Planning a Holiday? Here’s How You Can Prepare Your Car for Long-Term Parking

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Whether you travel for business, for pleasure, or both, it can feel daunting to leave your car behind for weeks on end while you’re in a different country. Changes in temperature, aging car parts, and the occasional burglar pose a major risk to your vehicle.

While many airport parking lots provide enough security to keep most criminals at bay, you still need to prepare your car.

Remove Valuables From Your Car

Savvy burglars often pretend that they own the car that they’re stealing from, so they may not get stopped by security. If you keep valuables or spare change in your car, remove them immediately.

Make sure nothing removable is visible from the outside of your vehicle, including phone chargers, because that may signal to the burglar you have other valuables inside.

Clear Out Trash and Papers

Cluttered cars are common targets for thieves because disorganization offers some cover. If you have garbage or papers lying around, you probably won’t notice something missing until it’s too late.

At the same time, you don’t want to keep documents that include personal information. Identity thieves can use your insurance papers to open up new credit cards in your name.

Choose the Right Parking Space

When choosing a parking space to leave your vehicle, make sure you choose a place that’s covered (to prevent weather damage) and offers 24-hour surveillance. Both features not only deter thieves but also keep your car in tip-top shape.

To ensure you pick the best spot for your vehicle, search on OneStopParking.com to find safe, convenient, and affordable parking.

Fill Your Gas Tank

Before entering your parking accommodations, fill up your tank with gas until there’s enough to offer some residual moisture. Your gas tank can freeze in the middle of winter if you don’t take this step.

Invest in a gas stabilizer if you’re parking your car for longer than a month to keep your gasoline fresh for up to a year. A full tank also makes the trip home more convenient. 

Change Your Oil and Wiper Fluid

Don’t just top off your oil or windshield washer fluid, or you run the risk of these fluids wreaking havoc on the inside of your vehicle. An extended period of time spent parked can put pressure on your car’s lubrication system.

Although wiper fluid is less of a concern, in Winter climates you could get into a car crash if you don’t have enough fluid to clean off the ice from your windshield.

Check Your Tire’s Air Pressure

If a vehicle is parked for three months or longer, tires can start to develop flat spots, especially if they have low pressure. In the winter months, your tires will begin to deflate even faster.

Check your tire pressure before getting on the plane and inflate them a little above the recommended limit. This way, you’ll have enough air in your tires when you leave the airport.

Examine The Battery

Coming home to a dead battery is more common than you think. When this happens, it could be that your battery is already depleted and failed due to natural battery self-discharge.

If you find that you often replace your battery, there may be something else wrong with your car that you need to sort out before leaving. Otherwise, keep an extra battery in your truck just in case.

Protect Your Car From Pests

Keeping food in your car will attract pests and rodents to your vehicle who may hide under the hood or in the undercarriage. However, pests may start appearing during the winter regardless of where you park.

To pest-proof your vehicle, add a few scented dryer sheets under your seats because they’re small, inconspicuous, and mice despise their chemical smell.

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