Hello Spring! Well, kind of, for us Minnesotans the spring seemed to disappear a little bit these past few days. Most of you have already taken your vehicles out of storage due to the nice spring weather that we received at the beginning of the month, or you predicted this winter weather return and you’re getting ready to take them out of storage. So, here are a few tips to do when you do take out your vehicle for the warm weather.
Whether this is your first time experiencing putting a vehicle in storage and taking it out or if you’re a pro, there are steps that you should take each spring. This will help you avoid any mishaps while you are taking the car out for a spin down main street this summer.
An experienced collector, Ernie Morreau, says that the first steps you should take is to flush out the fuel system and check your battery and charging system. A key tip is to remove the battery during storage, because if you didn’t do that or use a trickle charger then there’s a good chance it might be dead.
Not sure if any of you have ever had a dead battery on the side of the road, or in a friend’s driveway, but it is not a fun experience. Did you know that the agony of being on the side of the road with a dead battery could have been fixed if you would use your auto insurance roadside service program if it’s on your policy. I wish I would have known that when I tried to jump start a friend's vehicle.
The next tip from Morreau is to do an oil service right away, if you hadn’t done one right before you put the vehicle in storage. Your other fluids should be okay without needing to have those updated, but your oil is definitely something that you want to make sure is okay.
Check the cooling system for leaks, and make sure all clamps are tight. If you mainly use your car for short drives, changing the coolant every two years should be sufficient, Morreau said. If you plan on longer drives, though, go ahead and change it. He cautions that if a car sits unused for two to three years without a coolant change, corrosion can affect aluminum radiators and cylinder heads.
Before reconnecting the fuel line, briefly crank the engine with the starter to circulate the oil. Once you connect the fuel and start the engine, allow it to reach full operating temperature and then inspect for coolant leaks. Run through that cycle a couple of times before driving. Even if the cooling system looked good at first, Morreau said, a water pump leak might show up, especially on a car from the 1930's.
Try to start the vehicle to have it sit and run, make sure you check the brakes, check each wheel to make sure tires are okay, and verify that there are no fuel leaks.
Whether this is your first year taking a vehicle out of storage or if it’s your 10th, there are always precautions that you should take. Remember to contact us to put liability coverage back on your vehicle before you take it for a cruise. Always as a reminder to notice those green tags that we send you to put in the vehicle for a reminder to call us. Enjoy your ride, and have a great summer!
Blog by Jim Koscs
Image courtesy of Suriya Kankliang at FreeDigitalPhotos.net