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Storing Your Car While You Are Away At College

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If you are leaving for college and need to store your car in a storage unit while you are gone, then there are certain things you can do to ensure that it is in perfect condition when you return. The following are just a few of these strategies.

Park Your Car Up Off of the Concrete

If your storage unit has a concrete floor, then you should park your car on top of a:

  • plastic tarp

  • sheet of plywood

  • piece of old carpet

Since concrete is porous it will let moisture into your storage unit from the ground below and it can collect on the metal parts underneath your car. Contact with moisture can cause your car's metal parts to rust. Once rust starts, then it will spread and it is very damaging to automobiles. Placing a vapor barrier between the vehicle and the floor is always a good idea to prevent moisture problems.

Top Off Your Gas Tank and Other Fluids

While you may be tempted to store your car with an empty gas tank, this is never advisable. You should always top off your gas tank with gasoline and add a stabilizer into the tank. Run the vehicle enough to distribute the stabilized gasoline into the:

  • carburetor

  • fuel injectors

  • fuel rails

  • fuel pump

Having a full tank of stabilized gasoline will prevent moisture from escaping from the gasoline and collecting in the top of your car's gas tank.

You should also make sure the oil in your car is full, as well as the brake and transmission fluids. Filling them will also prevent problems due to water vapor condensation as your vehicle sits idle in storage.

Thoroughly Wash and Wax Your Car

Before you store your car you must take the time to wash it very well and wax it with a high-quality, paste-type wax. Washing will remove any dust, road chemicals, and grease from your car's paint and chrome. Waxing your vehicle will add a layer of protection for the car's paint while it is being stored.

Cover Your Car with a Fabric Car Cover

Finally, since storage units can be a dusty place, cover your car with a nice fabric car cover. If you do not have access to a car cover, then you can use moving blankets or plastic sheeting. Car covers work the best because they are designed not to scratch your paint job, but blankets and plastic will also work in a pinch. Contact a local storage facility, like Simonson's Mini Storage, for more information.