Being able to afford a classic, high-end Mercedes-Benz, like the 2016 SL550 Mille Miglia 417 Edition or a 2004 CLK DTM AMG in great condition, constitutes much more than just the price tag. A significant responsibility of ownership is maintenance. It is more expensive to make repairs than it is to invest in proactive methods of maintenance and storage. For Mercedes-Benz owners, maintained storage involves time, knowledge, and money. Although you are on your own with the time and money factors, the following will certainly help to get you in the know.
Your car needs care and these needs vary, depending on the length of time that it sits dormant. Short-term storage, a few weeks and no more than two months, is a matter of routine care suggested by the manufacturer. Keep up with all maintenance schedules (Services A, B, C, D, or E), keep your car clean, and keep your car covered. Long-term storage, two months or more, is a little different. If you are storing your Mercedes-Benz for 30 days or 500 miles before you have a scheduled maintenance service, then have it performed before you put your car away. Remember, you are fighting stagnation in multiple spaces.
Clean the Spaces
First things first. Anything that is going to be stored should be cleaned first. This is especially important when considering your classic Mercedes-Benz. It should be cleaned and inspected above, beneath, and inside. Whatever is left in it or on it will be there for the duration of storage.
Irritants like dirt and sand granules, bird excrement, and even water will affect the finish, leaving your car vulnerable to further corrosion as it sits. The wheels, tires, undercarriage, and everything else underneath should be clean. So, wash and wax your baby before you put her to bed.
The Gas Tank
So, gas makes the car go, but the car isn’t going anywhere. Why do you need gas? Well, how do you store gas is the better question. Fill up your tank, the less space left, the better. Empty space contains vapor, which condenses to water over time. Water in your fuel tank is corrosive to the gasoline and the fuel sensor, which will cause problems with your fuel gauge. A full tank of higher octane fuel costs less than repairing or replacing anything that can be damaged. If you will be storing your car for more than two months, then adding a fuel stabilizer to your full tank is recommended.
Your fuel tank is not the only space that should be full, but not too full. Your tires need to be inflated to 48 pound force per square inch (psi), depending upon tire size. If the pressure is higher than required, then release some of the air. You can always remove the tires and let the car sit on blocks to keep the weight of the vehicle off of them.
The battery should be disconnected completely, meaning you will have to lock the doors and the trunk manually. Your manufacturer’s manual should have information concerning hooking it back up and rebooting electrical systems. This is only necessary if it is not possible to turn the engine and drive the car for about 15 minutes twice a month.
Your ventilation space needs attention, too. To avoid moisture build up and any mildew smell, not to mention mildew spores, the space needs to be dried out before storage. For about ten minutes, run your engine or drive your Mercedes-Benz with the fan on high. Make sure that the A/C is off and all the vents are open. If you do this after you fill up the tank, it will give the fuel stabilizer a chance to circulate throughout the fuel tank.
DO NOT engage the hand brake.
What kind of space should your Mercedes-Benz occupy? A garage or similar space is ideal for storage. The more controlled the environment, the better your car will perform when it is back in action. The most expensive garages are the ones where any hands-on maintenance that is required during storage will be handled by employees of the facility. If you feel that fees are too expensive or you wish to care for your car personally, then a public storage facility could be a suitable alternative.
Since your classic Mercedes-Benz should be covered whenever it is at rest, it definitely needs to be covered when being stored. If you must store your car outside, then keep it covered and as dry as possible. Insects have easy access to your interior, and have been known to nest and breed in cars. Small critters are also known to make themselves comfortable in stored cars, whether they are outside or in a personal garage. Check your car periodically for signs of infestation.