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Are you leaving the country for a while, moving to a new state, or unable to drive your car for medical reasons? If so, you’ll probably need somewhere to store your car while you plan the logistics or recover fully. Your best bet is to store it in a proper car storage unit to keep it safe for the entire period.

On the surface, storing a car seems fairly simple. All you have to do is drive, park, lock, and leave, right? Wrong! 

There’s actually a lot that goes into vehicle self-storage to ensure your car gets zero damage while it hibernates. If you’re going to store a car long-term, you’d best do it the right way.

Today we’ll be showing you how to prep your car for long-term storage by highlighting a few simple tips. Grab your pen and notebook, and let’s dive right into it.

Give the Car a Deep Clean

The first thing you want to do before you store your car for a long time is to give it a thorough cleaning. You probably won’t do it for a long time, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go all out. For the greatest effect, deep clean both the exterior and interior of the car.

When cleaning the car for storage, make sure to use as little soap and water as possible. That’s because any water that remains on the car for a long time will cause extensive damage. As such, you need to dry out the car completely before storing it for the long term.

Fill up the Gas Tank

It makes no sense to fill up the gas tank when the car will sit idle for months, or even years. However, filling up the gas tank is important if you want the car to remain in tip-top shape throughout its storage. 

The gas tank is likely to rust and corrode when the car remains idle for too long. This happens when moisture in the tank reacts with oxygen to create rust. Filling up the tank ensures there’s no space left in the tank for air to get in and react with moisture.

In fact, it only takes about 30 days for your gas tank to start deteriorating. A fuel stabilizer also helps keep the gas tank fresh throughout the storage period.

Get an Oil Change

If you want the engine to remain in pristine condition throughout the storage period, it’s a good idea to get an oil change. When oil stays too long in the engine, it’s likely to damage the car’s internal components. Changing the oil before storing the car will ensure the engine remains fresh and clean.

However, it’s worth noting that you must change the oil again once you take the car out of storage. The only exception is if the car uses synthetic oil. Apart from changing the oil, you should also change the oil filter and coolant for the greatest effect.

Keep the Engine Cylinder in Check

Don’t let rust creep into the engine cylinder during storage. Ensure you take out the spark plugs and spray a bit of oil into the cylinder. This should help keep the rust at bay and your engine in good shape.

You should also consider taking your car to the mechanic for a good old-fashioned engine check. Tell the mechanic that you plan to store your vehicle and be specific about the storage period. That way, the mechanic can determine the best way to keep the engine fresh during the storage period.

Overinflate the Car Tires

Before driving to the storage center, be sure to fill the tires with air. A lot of air!

When cars sit for too long without driving, they get flat spots. This happens when the tires lose their round shape and flatten where the tire touches the ground.

To avoid these flat spots, ensure you overinflate the tires to compensate for the imminent tire-flattening. This is especially true when you store your car during the winter or in cold areas. Consider storing your car in a climate-controlled storage center to sidestep flat spots on your tires.

It’s worth noting that flat spots compromise your tires’ functionality significantly. They also make your car dangerous to drive, and you’ll likely have to replace your car tires.

Keep Your Car’s Battery Safe

The battery is a critical component of your car, so remember to give it adequate protection. Remember, when your car sits idle for too long, it drains the battery. The best way to protect your battery during maintenance is to connect it to a battery maintainer.

As the name implies, a battery maintainer is a special device that helps keep the battery charged when not in use. Aside from using a battery maintainer, you can unplug the battery, take it home, and connect it to a trickle charger. Both will help protect the battery while your car is in storage.

Cover the Wiper Blades With Cling Wrap

The wiper blades are likely to stick to the windshield if they stay in the same position for too long. Wrapping them with cling wrap will help prevent them from doing so. As such, wrap all the wiper blades with cling film to prevent them from sticking to the windshield.

Another alternative is to remove the wiper blades and store them in a safe. Just be sure to wrap the wiper blades to prevent them from sticking together.

Plug the Exhaust

The exhaust is an excellent entry point for rodents and other types of vermin, including insects. These pests can wreak a lot of damage when they get into your car. Plugging the exhaust outlet ensures you keep your car safe from these pests.

Store a Car the Right Way

Now that you know how to store a car long-term, it’s time to start preparing for your car’s storage. The above tips should help you do just that.

Are you looking for a safe and secure place to store your car? Rent a self-storage unit today, and we’ll get everything set up for you. 

