I'm taking my car off road for 6 months. Do you have any storage/maintenance tips?

I have to take my 2018 Volkswagen Polo (petrol) off the road for 6-months minimum. I have read about battery trickle chargers and wonder what type I should purchase. Also, should I take any other action on the car when it is garaged?

Asked on 4 May 2021 by Barry Russell

Answered by Georgia Petrie
To avoid potential battery drain down, it’s important to switch off the vehicle’s interior light and radio before switching off the ignition. Also, check that the boot light and the glovebox light go out when they are closed. Clean and polish the car. Leave it to dry outside and thoroughly heat through all systems to evaporate off any condensation. Overpressure the tyres to 40 PSI, this will help prevent flat-spotting, which occurs when the weight of the car presses down on the tyres and causes a flat spot to appear at the point where the tyres are in contact with the road/driveway/garage floor.

If you can, connect up to a trickle charger that monitors the car battery and keeps it maintained. The type you will need will depend on your budget and whether the car has stop-start. We recommend a brand like C-TEK and there's an option on the website to tick if you just want to see stop-start compatible trickle chargers. Some standard chargers will work okay on stop-start vehicles, but others won't so it's best to check before you buy. Here's one example of a trickle charger we've reviewed: kit.honestjohn.co.uk/reviews/review-ctek-battery-c.../

If storing in a garage, leave one window open slightly to keep the interior ventilated, but not open enough to allow mice to get in, and cover with a cotton sheet. If the car has an automatic transmission, make sure you can get access to the battery because if it's flat when you return you may be unable to access the engine bay if you have parked next to a wall or object.
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