7 April 2010

Vehicle Storage

| Kanberran
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G’day Rioters,

I will soon be leaving my beloved Canberra and will be going overseas walking the Earth for about a year. Does anyone know of any mobs in Canberra who do long term vehicle storage (plus care of vehicle).

I don’t really want to sell my car and also, I don’t want to just put it in a shed, only for it not to start and be buggered when I get ‘back. RACQ provide services like this in Brisbane (http://www.racq.com.au/motoring_advice/driving_overseas/car_storage) but I haven’t been able to find any similar services in our locality.

Any suggestions??


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Try Fox Garage Fyshwick

ThatUniStudent said :

I’ve stored cars for reasonable periods of time. Never a year though. ….


Place artificial fruit inside the vehicle. Panel-beaters don’t like fruit and it may keep them away.

screaming banshee10:11 pm 01 Feb 12

This thread appears as reliable as a Toyota….not having been started for almost 2 years.

ThatUniStudent10:02 pm 01 Feb 12

I’ve stored cars for reasonable periods of time. Never a year though. But I have stored boats for that long. Batteries tend to go unless they are near new. You could buy a cheap solar panel to trickle charge it, but I have found the 500 miliamp ones that you can buy for about $20-30 are kind of crap, and a 5 watt panel is better, but then you need a cheap regulator too because a 5 watt panel will generate up to 18 volts and that burns out even good quality batteries.

So, forget about saving the battery. If you do put the car in storage, take out the battery and give it to a mate, freind, work associate, some compleate stranger. Ask them for $50 bucks if you think they will say yes and the battery is newish. Of course this is not a good idea on new cars with computers. Oh, and if you have one of those stupid steros with a security code, write down the code. I used to have a Merc with a code that would randomly switch off and ask for the code. Of course if I disconnected the battery it would ask for the code on reconnection.

Wash the car. Take it to car lovers or a detailer and get rid of any dirt on it, especially underneath. Dirt + metal = rust. Ger some degreaser and clean the engine with that.

After it is dry, look for rust spots. Rust + water or air = holes! Cover the rust with oil or wd40 or silicon grease.

If the coolant is old, or has water in it, replace it. You don’t want a rusty engine and radiator. Or get it serviced. If it is a while since it was last serviced, get the oil and fluids changed. This will stop sediments settling to the bottom of your engine. I wouldn’t bother with that on short term storage, but a year, yeah, worth doing and is cheap.

Don’t bother about fuel and air filters. Change them when you get back. Oil filter, yeah, change that when replacing the oil.

Jack the car up on blocks. As mentioned, this will prevent flat spots on tyres, and if the tyres deflate, it will prevent damage to the brakes and stop them from damaging the deflated tyres.

Once it is on blocks, release the hand brake. It’ll stop the cable from stretching and loosening over the year. Similarly, remove the fan belts or they will strech. It’ll only take a couple of minutes and can save dollars so even though they won’t stretch all that much over a year, it’s still worth doing. But check with a mechanic as some of these are a real pain to put back on again.

Take the windscreen wipers off of the windscreen. Muck will gather under them and leave a mark on the windscreen.

Open the doors and look at gthe locks and lock mechanisms. Are they well lubricated or covered in gunk? If well lubricated, leave them be. If dry or covered in dirt, spray wd40 on the lock mechanisms and into the key holes for the locks. They can dry out and jam over a year.

Get hold of as much silica gell packs (that little “do not eat” stuff in medicine bottles) and stick it on the driver’s seat to absorb moisture.

Set the vents to open if you have to lock up the car, otherwise wind down the windows a little to let air circulate. This is pretty important if you don’t want a stinky and damp car.

Lastly, even if you stick it in a shed or a storage unit, cars always seem to attract dust. I have had mixed sucess battling dust. Plastic on a car in hot weather tends to leave marks. I’ve had some sucess using bubble wrap, bubble side down. But the best is blankets or sheets. Those new polar fleece or microfibre blankets are the best. They’re light and have not left marks so far. Don’t put them on a damp car though. If it is possible thsat the car will get rained on, or if it will be open to the wind, don’t use blankets, buy a proper car cover. If you can, use blankets and a car cover.

Make sure it is insured and the insurance policy will cover a car in storage, particuarly if it becomes unregistered.

Or, lend it to a trusted mate as suggested above.

Mate, if you’ve got a Toyota then a year without being started is nothing. I’ve got an old Toyota that lay idle for 15 years and a battery was all it was needed to get it running and through a rego check.

