Preparing Your Car For Storage

There are a number of reasons you may end up needing to store a car. They can be as varied as a vintage car you don’t drive regularly, a relative’s car you are saving, a move overseas or a snowbird trip to a warm state. Whatever the reason, it's important to know how to prepare for car storage. 

While a car might be okay for a short time in warm weather outside with a cover, typically a car should be stored if it is not going to be used for longer than two months especially if it will be outside in the weather. If you plan to use a facility for car storage, there are a few things you need to do to prepare your vehicle. 

Choose A Storage Facility

There are a few choices for car storage. If you have a personal garage, storing your car there would be easiest. If not, you can choose a self storage facility, a collector’s garage, or a long-term storage facility. Many collectors use long-term storage for a collection of cars, but if you need briefer storage for a trip or other reason, the self storage facility is a good option especially if there are convenient locations near your home. 

Change The Oil

Used engine oil should not be left in storage. It can thicken and make the car difficult to start when you choose to take it out of storage. You will want a fresh change of oil right before storing the vehicle.

Gas Up The Car

You want to make sure there is a full tank of gas so the tank does not rust inside. If you add a stabilizer, it will keep the gas preserved and will prevent any damage to your car’s fuel system. Typically 1 ounce of stabilizer should be added for every 3-5 gallons. Stabilizer is only needed if the car is stored for over two months. 

Clean Your Car

It is important to wash and wax your car so that anything that can eat away at the car’s finish will be removed preventing corrosion. You will also want to vacuum the inside removing dirt, residue, foods, all of which can lead to mold or draw in pests to the car while in storage. 

Use Tire Jacks

Place tire jacks under the tires taking weight off of the tires. This will keep your tires in shape so that when you are ready to drive the car out of storage, you will not need a new set of tires. 

Disconnect Battery

To avoid the battery leaking acid and the possibility of corrosion inside of the car, disconnect the car battery. This is easy to do and you will be glad you did when you return to a clean battery ready to easily connect. 

Cover Car

To prevent any other type of issue with damage, cover the car with a purchased car cover that will properly fit. This will keep your car clean even if residue or dust fall on it during the storage. 

Taking these few steps before storing your car will go a long way to protecting it and keeping it in driving shape while you have it in a storage facility. You want to make sure that your investment remains stable so that when you retrieve your car it will be in great condition and ready to drive.