Are you planning to put your classic car in storage this winter? If so, your car battery may be at risk of draining and losing its function if you don’t take some precautions to help it keep its life in storage.
Whether you are leaving your car in storage for a few short weeks, or several months, it never hurts to over-prepare in the event that you need to leave it stored longer than you were planning. Once a battery is drained, irreversible damage is done. You may be able to get it to hold a charge again, but it won’t be nearly as powerful or reliable as it was before the drain.
A common mistake people often make is removing the battery altogether, but if you have an upgraded engine or newer battery in your classic vehicle, it may require a special code to restart it once it has been disconnected from the power source. If you don’t have the code accessible (should be in your owner’s manual), you may have to pay a hefty fee to get the dealer to restart it. Instead of disconnecting, take a few of these steps to prevent it from draining in the first place:
- Invest in a smart charger. These devices are perfect for keeping your battery at optimal performance, without the worry of over-charging it.
- Check your car thoroughly for any battery-draining sources. Open your trunk and your glove box to see if the light bulbs are hot (a sign they may not turn off when closed), You may also want to consider purchasing an ammeter to measure your vehicle’s output. If it is above normal, parked-car ratings, you may have a “parasite” draining your battery life. The ammeter won’t tell you where the drain is coming from, but it can help you narrow down the source by telling you the amount of draw being pulled off the battery.
- Although it may seem like a simple step, make sure excess items are unplugged and removed from the car. Anything left in place like a phone charger, a gps, or a base or cord for any electronic device, will still pull power off of the battery even when it isn’t charging an item.
- Think about removing additional items from the vehicle. Sound systems, alarm systems, etc. will continue to drain the battery, as well as things like newer proximity keys, and any technological additions you may have modified your classic with. Not only do these items need to be turned off fully, but they should also be unplugged to avoid additional pull off the battery.
Check out this recent infographic we put together for more tips on how to protect your classic car while it is in storage, and let us know if you have any questions about insurance coverage during an unused period for your vehicle. Give us a call today at 888-901-1338 to talk to one of our classic car insurance specialists.