How to Get Your Car Ready for Long-Term Storage

If you own a classic car or a convertible, you probably only like to drive it in the warmer months. With winter here, you are most likely thinking about putting your vehicle in storage. Perhaps you are going away for a long vacation or business trip or have another house where you live for part of the year and will not be using your vehicle for a long period of time.

Regardless of why you are going away or the time of year, you need to take some steps before you put your car away for long-term storage to protect it from damage that could be caused by sitting for an extended period of time. Here are some tips to prepare your car for long-term storage.

Wash the Car

You should wash your car before you put it in long-term storage. This will remove any dirt, bird droppings, grease, or tar on your vehicle and prevent it from damaging the paint. You can give your car more protection with a coat of wax.

Change the Oil

If you are going to store your car for more than a month, you should change the oil first. Contaminants in oil can damage the engine if they sit for too long.

Fill the Gas Tank

You should fill the gas tank to prevent moisture from accumulating there. This will also keep the seals from drying out. Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent ethanol buildup and engine damage caused by gum, varnish, and rust.

Make Sure the Tires Are Properly Inflated

Inflate your tires to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. If a car sits for a long time, the tires can develop flat spots. This can happen faster in cold weather and with vehicles that have performance or low-profile tires. Driving the car occasionally can warm up the tires and get rid of flat spots. If you are going to store your car for several months, you can remove the wheels and put the four corners of your car on jack stands to protect the tires.

Don’t Use the Parking Brake

You should not use the parking brake when you put your car in long-term storage. If the brake pads are in contact with the rotors for a long time, they could fuse. Use a tire stopper, or chock, to keep the car from rolling.

Drive the Car Occasionally

If possible, you should have someone start your car every two weeks and drive it for about 15 minutes to keep the battery charged and keep the engine and other components lubricated. It is also a good idea to run the air conditioner to keep it working and keep the air quality fresh. If someone cannot run the car every two weeks while you are away, you can disconnect the negative battery cable or use a trickle charger to provide enough power to keep the battery charged.

Keep Rodents Away

Keep your garage closed as much as possible to keep rodents out. Spread mothballs or cotton swabs coated with peppermint oil around the car to keep mice away.

Talk to Your Insurance Company about Coverage

Talk to your insurance company about whether you should continue to insure your vehicle while it is in long-term storage. It may seem unnecessary, but having a gap in coverage might make your rates go up later. Discuss your specific policy and costs with your insurance company.

Order a Portable Garage for Long-Term Vehicle Storage

It is best to store your vehicle in a garage. This will protect it from the weather and keep it at a relatively stable temperature. If you don’t have a garage, a portable garage is a good alternative. Carport Depot has a selection of portable garages in a variety of sizes that are perfect for storing one or more vehicles in any season. Order a portable garage today.