It’s hard to think about car maintenance while you’re actively deployed. But when you come back, here’s what you should do to make sure it’s road ready.

It’s hard to think about car maintenance while you’re actively deployed, but taking your ride out for a nice long drive is a great way to unwind. Your vehicle was safe and out of harm’s way while in storage, but you can’t just hit the road the moment you get home. There are some car maintenance steps to take when taking your vehicle out of storage so everything works like it should.

Check Fluids

Check all the fluids in your vehicle, and look on the floor underneath the car for leaks. Since your vehicle has been sitting in one place for several months, even small leaks will have a puddle underneath. You can have these checked out by a mechanic to find the real culprit. You should also change the oil, coolant, and gas. Yes, drain the gas tank and refill it with fresh gas. Gas that sits too long can be bad for your car’s engine.

Charge Battery

When a car is put in storage, the battery should be disconnected. If this was the case with your vehicle, hook it up and charge it. If the battery was connected to the car the entire time, you may have to replace it with a new one.

Expel Critters

Inspect everything under the hood so there aren’t nests or living things making a home in your engine bay. Rodents can chew wiring and other components over time. Check for signs and damage of these pests before you crank the engine, explained Popular Mechanics.

Change Spark Plugs

A regular part of car maintenance includes checking or changing your spark plugs. If your car sat in storage for more than three months, you need to remove the spark plugs. Free potentially stuck piston rings by applying upper-cylinder lubricant into the cylinders. Replace the spark plugs and they should be fine.

Fill Tires

Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Tires don’t need to be replaced unless they’re worn out or more than one-year-old.

Your vehicle should be ready for the open road after going through this car maintenance check.

Traci Benoit

About the AuthorTraci Benoit

I'm an automotive copywriter with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. I've written automotive content, articles, how-tos, magazine articles, sales copy and more. I have more than 15 years of professional hands-on experience in the automotive industry.