Pre-Ship Prep: How to Get Your Car Ready for Shipment

This was written by Conner from LHM Auto. 

car-preppingNo matter what your reason for shipping your car, there’s some work to be done on your end before your baby is loaded on the truck.  You don’t want your car rattling around and getting damaged on the way to your destination, and you need to have everything in order when you pick it up so you can get on with your life.

Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’ve done your part to get your car ready to ship:

Pre-Drop-Off Inspection

You need to know exactly what condition your car is in before it’s shipped. Perform as thorough an inspection as you can.

  • Inspect the overall appearance of the car body
  • Inspect all pipelines and wires you can
  • Inspect the interior— seat upholstery and dash
  • Make a note of any damage you see—nicks, dents, tears, etc.
  • Take photographs of your car
  • Put everything together in file

Hopefully your shipping company is reputable and you’ll never have to get that file out again; either way, it’s good to have for insurance purposes

Pre-Ship Maintenance

If you uncovered a problem during your inspection, take care of it now; you need the car working to get it to the shipment company, likely as not. Besides, you don’t want to deal with a maintenance issue in a place where you don’t know the local mechanics.

Some maintenance you may be able to perform yourself is putting air in the tires, changing the oil, and (unless your shipping company wants the car to be drained of fluid before transport) filling the fuel tank (or, charging the battery if yours is electric).

Clear it Before it Ships

Most of us live half our lives in our cars—between commuting to and from work, running errands, and visiting loved ones. It all builds up, and you don’t want to find you’ve left something vital in your car after it ships. And you’ll need to tidy up in there before you clean it (but more on that in a moment).

Go through your car and clear out any garbage—candy wrappers, takeout containers, soda cups—or other things that don’t belong, such as Tupperware, old magazines, or the three extra jackets you keep in the trunk.

If you have a set of CD’s in your car’s CD changer, those could be kept there, but it’s not a good idea to keep too many CD’s in the car. Also, make sure nothing in the car is pressurized or will smell funny after long containment in the car.  (Editors Note: nothing should be left in the car, nothing).

Clean it Before You Ship it

It’ll be nice to drive a clean car once it ships to your destination!

Clean the interior of the windows, then dust and polish the dashboard. Once that’s done, focus on upholstery—the seats and carpeting. Car dealers in Utah recommend a soaking and blotting technique similar to carpet stain removal, with some scrubbing to get out the tougher stains. Avoid harsher chemicals and cleaners—spot remover you use on your laundry works for most upholstery.

Be sure you know of any specifications requested by your particular shipping company to make their job simple—as simple as you’ve just made yours!

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