Are you leaving town on a job for an extended period or taking an extended vacation of your own? One of the not-so-fun tasks car owners must contend with is long term car storage. After all, where are you supposed to leave your car when you’re not using it for an extended period?

Long term car storage may appear as simple as driving your car into the garage and covering it with a tarp. But that is not the way to take care of such valuable equipment.

Car owners, believe it or not, have a range of options. So don’t be concerned about storing your vehicle for months at a time.

Long term car storage facilities are a great way to keep your vehicle safe. Everything you need to know about long term car storage is right here.

The Best Ways to Prepare Your Car for Long Term Storage

It’s advised to put your car into storage if you are away for an extended period. If you leave your car parked for an extended time, for example, just parked on the street or in your garage, you may come back to

  • A dead battery
  • A damaged engine
  • Wrecked tires
  • A critters’ nests under the hood

Here are some tips on our to prepare your car for long term storage:

Clean Your Car Inside and Out

It may seem counterproductive to wash the car before storing it for a long time, but it is a simple step that should not be overlooked. Stains caused by rain or bird droppings can damage the car’s paint.

Don’t forget to clean grease, tar, and mud from the wheels and bottom part of the fenders. Then, apply a coat of wax to the car for added protection.

Keep Your Car Covered

A garage is an excellent place to keep a vehicle. This will safeguard it from weather and keep it at a relatively stable temperature. However, if you don’t have a garage and can find affordable storage, consider storing the car in a storage facility.

If you must leave your car outside, consider buying a weather-resistant car cover to keep it clean and dry.

Top Off the Car’s Liquids

Change the filter and oil before putting away your vehicle for an extended period. Oil sometimes contains substances that can damage your engine if left for an extended period.

It’s good to top off your car’s engine coolant before leaving. You should also fill up your gas tank and consider adding a fuel stabilizer to your car if you plan on going away for more than a month or two. This will help protect your engine and fuel system from corrosion and damage.

Charge It Up

If you want your car to start and drive when you return, you must maintain the battery so that it does not discharge. Even if you’re storing your vehicle for a short time, you should take steps to ensure its battery is in good shape.

Battery tenders are best for long term car storage. A battery tender or ‘trickle charger’ keeps your battery charged. This helps protect your car battery and ensures the car will start when you return.

Another choice is disconnecting the battery and keeping it in storage outside the car.

Finally, you can have a friend drive your car at regular intervals or run your vehicle for approximately 15 minutes every couple of weeks.

Avoid Using the Parking Brake

Do not use your parking brake when your car is in prolonged storage. It seems rather odd, why?

If the brake pads touch the rotors for an extended period, they may fuse. Instead, buy a tire stopper, also known as a chock, to keep the car from moving.

Check Your Tires

Check that your tires are correctly inflated to the suggested tire pressure. If a car is left stationary for an extended period, the tires may get flat spots as the car’s weight pushes down on the tire footprints. and vehicles with performance or low-profile tires.

If you’re storing your car for more than a month, remove the wheels and put them on jack stands. This extra step can save you from needing new tires. Also, if you’ve been away for a month or more, your tires will be in better shape when you return.

Keep Unwanted Critters Away

A garage will give your car protection from the environment and keep it dry and at an even temperature. But unfortunately, those are also the two factors that attract rodents to a stored car.

There are many nooks and crannies for animals to hide in your car. Also, many things for them to chew on. Cover any gaps that a mouse can get into, such as air intake and exhaust pipes. Steel wool is ideal for this. Use mothballs around the car’s periphery. The odor is said to repel rodents.

Keep Your Insurance Up to Date

You may consider canceling your car insurance when your vehicle is in storage. However, this may initially save you money.

Even to a smaller extent, you should keep your car insured while in storage and protect it from threats other than accidents occurring while driving.

The Benefits of Long Term Car Storage

Purchasing long term storage services for your car comes with several advantages. Let’s look at some below:

  • Typically long term storage facilities have 24hr monitoring, so it gives you security
  • Some long storage services include routine car checks and routine car detailing services

Choosing a top-notch long term storage facility will give you peace of mind, and you can trust that your valuable asset is being looked after.

Be Aware and Prepare!

Long term car storage is all about taking measures to avoid significant problems later.

Are you considering putting your car in long term storage? It may be the best option for your circumstances. With the above tips, you can put your mind at ease and store your vehicle securely with some preparation and some research.

