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How to Prepare a Car for Shipping

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Whether you are shipping your auto domestically or internationally, you should make sure that you have thoroughly prepared your car for its journey.

Once you've received your auto shipping estimates and chosen your auto mover, you may need to follow guidelines or checklists that the auto shipper gives you.

Auto Preparation Benefits

Properly preparing your auto for shipping has a few benefits:
  • Reduces the risk of damage to the interior and exterior of your car.
  • Prevents delays while in customs or other inspections.
  • Saves you the time and money to replace or repair parts of your car.

Did You Know? There are a couple of options for domestic and overseas auto shipping:
Domestic Shipping - Open-air trailers, Roll-on and roll-off service
Overseas Shipping - Enclosed trailers, Container service

Preparation Guidelines

The guidelines that the auto shipper distributes may provide requirements that pertain to your car and move. In addition to these requirements, and, whether you are shipping your car in the U.S. or overseas, you'll want to make sure you prepare your car in the following ways:

  • Check for leaking fluids. You could be held liable for any oil, coolant, or battery fluid leaks.

  • Leave only 1/4 gallon fuel in the gas tank. Extra gasoline in the auto's engine can leak out in-transit. Less fuel also means that your car will weigh less.

  • Check the fluid in the expansion tank. Check with your auto specialist, but you might need to reduce fluid levels in the expansion tank. This will allow the air and antifreeze in the system to expand with rising temperatures and pressure.
  • Check the battery charge. This is very important especially when using overseas shipping services. You may be charged an extra fee if your car won't start up when the shipper needs to roll-off the car.

  • Disable anti-theft devices and alarms. These devices should be disabled so that they don't startle the driver, prevent access into the vehicle, or cause any other issues.

  • Remove personal items from your car. Make sure not to leave any items like jewelry, important documents, or electronic devices in your vehicle.

  • Seal any openings or tears. If you have a convertible top, then you'll want to make sure that road debris and moisture won't get inside your car.

  • Remove, protect, or adjust any loose parts. Remove the antenna and any other detachable parts. For parts that can't be removed, like spoilers, fog lights, and side mirrors, wrap them with protective covering. You can also fold back your mirrors and retract the car antennae.

  • Wash and clean your car. Washing and cleaning the inside and outside of your car can allow you to clearly inspect the vehicle for damage before it is shipped.
To make both you and your car more prepared for shipping, be sure to speak to the auto mover about insurance coverage for your vehicle. Also, you should be present for the initial inspection and take photos of your car to document its condition. Finally, make sure you have a copy of your keys. You don't want to arrive at your new location and discover that you have lost your original set and are unable to drive your car.

Author :

on August 27, 2009

Movers.com - Moving Expert
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