Storage & Maintenance – Questions Answered
The following questions & answers provide further detail on storage & maintenance matters. To ensure easier reading, we cannot however cover every aspect / every vehicle / every situation in sufficient technical detail & therefore we are aware that in certain scenarios, our abbreviated answers could be technically incorrect. We are more than happy to answer your specific questions. To find out more about our vintage, supercar and sports car storage and transport in East Sussex and Kent, please contact us.
Q. What benefits are there to be gained from storing my car in your facility rather than in a relative’s garage whilst I am away working overseas?
A. Firstly our premises are purpose built to store valuable vehicles over long periods of time. The premises have a high level of security & are also highly insulated & sealed, fitted with equipment to maintain optimum climatic conditions. It would be extremely unlikely that a domestic garage would meet this specification. In addition we have a superb workshop facility & offer maintenance programmes run by our skilled professionals to ensure your vehicle is routinely monitored & maintained. We confidently believe that by storing your vehicle with us, we can in the long term save you from the nightmare of unexpected expense. We can also prevent the stress & ill feeling resulting from a possible family dispute! Our car storage in East Sussex is ideal for a variety of cars including: sports cars, vintage, and supercars.
Q What are the benefits of climate controlled/dehumidified storage?
A. Climate controlled storage is the only effective method of storing vehicles over long periods of time. There is no other practical, efficient process of removing moisture from the atmosphere. Without moisture the chemical reactions which lead to rust and corrosion cannot occur. Also climate controlled storage will remove excess moisture from the vehicle’s interior / upholstery so preventing the growth of mould spores which could severely damage the vehicle‘s interior. It is desirable to keep the relative humidity between 50% & 60%. If it drops significantly below this level, natural materials will dry out & damage. Much above this ideal level & moisture will start to cause corrosion & mould problems. We pride ourselves on offering a bespoke vintage & classic and sports car storage in Sussex and Kent.
Q. What are the advantages of airflow chambers?
Q. Why do you roll/move vehicles regularly?
Q. Why do you alter the tyre pressure when placing a vehicle into storage?
A. At our sports car storage facility in Sussex the tyre pressures are usually over inflated by up to 50%, depending on the type of tyre/manufacturers guidelines. This is to help with & alleviate the problems as mentioned above ie tyre deformation/flat spots.
Q. Why do you disconnect batteries?
Q. Why is it advisable not to disconnect batteries on modern vehicles?
Q. Why is it important to maintain & exercise vehicles when stored? You hear of people leaving cars for many months, even years, doing virtually nothing to maintain them. All that was needed to get the vehicle running was not much more than a new battery.
A. Yes, you do hear stories like this & if you are extremely lucky you may get away with very little more than this BUT all that has actually been achieved is that the vehicle is running & possibly drives. However problems will more than likely materialise as the vehicle is driven with mileage use. What can happen to a vehicle if it is not suitably stored & maintained? Here are just some of the common damaging consequences (apart from the obvious eg battery / bodywork etc). The clutch & / or brakes may have seized. The petrol may have deteriorated to such a degree that it may have gummed up and varnished all the fuel components. This necessitates that the entire fuel system be stripped & cleaned, possibly requiring some very expensive fuel component (s) replacement eg fuel pump & injectors etc. The auto gearbox & / or air conditioning system may be severely damaged. There will also be a number of hidden problems that may not become apparent until relative mileage use. The timing belt & its ancillaries may be damaged, leading to possible major engine failure/damage. Engines & transmission require running & exercising as, over a period of time if they are not run, the lubrication oil will drain away from bearings & frictional areas, leaving them unprotected. Also the used engine oil will have collected a cocktail of corrosive chemicals & if left idle these chemicals will escape from the oil structure & begin to attack the unprotected surfaces to further exacerbate the problem. Oil seals will also become dry & brittle. The first signs of problems will possibly be oil &/or coolant leaks, &/or puffs of smoke from the exhaust. Oil pressure may prematurely fall over a period of time with mileage use, leading to premature engine wear & failure. There will be a similar story with the transmission & other vehicle components etc. The list can just go on & on. Please contact our sports car storage in Kent and Sussex to find out more about these types of issues.
Q. Why is it that brand new cars can stand in car showrooms for long periods of time without any resulting problems?
Q. Should I adhere to the vehicle manufacturers recommended service intervals whilst my car is in storage? It has had very little use and hardly done any mileage?
Q. What is a rolling road dyno?
A. The correct name for this is a chassis dynamometer, but commonly known as a rolling road dyno.
It is the only way to simulate vehicle road / track, load conditions in a workshop environment. This is achieved by driving the vehicle’s drive wheels on to a set of rollers. The vehicle’s wheels drive the rollers which are braked by an air cooled eddy – current brake. The braking torque is set by the current in the induction coils, controlled by electronics. There are various sensors that are used to sense speed, torque, rpm, pressure, temperature, etc. Information is taken in by the electronic control unit. Functions / programmes can be activated by a remote handset & all the information values taken in by the control unit are evaluated & processed to give the information required & displayed on a screen. Here are some of the practical applications:-
Testing engine power over the entire rpm range.