Do you need to store a car for more than a month at a time? Then, contact us! We’ve been helping people secure their belongings and safeguard their assets for decades.

Did you know that over 12 million cars are trashed in the USA each year? While these cars were once functioning models, over time, wear and tear drive them off the road. 

A perfectly good car has to face the wrath of the sun, salt put out to melt ice, and freezing cold temperatures. This leads to premature aging and the end of many good cars. 

If your car is your pride and joy, such as a convertible, what can you do to protect it and lengthen its life? Why not read on to learn more about how winter car storage can save you a lot of money.

Use a Car Cover

When preparing your convertible for long term storage, your first purchase should be a good quality car cover. You might have previously used an old bedsheet or a tarp, but these will not [rovide the best protection during a long winter. 

Good quality car covers allow your car to breathe, that is for air to move through the fabric. Should moisture become trapped between a plastic tarp and the paintwork of the car, it can lead to discoloration and rusting. Avoid this by using a breathable membrane.

Park on a Plastic Sheet

When you are leaving a car in a static location for a long period of time, it is important that you cover the ground underneath it. All cars, especially old cars, will leak oil and other fluids from time to time. If the ground is not covered by a plastic sheet, it will become stained, possibly permanently.

In addition to this, should oil leak on to the floor, it could find its way to your tires. The last thing that you want is oily tires when you take your car for its first drive in the spring.

Clean the Interior

Before you say goodbye to your convertible for a number of months, you should give the inside a thorough clean. This will include vacuuming and cleaning upholstery and removing all trash. 

Be aware that any items that give off an odor will be an attraction for bugs and vermin. At the very least, your car will smell strongly when you open it up in the spring. Avoid all of these eventualities by cleaning all internal areas.

Fill the Fuel Tank

There are a number of tasks to perform and basic questions to ask before you leave your car in storage. One of these tasks is to fill up your fuel tank. Why is this important?

When you park your car and leave it idle for a long time, moisture can form in the petrol tank. This may have entered with your fuel when you last filled the tank, or it could be moisture from heated water. 

Over time this moisture can cause rust to occur in the tank. This could eventually lead to a hole in the tank and leaking fuel. This is dangerous and expensive to repair. 

Avoid this by simply filling the tank as much as possible before putting it into storage. This will reduce the space available for moisture to build up. If you really want to prevent any corrosion, you could also add a corrosion inhibitor fuel stabilizer.

Oil Change

Like engine fuel, oil could also contain materials that can cause damage to internal engine parts. Fresh oil means that the oil has the longest lifespan possible when you put the car in storage. 

Learning to replace engine oil is not difficult. When you do this, why not take the opportunity to apply lubricant to other sensitive areas of the engine in preparation for storage.

Raise the Car

If you are considering storing your car for a few months, you may want to consider raising your car onto blocks while storing it.

When a car is in storage and not moving regularly, it causes pressure on the same part of the tire for the duration of its time in storage. This can lead to the tire becoming misshaped. You may even need to replace them entirely.

Of course, you will need to research the safest way to do this for your model of car. However, lifting the car onto blocks before you leave it for the winter can save you a lot of money.

Protect the Paintwork

There are many advantages of a storage facility, including security and a controlled environment. However, it is difficult to ensure that no moisture will drip on your car, or that no creature will walk over the paintwork during the winter. 

For this reason, it is best to give your car’s bodywork the best protection possible. Washing the exterior and waxing the paintwork will give it the best shielding possible. It adds a thin but strong layer of protection against any elements that the car comes into contact with while in storage.

Block Entry Points

While storage locations do offer controlled environments for storing your car, it is difficult to keep a determined rodent away from the perfect nesting ground. Ensure that they do not create a home in your car by blocking the entry points. 

A simple walk around your car will help you to identify them. The exhaust pipe is a common entry point. If you have a large air intact vent, this is also a point of easy access. 

This is especially important if you own a convertible. If your soft-top has holes or can easily be chewed, you may want to consider another layer of protection.

Car Storage Tips and Much More

If you want to take care of your pride and joy, have you thought about storing your car during the winter months? Car storage protects your car and saves you money. By applying the suggestions that we have made above, you can be sure that your vehicle and other items will be ready to use as soon as winter ends. 

If you would like to know more about storage and protection options, why not contact us or check out our other blog articles?