is imperative to keep it safe and secure. Some simply offer a parking spot for your car, while others offer more thorough maintenance and check-ups to ensure the aforementioned issues don’t happen.
Here are a few questions to consider when selecting a car storage facility:
- Is it secure? This may seem like a given, but what security measures does it have? How routinely is it monitored? Are employees regularly on site?
- Do they offer vehicle maintenance? Given all the issues that can develop when a car is left parked for extended periods of time, it’s important that someone is following a maintenance schedule to keep all the vehicle’s systems and fluids operating as they should.
- Is the storage inside or outside? Some of the more basic vehicle storage facilities simply offer a secure outdoor parking lot. This may suit certain needs, but it could pose a host of issues for higher-end vehicles when left exposed to the elements.
- Can they accommodate different types of vehicles? For some individuals and families, it isn’t just one vehicle that needs to be stored. Maybe you need storage for two cars and a boat, or maybe you have an RV that is only used occasionally and can’t be adequately parked at your home. If you need storage for multiple vehicles, finding one facility that can accommodate everything can simplify your life while handling all the other logistics that came with leaving home for a long period.
Hilldrup Offers Full-Service Car Storage in Fredericksburg, VA
Hilldrup offers comprehensive vehicle storage at our Fredericksburg, VA warehouse facility, which can accommodate your car, truck, RV, motorcycle, or boat while it’s not in use. We offer a range of services to accommodate different needs – from full-service car maintenance to secure storage inside our 60,000-square-foot facility.