Anticipating possible change and preparing for it is the best way to be ready for the unexpected. While COVID-19 certainly uprooted the lives of many people all over the world, business owners were forced make some changes to their daily operations to ensure the overall health and survival of their business. And, while employees of these businesses were able to keep their jobs, they were forced to make changes to their daily lives as well.

By taking the proper preparation steps, your car may be able to survive extended periods of time sitting in your garage with no issues whatsoever. Here’s what you need to know to get your car ready for that long-term storage period.

If you prepare your vehicle for storage properly, it will not be damaged. Negative effects of time on a car that remains undriven can appear sooner than you might think.

Fuel: Did you know that fuel can go bad? When exposed to oxygen, fuel can degrade. To combat this, keep your fuel stored in an airtight container. When this is not done, it takes between three to six months for fuel to go bad. When gasoline goes bad, you may be looking at costly repairs to your vehicle’s fuel system.

Battery: A typical car battery lasts between three and five years. It’s important to drive your car regularly because, as you drive, your car’s alternator continually recharges the battery in order to replenish the power being used. A car that has been sitting for a long time without being driven has no way to charge its battery, therefore leading to its demise.

Rust: Damp conditions will oftentimes lead to rusted metal. Therefore, it’s important to store your vehicle in a dry environment to prevent its parts from rusting. When roads are salted in the winter, cars are more susceptible to being rusted. If not properly addressed, rust can certainly worsen over time.

Tires: Your tires may begin to develop flat spots if left stored for a month or more without being driven. It can get worse if the tires have low tire pressure. If you’re lucky, your tires may lose these flat spots after having been driven on for a while. If not, you may be forced to purchase a whole new set of tires. That can be expensive.

Belts and hoses: It’s important to regularly inspect your belts and hoses. When a vehicle is in storage, the belts and hoses of the car may need to be replaced in as little as three to five years.

Pests: Mice and other rodents can do serious damage to your vehicle, chewing on wires and insulation.

How Do I Prepare My Vehicle For Storage?

Add fuel stabilizer: Adding a chemical fuel stabilizer can help prevent your gasoline from degrading.

Charge your battery: Depending on whether your battery is completely dead or just needs to be slightly charged, you’ll need the appropriate charger to perform this task. Make sure to purchase a battery maintainer or “trickle” charger. These particular chargers are specifically designed to be left plugged in and connected to your car while it’s parked.

Wash your car: Keeping your car in pristine order can help prevent it from rusting and suffering paint damage.

Keep it covered: Unless you have a garage, it may be a good idea to get a car cover to keep dirt and moisture away from your vehicle. Try not to park your car on grass. The excess moisture can accelerate rusting.

Add fresh fluids: Used engine oil, brake fluid, and power steering fluid can trap contaminants that can potentially damage your car over time. Adding fresh fluids to your car can help prevent further damage.