How to Prepare Your Car for Long-Term Storage

With proper maintenance, a car can handle a daily drive. But there will be times when you won’t be able to use it for prolonged periods.

Some seasons can make it impossible to travel for certain vehicles. Or you might be going on vacation or a work-related trip. Whatever the reason, you have to secure your car if you’ll be away for weeks… or months!

Just make sure you follow these steps before keeping your car in long-term storage.

Step-by-Step Guide to Long-Term Car Storage

Step 1: Fuel up

An unfilled tank has space for air and may cause seals to dry or moisture to accumulate. Filling the tank prevents these problems. Add a fuel stabilizer to lessen the buildup of ethanol as it could also harm your engine.

Step 2: Oil change

If you’re storing the car for more than a month, an oil change is a must. Unchanged oil contains contaminants and if they sit for too long, they can damage the engine.

Step 3: Preventive tire care

Inflate tires to their ideal pressure to prevent flat spots. But if you’re storing the vehicle for over a month, you should elevate it with a jack stand and remove all tires.

Step 4: Clean your car

Start with the car interior. Declutter all spaces, including the dashboard, glove compartment, and car trunk. Get rid of leftover food or anything that might attract pests.

Next, clean the exterior. Remove grime from car surfaces to keep the paint job in pristine condition. Wash the exposed parts of the rims as well as the vehicle’s undercarriage. You don’t want any grease left behind – it corrodes metals.

Step 5: Park in a safe spot

Now that your car is squeaky clean, park it safely away from the elements and potential threats. If possible, you should fold the side mirrors. A garage or dedicated storage facility would be the best place for long-term car storage.

Optional: Parking your car on an elevated driveway? Don’t use the park break. It may cause brake pads to fuse with the rotors. Use a wheel chock instead. It’s a safer way to keep your car immobile, and it’s cheap too!

Step 6: Get a car cover

A vehicle that is parked outdoors (even when there’s a roof over it) won’t be fully protected from the elements. Place a waterproof car cover over it to shield it from dust, debris, and moisture while you’re away.

Step 7:  Do some pest control

Now that your car is secured for long-term storage, your next move is to keep pests away. If it’s stored in a garage or an indoor facility, set up mouse traps, rat poison and other preventive measures around it.

Step 8: Get a helping hand

Find someone who can check on your car at least twice a week. Ideally, this person should know how to start a vehicle. Have them turn on the car and run it for 15 minutes. This ensures that the battery doesn’t lose its charge.

Follow these 8 easy steps so you don’t have to worry about storing your vehicle for a long time. They will ensure that your car stays looking good and in great working condition.