Have a vehicle that you’re hoping to store long-term?
Long-term storage of any vehicle —whether it’s a recreational vehicle, motorcycle, custom car, student car, camper, or any other — requires planning and careful attention to detail. After all, when you inevitably return to your vehicle, you’ll want to know that it’ll be in great shape and ready to roll!
In this article, you’ll learn how to properly prepare your vehicle for storage as well as how to handle auto insurance while you’re not driving.
Stored Vehicle Prep 101
Step 1: Park your car in a safe place with the parking break off
You need a safe place to store your vehicle. It should be indoors, and it should be dry, lockable, and have good ventilation. When you park your car, contrary to what you might think, you should not leave your parking brake on as this can cause damage to your brake pads. Instead turn the wheel to one side to prevent the vehicle from moving.
Step 2: Top up fluids, and fill up the gas tank and tires
Check all of the fluids in your vehicle, taking special care to change the oil completely. You should also switch out the air filter while you’re at it.
Top off fluids like antifreeze, steering wheel fluid, coolant, and any others. Tanks should be full before storage.
Finally, fill up the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL. You will want to fill up the tires to their maximum allowed pressure so that you can avoid flat spots as well.
Step 3: Protect your car from mice (and other critters)
Especially during the cold Minnesota winter months, critters will be looking for warm places to nest. Don’t let your vehicle be one of these places!
To prevent the infestation of pests and rodents, consider taking a few precautions. For example, sprinkle mothballs in and around your vehicle, or use cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil. Fabric sheets can help too, and it doesn’t hurt to put a steel wool ball in the exhaust pipe.
Step 4: Take care of the battery
Last but not least, remove the battery from your vehicle and hook it up to a battery tender so that it stays adequately charged for the duration of your vehicle’s storage.
What Should You Do With Insurance While Your Car Is in Storage?
It will probably be tempting to cancel your insurance entirely but resist that urge. You’ll still need auto insurance while your car is in storage. Most notably, you’ll need comprehensive insurance. This covers things like fire, vandalism, theft, and other acts of God.
If you turn off this portion of your coverage, not only are you at risk of having to pay out-of-pocket if these unexpected events occur, but you’ll also have a lapse in coverage. A lapse in coverage is a red flag to insurance agencies, so once you’re ready to get back on the road with your vehicle, you may run into higher rates as you reinstate your insurance.
Furthermore, if you’d like to remove collision coverage, not so fast. If you have a loan out on your vehicle, it’s likely that your lender is not going to allow you to remove this portion of your coverage. Removing collision coverage just for a few months isn’t going to save you that much money either. In most cases, it’s best to make sure you have comprehensive coverage for your car and stick with it for the duration of the storage period.
Interested in learning more about auto insurance for a stored vehicle? Give our agents at Krog Insurance a call today. You can also stop into one of our Minnesota locations in St. Paul or Virginia.