Maybe you’re going on a trip or checking into a hospital for an extended stay. If you need to store your accessible van for a long time, some essential preparation protects the vehicle while it’s not in use. Long-term storage for vehicles is generally considered to be three months or longer. Over a lengthy period without running, automobiles become susceptible to all sorts of damage. Fortunately, it’s all preventable if you know what to do.
Fill Fluids in Your Handicap Van
One of the most important ways to protect your handicap van during extended storage is to change and top off certain fluids. Change your oil and oil filter. Dirty oil thickens and causes damage over time. Fill your gas tank to protect against moisture damage in the fuel tank and system. However, because gas begins to break down after about three months, add fuel stabilizer as directed in your owner’s manual. Run the engine for a few minutes to disperse the stabilizer. Top off your van’s brake fluid and antifreeze, too. Have hoses coated with a rubber lubricant while fluids are being filled.
Other Long-Term Storage Specifics for Your Handicap Van
Clean your vehicle prior to storing it. This includes a thorough interior job to prevent anything from staining, creating foul odors or otherwise making the inside unpleasant as the vehicle sits. Wash the exterior, then wax it. The wax helps protect the paint coating. If you’re storing your van in a humid atmosphere, place desiccant packs around the inside. Use a few open boxes of baking soda as an alternative to absorb moisture and odors. Coat a rag with lithium grease and wipe down the tires and rubber weather stripping.
Store your handicap van where it’s protected from the elements. If you have a garage, that works. Otherwise, opt for a storage facility. Harsh temperatures, sun, precipitation and other elements can damage the exterior and interior over time. If indoor storage isn’t possible, use a heavy vehicle cover. Also, tires develop flat spots when a heavy vehicle sits on them in the same position for an extended period. Consider having your van stored on blocks to keep it off the tires (though this can damage shocks over periods longer than three months). Otherwise, inflate the tires 10 psi more than normal.