How To Prep Your Car for Long Term Storage

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long term storage car

There will be a point in time when people may need to store a vehicle for an extended period of time. What should you do and how should you prepare for the long term storage to insure your automobile will be in the same state when you come back as it is now?

We've made a quick check list that includes 9 quick and easy ways to preserve the life of the engine, battery and more during your time away.

  1. Keep It Covered
    A garage is the ideal place to store a vehicle. This will protect it from the seasons and keep it at consistent temperature. If there aren't any garages you can use, consider putting the car in a self storage facility. Many offer long term parking and storage. If you  absolutely have to leave the car outdoors, purchase a weatherproof car cover.
  2. Clean It Up
    Give your car a complete detail, send it to the wash. You'll thank yourself when you come back from your trip and find the car still shiney and clean.
  3. Change the Oil
    Skip this step if you're only storing the car for a week or two. Consider getting the oil changed if you will be storing the vehicle for longer than 30 days.
  4. Fill the Tank
    Fill the tank with gas if you expect the car to be in storage for more than 30 days. The oil prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out. 
  5. Keep it Charged

    An unattended battery will eventually lose its charge no matter how recently you changed the battery. The absolute best way is to prevent battery depletion is to get someone to start the car every two weeks and drive it for about 10 minutes. This is good becauase it will maintain the battery's charge and keep the engine properly lubricated.

  6. Don't Use the Parking Brake
    It's usually a good idea to use the parking brake, but don't do it when you leave a car in storage. If the brake pads make contact with the rotors for too long, there is a chance that they might fuse. Instead, purchase a tire stopper, also called a chock to prevent the car from moving.
  7. Prevent Flats

    If your car will be in storage for more than 30 days, consider taking the wheels off and placing the car on jack stands at all four corners. This step requires more work, but it can save you from needing a new set of tires. 

  8. Keep Rodents Out

    Cover any gaps where a mouse could enter, such as the exhaust pipe or an air intake. Steel wool works well for this. Next, spread mothballs or cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil along the perimeter of the vehicle. The smell is said to drive mice away.

  9. Maintain Insurance
    You might be tempted to cancel your auto insurance when your vehicle is in storage. Although that might initially save money, there is a chance that the insurance company will raise your rates due to the gap in coverage, which could cost you more in the long run.