Fuel consumption measurements at any constant speed or when simulating urban driving.
Vehicle speed checks, gearing & speedo accuracy.
Setting carburettors or injection systems to maximum engine power or to most economical fuel consumption.
Remapping ECU engine management systems.
Checking exhaust emissions under load conditions.
Optimum adjustment of the ignition point for older vehicles to enable use of lower octane fuels currently in use (to overcome pre-ignition & knocking etc).
Checking ignition system for misfires under load conditions.
Checking & testing fuel flow under load conditions.
Checking manual & auto transmissions for operation of gears / bearings / clutch & brake bands for slippage & also for checking shift patterns.
Checking & testing transmissions, including differential & drive shaft / axle joints under load.
Checking of tyre power loss (wrong tyres cause increase fuel consumption).
Simulation of vehicle mass & gradients.
The dyno will also simulate the behaviour of the vehicle on the road taking into account the following factors:- rolling resistance due to flexing of tyres, air resistance of vehicle body, mass acceleration forces, climbing resistance in uphill driving & vehicle specific friction losses.
As part of our enhanced sports car storage in Sussex maintenance programme we use the rolling road dyno to fully exercise vehicles in a safe & fully controlled environment. It enables us to monitor & check the vehicle’s components whilst under dynamic load conditions which would not be possible by any other means. We run all vehicles under a light to medium load programme which is adjusted to suit the vehicle’s type / age / condition. This is all carried out under fully monitored conditions. Engine & under bonnet temperatures are all controlled by a powerful cooling fan. The programme is designed to ensure that all lubricating oils are up to normal operating temperatures / viscosity. This ensures all vital components are correctly lubricated, including oil seals to prevent drying out & corrosion on vital high load precision surfaces within the engine & transmission. This also includes all the drive shafts plus drive joints & bearings. A chassis dyno / rolling road dyno is the only way of replicating road conditions. A rolling road dyno must not be confused with wheel rollers which use the name “rolling road”. These are free running rollers & are not able to place any type of load through the vehicle’s engine & transmission.
Q. What is a brake roller tester & what is it’s purpose?
A. A brake roller tester (sometimes confusingly called a rolling road) is commonly used for testing brakes as part of the annual MOT / safety road worthiness test. We use a micro processor based system with a analogue & digital read out display. The front & rear wheels are driven into a pair of rollers & are driven by two powerful electric motors. The rollers drive each wheel of the vehicle, as the brakes are applied, the braking force affects the rotation. A measure of braking efficiency can be calculated by the micro processor & results are clearly displayed on a screen. Here are some of the practical applications :-
Measurement of braking effort ( foot brake & parking brake efficiency )
Measurement of brake balance.
Checking for brake binding.
Checking for brake disc run out.
Checking for brake drum ovality.
As part of our enhanced race car and sports car storage in East Sussex and Kent maintenance programme we use the brake roller tester to exercise the brakes to avoid sticking brake cylinders & brake callipers etc, & also to keep all brake friction surface areas smooth, clean & free from any corrosion. This equipment removes the need for a road test for this particular exercise. At the same time we also check the overall braking efficiency as mentioned above.
Transport Questions and Answers
The following questions & answers provide further detail on transporting vehicles & legal regulations. To ensure easier reading, we cannot however cover every transport question in sufficient technical detail & therefore we are aware that in certain scenarios, our abbreviated answers could be technically incorrect. We are more than happy to answer your specific questions. To find out more about our vintage, supercar and sports car storage and transport in East Sussex and Kent, please contact us.
Q. How do I choose the best way to have my vehicle (s) transported considering my location, budget etc?
Q. What is the most cost effective way of transporting my vehicle?
Q. Why do you recommend the transportation of vehicles in covered transporters when car manufacturers despatch brand new cars on open decked transporters?
Q. I have a non running vehicle that is completely dismantled ie no wheels. The engine & transmission has been removed from the car & I have numerous loose components. The car is in a garage at the back of my house & my drive is long & narrow. You will not get a transporter close to the car. Can you help?
Q. Can you assist with show events over a period of days eg weekend etc?
A. Yes we can assist at shows, displays, & events. Please contact us for more information regarding our sports car storage and transport services in Sussex and Kent.
Q. Is there any preparatory work that I need to do before you transport my vehicle?
Q. Do I or any person need to be present on collection or on delivery of my vehicle?
Q. Will there be an additional charge if I place extra items etc inside my car or ask the driver to carry additional components on the back of one of your transporters?
