There may come a time when you need to store your BMW for an extended period. Perhaps you’re planning to drive a different vehicle during the winter months. Maybe you’ll be away for a while whether it’s for a work assignment, military deployment, a long vacation or another reason.
Whatever the reason for storing your car, you don’t want the storage period to be tough on your car, and you want to make sure your car’s still in prime condition when it’s time to drive it again. Following tips such as these will help you to ensure your car is stored properly.
Find a Safe Location
Where you store your car is crucial to keeping it in good condition. The ideal place is in a garage where it will be protected from the element. If you have a garage on your property, this will be the most convenient option. You could also rent a storage space and leave your car there. If storing your car over the winter, the garage you choose should be well-insulated to protect it from cold temperatures.
If you do have to store your car outside, invest in a cover that fully covers your vehicle. It’s best to get one designed for your make and model to ensure that it fits right. Even if you store your car inside, you should cover it to provide further protection.
Don’t just put your car into storage as is. You need to take steps to prepare it, including topping off its fluids. Change the oil and filter since old oil can cause damage, top off the engine coolant with the proper antifreeze to water ratio, fill the gas tank and add some fuel stabilizer to prevent it from separating. Then drive the car for a few miles to circulate the new fluids before putting it away.
If storing your car for a long period, remove the battery, store it in a relatively warm place and connect it to a battery tender or trickle charger. These devices provide just enough power to your battery to prevent it from losing charge. A battery tender will cost you about $50.
Also, be sure you fill your tires to the recommended pressure. It might seem counterintuitive, but you should wash your car thoroughly and consider applying a coat of wax before you put it away. Dirt, debris and stains left on a car for long periods can damage the paint. You can apply a rubberized undercoating to any unpainted metal to prevent it from rusting.
How to Park the Car
Once all your cleaning and maintenance is done, you can park your car. The way you do will make a difference in how well it stores. Don’t, for instance, use the parking brake. If left engaged for too long, the brake pads and rotors could fuse. Instead, use a tire chock to keep your car from moving.
Leaving a car parked for an extended period can cause flat spots to develop on the tires. Less severe spots will go away after you drive on them, but spots that have been there for a long time may become permanent. If you’re going to store your BMW for more than 30 days, take the wheels off and put it on jack stands to prevent damage to your tires.
If openings such as the exhaust pipe are exposed, plug them with steel wool, a rag or another object to prevent rodents from getting inside them.
When storing your BMW for long periods, taking the proper steps to prepare it will help protect it during its storage period. If you follow these storage tips, your bimmer will be ready to go when it’s time to hit the road again!