Car maintenance is a task that all drivers encounter throughout each year. Whether you’re getting your oil changed, having your tires serviced, or simply dropping by for a routine tune-up, ongoing auto care is simply part of owning or driving a car. If you own a luxury vehicle, such as a Porsche, Jaguar, Bentley, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi, BMW or Rolls Royce, maintenance is especially of the utmost importance. Furthermore, if you own a luxury vehicle and don’t drive it year-round, there are specific maintenance procedures that should be performed before you store your vehicle for the season.
In Florida, it is a tradition for “winter birds” to travel to the sunny, warm area for a break from cold winter weather. Unfortunately, when they return to their respective home states with their luxury vehicles they aren’t always stored properly, leaving them susceptible to becoming stale in their garages over the spring season. In these cases, auto maintenance becomes particularly important. Protecting our cars from garage rot is critical, and there are a few specific tips one might benefit from. Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep your European auto in excellent working condition, despite long-term storage.
When tires are left under-inflated during storage, the weight of the car presses down heavily on them, causing flat areas on the tires. Before you store your car over the spring, it’s helpful to inflate the tires to their fullest recommended pressure so that they don’t develop flat areas. Checking the tire pressure while it’s stored periodically can even further help your tires in proper condition. If time allows, you may also consider taking it out for a short spin every now and then to get the tires moving a little.
Car batteries are designed to re-charge with the help of the alternator, which only works well if the car is moving and generating power. For long-term storage purposes, you might consider utilizing a battery charger, which will help your battery keep its charge over the long storage period. If that option doesn’t work for you, it might be best to take the car out for a spin every so often to get the battery re-charged.
PROTECT THE PAINT
With any luxury vehicle, of course function is important where performance is concerned, but perhaps equally as important is the exterior of the car, or the paint job. European cars are usually well known for their impeccable exterior designs and paint jobs, which can begin to suffer under direct sunlight, especially when not being used frequently. If you’re able, keeping your car parked in a garage is your best option; however, if you have access to a carport or a cloth car cover, these can also greatly spare your paint job from chipping or becoming corroded by the sun’s rays.
TAKE IT OUT FOR A SPIN
Periodically driving your stored car for a short time has plenty of benefits, a few of which we’ve already mentioned in battery charging and tire health. Your car utilizes other fluids, such as engine oil and brake fluid, that can become stagnant and/or dry out. Driving your car every now and then will get the juices flowing and keep all the necessary parts well lubricated throughout the storage period.
BEFORE YOU DRIVE IT
Assuming all goes to plan, if you take the proper precautions for long-term storage then your car should be just find to use after an extended period without driving it; however, there are still a few things you should have checked out—especially before you take another long trip to Florida for a warmer season. Cars that have been stored, even with the proper care, should be taken in for a tune-up and a general inspection before taking it on a long drive somewhere.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Here at American European Autos, we have helped “winter bird” clients maintain and store their luxury European vehicles with success. Sarasota, Bradenton, and Longboat Key, FL, are some of the most beautiful destination spots to spend the otherwise cold months of winter; however, leaving your car in storage for an extended period of time requires a little bit of forward-thinking, and our experts can help. If you’d like to have your car checked out before or after its storage period, please contact one of our specialists.