When you use auto transport, your car is loaded onto a large truck and driven to its destination. That can cause jostling, which can damage your vehicle. To help protect your car, clean it thoroughly and remove anything that could get lost or damaged. Also, disable any alarm systems or fold in your side view mirrors.
Here is a helpful breakdown of all the actions you should take before handing your car over for auto transport to a remote location.
Clean the Exterior
When your vehicle is in transit, it will be exposed to dirt and debris from the road. A thorough cleaning before transport will protect your car from scratches, dents, and other damage. When you hire a California auto transport company, your vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with 4 to 12 other cars heading to the same destination.
Safety is the primary objective during auto transport, so removing personal items from your vehicle is essential. This includes extra change, air fresheners, pens, etc. These items could move around inside your car during transit, causing damage to the interior of your vehicle or the items themselves. In addition, personal items are not insured during auto shipping. You should also remove your parking passes and toll tags.
Clean the Interior
The last thing you want to happen is for your car to get damaged during shipping. Your vehicle will be stacked on top of other cars during transport and can move around quite a bit. Personal items left in the vehicle can progress and become damaged or lost. To avoid this, clean your vehicle and remove any personal items.
When your car is clean, you can see any existing scratches, dings, paint chips, or other damage. This makes it much easier for you and the driver to do a condition report on the vehicle at pick-up. It’s also an excellent time to make an extra set of keys for the transport driver so that they can drive your car on and off the trailer.
Check the Battery
A car with a dead battery will likely not start during transport, and you may be charged a non-running vehicle fee. Ensure the battery has sufficient cold cranking amps to turn over the engine on a cold day. You can check the cold-cranking amps by looking in your owner’s manual to see the recommended numbers for your vehicle. If you notice a foul smell, similar to rotten eggs, that’s a sign the battery is starting to fail.
Failing batteries can leak sulfuric acid, damaging or corrode other parts of your car. Remove custom accessories like spoilers, toll tags, or parking passes, as these items can shift during loading and damage your vehicle. You should also fold in your mirrors and retract the antenna.
Check the Tires
If you have any custom parts on your car, such as spoilers or fog lights, lock them up or remove them. These parts can break during Auto Transport. Also, leave only 1/4 of a gas tank in your vehicle when picked up. A full tank may weigh down the vehicle, which can cause issues for your driver.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Under- or over-inflated tires are more likely to be damaged during loading and unloading. Check the pressure when the tires are cold, as this will give you a more accurate reading. Also, make sure there are no leaks in the tire or rim. If there are, the carrier may refuse to transport your car. If you find any, have them fixed.
Check the Oil
The oil in your car can help keep it running smoothly, and a darker color means the oil is doing its job of pulling metal bits, impurities, and other contaminants from moving parts. Make sure to check the oil before shipping your vehicle. When preparing your car for auto transport, remember to disable the alarms. It’s easy to forget, and it can tick off the truck driver if they find a notice turned on in their hauler.
Check for Leaks
Finally, it’s essential to check the undercarriage for leaks. If the vehicle has a noticeable leak, the carrier may refuse to service it, so fix any leaks before moving day. After all, you don’t want the vehicle transported above yours dripping on it!