As any car collector would agree, your classic car is an investment worth protecting. Many people have spent a great deal of time and money either purchasing or restoring their classic car so it only makes sense that one would want to keep in the best condition possible. Investing in long-term storage is a sensible way to protect your classic car from damage when it’s not in use. However, it’s not as easy as simply driving your car into the storage unit and leaving it. The fact is, storing your car long term without proper preparation could be detrimental to your vehicle and its motor. If you are planning to store your classic car in a long-term storage facility, consider the following tips for preventing damage and preserving the quality and performance of your vehicle.
Choose the Right Storage Environment
One of the best options for storing your classic car is an indoor drive-up storage unit, preferably with climate control. This covered unit will keep your car protected from the outdoor elements and prevent sunlight from fading your paint. Furthermore, the climate control will ward away any deterioration that might occur to the paint, upholstery, tires, or engine. It is also recommended that you cover the flooring with a sheet of plastic to serve as a vapor barrier that will prevent moisture from reaching the underside of the car. Also, be sure that the storage unit you select is a suitable size. You certainly do not want to risk dings or scratches by squeezing your car into a tight space.
Clean and Detail Your Car
Prior to storing your car, you want to be sure to clean it thoroughly. It is important to remove any dirt, grime, or salt that could otherwise cause deterioration to the exterior of your car. You should also apply a coat of car wax for additional protection once the car has been cleaned. In addition, you will want to lubricate all door and hood hinges in order to prevent corrosion and to keep your hinges from jamming up over time.
Service the Vehicle
Once the car has been cleaned and detailed, you want to service the vehicle with routine maintenance. Start by changing the oil in your car. Used car oil contains contaminants that could damage your car’s engine if left over a period of time. Once you have replaced the oil, you should recirculate it through the engine for a few minutes. It is also recommended that you run out as much of the fuel as possible and fill up your tank with fresh premium fuel before storing it. If you are storing your car during the winter months, you might also want to add a fuel stabilizer and check your coolant levels to avoid freezing during the winter. Finally, cover the tail pipe with a ball of steel wool to prevent rodents from crawling inside. Just don’t forget to remove the plug when you take your car out of storage!
Remove the Battery
There’s always a risk that your battery could die if your car is left over a period of time. If the battery terminals are left connected, the car will continue to use energy which could deplete the battery even if the car is not in use. You can avoid the problem by removing the battery while the car is in storage. Not only will this help maintain the life of your battery, but it will also prevent battery acid from leaking into your car’s engine.
Use Wheel Blocks or Jack Stands
Start by filling up your tires with air and then use either wheel blocks or jack stands to take some of the pressure off the suspension and slow the rate of decompression in the tires. If tires sit for a long period of time without moving, they could take on an oval shape and this would result in you needing to purchase new tires.
Cover Your Classic Car
Even if your car is in covered storage, you should invest in a quality car cover. This will just act as an added layer of protection to keep out dirt, insects, and dust. Choose a cover with a soft interior that won’t scratch your paint and a breathable material that won’t trap moisture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.
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