A. At our race and sports car storage in Kent and East Sussex we will not necessarily charge any more but this does depend on the amount of weight / volume & we will need advance notification of additional items to be carried & exactly what is going to be placed inside your vehicle. We reserve the right to refuse to carry anything other than what has been booked. The reasons for this are :- weight of goods could overload a vehicle, particularly if a small transporter was to be used, sufficient space may not be available and any hazardous / dangerous substances need to be clearly identified etc.
Q. When obtaining a transport quotation, what information will you require?
A. At our supercar and sports car storage facilities in Sussex and Kent we need to know the collection and delivery addresses (with postcodes), and the accessibility of both. We need to know the make, model, year and market value of the vehicle/vehicles to be transported. Also we need to know their condition – whether can be driven onto the transporter or need winching. If non running, we need to know why the vehicle does not run. Please note that accessibility is critical when winching is required. We also need to know if there are any other items to be transported and if so their size and weight. For some vehicles (such as vintage/custom vehicles) we will need the vehicle’s dimensions as there will be no reliable technical data. We will require the length, width and height and we may also need to know the vehicle’s weight.
Q. I am unsure regarding my collection/delivery address for access for your transporter? I have seen builders merchants/skip lorries reaching nearby properties.
Q. What is an Operator’s Licence? What is its purpose?
Operator Licensing is the legal system for controlling the use of goods vehicles used for trade & business purposes for most goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVW. There are 3 classes of Operator Licences.
These are :- Restricted, Standard National, and Standard International.
Restricted licences are only available to own-account operators who carry nothing other than goods in connection with their own trade or business. Restricted “O“ Licence holders must not use their vehicles for hire or reward or on behalf of customers, even if done only as a favour, or as part of the service provided to a customer, even if no charges are raised.
Standard National licences entitles the holder (ie professional haulier) to also carry goods for hire or reward on national operations only.
Standard International licence entitles the holder to also carry goods for hire or reward on both national & international operations.
A licence identity disc containing the registration number of the vehicle concerned is issued for each vehicle specified on the operator’s licence. Each disc will show the operator’s name, the vehicle registration number, the operator’s licence number, the disc expiry date and the type of licence. The discs are colour coded:-
Orange – Restricted licence
Blue – Standard National licence
Green – Standard International licence
There are some vehicles which are exempt from the operator licensing system :- for example vehicles used by the emergency services such as the police, the ambulance service, the fire service, armed forces etc. Also private vehicles used solely for carrying private belongings, that are not connected with any business activities & are taxed privately. An example of this is a private horsebox, used by a person for transporting their horses to a show as a non professional competitor etc. Recovery vehicles are exempt from operator licensing & this does cause confusion within our industry, ie transporting cars. For example a recovery vehicle must only be used for the recovery of a vehicle that has recently been involved in an accident or has broken down, and such a vehicle must be taken to a place of safety or for repair or to be scrapped. They must not be used for the general transportation of vehicles, whether in roadworthy condition or not. For example, a vehicle such as a classic car that had been stored in a barn for a considerable time then the owner requires it taking to a restoration garage or to another owner, must NOT be transported by a recovery vehicle. Recovery vehicles are registered & taxed as such.
Requirements to obtain an Operator’s Licence.
An applicant cannot obtain an Operators Licence like a TV licence! They are not automatically granted.
Applicants must meet certain statutory requirements & must satisfy certain conditions.
Applicants must be fit & proper persons, of appropriate financial standing .
Applicants must be of good repute, of appropriate financial standing, be professionally qualified/ competent or must employ a person who is professionally qualified & competent in national transport operations.
Standard International Licence.
Applicants must be as above, but in addition must be professionally qualified / competent in both national & international operations or employ someone who is.
All licence applicants must make legally binding promises & undertakings. All applicants / holders must show & maintain that they have adequate facilities or arrangements to keep vehicles in a safe & legal condition. They must also keep suitable maintenance records. Regular safety inspections & routine maintenance should be carried out usually at a maximum of 6 weekly intervals, but depending on usage, this could be much lower. All licence applicants/holders must show & maintain satisfactory arrangements for insuring that the law relating to driver’s hours records, including tachographs will be complied with. All licence applicants / holders must make proper arrangements to prevent overloading of vehicles & trailers. All licence applicants / holders must have & maintain a suitable operating centre.
Impounding of Vehicles.
Vehicles can now be impounded & heavy fines imposed if a goods vehicle is used without / or with the incorrect operator‘s licence. Impounded vehicles & their goods may be returned to their owner in due course provided that specified conditions are met & goods returned to the owner when title has been established. Incorrect & unlicensed operator’s vehicles are at great risk of insurance claims not being met.