Another handy bit of info for people. You can leave a car unregistered for up to 12 months in the ACT before needing a roadworthy inspection again (as long as it’s the same owner). If you’re going overseas just make sure you renew it even for 3 months before the 12 month period is up. Do it all over the net and no need to have it continuously registered while not being used.

Mathman said :

Clown Killer said :

I store it out at Capital Self Storage in Hume. a fully lock up garage with romm for all the gear that goes with the car will set you back around $250 a month – not cheap, but it is secure.

Not cheap that’s for sure. You could park it at the airport for about the same price.

Crumbs, he’s right! The Parking Calculator for Canberra Airport gives a total cost of $297 for one month, and that’s undercover.

I have vintage Camry… ok it’s not that vintage.. I just don’t want to deal with getting a car next year when I get back. I’m not fond of car salesmen.

Thanks for the input! I’ll keep this decision on the back burner a little longer

Clown Killer said :

I store it out at Capital Self Storage in Hume. a fully lock up garage with romm for all the gear that goes with the car will set you back around $250 a month – not cheap, but it is secure.

Not cheap that’s for sure. You could park it at the airport for about the same price.

We are living overseas and purchased a newish sportscar just before leaving (stupid idea yes, but the car we wanted was hard to find). We didnt want it sitting around with the oil, battery and parts laying idle for over a year, and no storage facility will turn it over every now and then. Storage facilities were either too pricey for us (on top of furniture storage costs, as a vehicle takes up a whole container), or the facility would park our vehicle too close to a road….vandalism.

Maybe do what we did and if you have a family member or friend you know is a good driver and reliable, then get them to look after it and it will be driven. Worst case scenario, if you cant find someone, offer them money for less than a storage facility. We had our freind added to our insurance policy, NRMA had no problems at all with this, and it didnt cost any more, just a few extra questions about the persons profile and Police/driving record.

TAMS will not change the postal address of the rego renewal papers while you are OS, so as we have done, our mail is redirected to my family, and when the renewal arrives, they will send it (sticker) on to our freind when we pay by Bpay.

If the freind is only driving it occasionally, you can avoid the annual check up and maintainence, and do it upon return when the 30,000 or 40,000 (eg) service is due.

Best of luck, and enjoy your travels too.

James-T-Kirk4:39 pm 07 Apr 10

Oh – I forgot – Make sure it is insured…….

James-T-Kirk4:39 pm 07 Apr 10

Storage of cars is simple

Just park it along Tuggeranong Parkway for a day or two 🙂

Seriously, unless you car is something special, the storage costs plus the loss of value from depreciation plus the wasted rego (or the hassle of getting it registered again after it has been unregistered for a year), really wouldn’t make it worthwhile to store a car for that period of time.

Sell it, bank the money in a term deposit and buy another when you return.

What sort of car?
I’ll take care of it for a year.
Got secure underground parking, dont drive many K’s (walk to work)… etc etc… 😉

Leave it at my house, I’ll drive it once a week when I’m not on the motorbike or don’t feel like getting wet.

Clown Killer9:34 am 07 Apr 10

I’ve got a four-wheel-drive that I only use occasionally (maybe three or four times a year). I store it out at Capital Self Storage in Hume. a fully lock up garage with romm for all the gear that goes with the car will set you back around $250 a month – not cheap, but it is secure.

troll-sniffer8:57 am 07 Apr 10

I have done exactly what you don’t want to do several times with no ill-effects for the vehicle. The best way if you can be bothered is to jack up all four corners so the tyres are almost off the ground, which will help prevent flat spots in the tyres. Not that they matter, they quickly sort themselves out. If your battery is good, it should last a year with enough charge for a restart if it is entirely disconnected. It may need a jump-start from a friend on your return, or, if you have a few hours up your sleeve on return, get a cheap battery charger and top it up before you re-install into the vehicle. If the battery dies (unlikely), you’ll only be up for $100 or so, a lot cheaper than storage. The main thing is to remove it from the vehicle so there is no chance of leakage.

This scenario assumes you have a location you can store it, if you have to store it outside you can cut removalist cartons to fit in the windows and protect the interior form the sun, while a cut and polish on your return will restore any deterioration of the paintwork.

Plenty of options.

You can put it in a secure shed, and, taking a few simple precautions before you leave, it should be fine when you get back. Google car storage for some clues.

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