5 Tips for Leaving Your Car in a Long-Term Parking Lot

February 23rd, 2017 by

Whether you’re taking a cruise or an international flight, there are some occasions when leaving your car in long-term parking is necessary. Of course, knowing your car is left unattended can lead to some stressful moments. Ease your mind and enjoy your trip by following these tips for leaving your car in a long-term parking lot.

1. Choose a Good Spot

While it feels like second nature to look for a parking spot as close to the doors as possible, when you’re in the long-term parking lot you should choose your spot carefully. If there’s covered parking available, you’re better off in that spot. Even though it might feel like a burden to haul your suitcases a few extra steps, you never know what kind of weather you’re going to face when you get back. If it’s winter and you’re in an open-air parking spot, you might walk out to find your car buried under snow or ice.

2. Disconnect the Battery

The last thing you want to worry about while you’re on your trip is whether you accidentally left on an interior light. Eliminate the risk of coming back to a dead battery by disconnecting the negative battery cable. Just remember that your car’s battery is what maintains the clock, radio presets, and other settings when the car is turned off, so you’ll have to reset everything when you get back. It’s also important to make sure the negative battery cable never comes in contact with the positive cable, so bring zip ties to secure it in place while you’re gone.

3. Remove All Valuables

While removing your valuables seems like an obvious tip, it can include items you don’t even realize. Toll transponders stuck on the windshield, radar detectors on the dash, CDs, cell phone charging cables, and loose change in the cup holders are all tempting items for a thief looking for a smash and grab. You should also consider removing any blankets from the back seat because the thief might think you’re trying to hide something under them and break a window to take a look.

4. Check Your Tire Pressure

Stationary tires will flatten naturally over time and even the smallest leak can leave you with a flat tire when your car is sitting in long-term parking. Check your tire pressure, and if it’s low, add some air so that the pressure is back to its normal range.

5. Clean Out Your Car

In our hectic lives we’re sometimes guilty of leaving behind some trash or fast food wrappers in our car. Before you head to long-term parking, make sure you clean out your car so you don’t open your doors and find the smell of rotten food. Also, be sure you clean out all of your old parking stubs and receipts. This way you won’t risk mixing up your new parking receipt and having to pay extra because you lost it.

By following these tips you can reduce the risk of coming back to find an unexpected problem and relax while your car is in long-term parking.

Image via Flickr by Dean Hochman under use of CC BY 2.0/Cropped from original

*Based on 2016 EPA mileage/highway estimates and driving range ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery age/condition, and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

Posted in Auto Tips