How to Prepare Your Car for Long-Term Storage

Sun Auto Service Expert, published on 11/02/2015

Whether you’ll be putting your convertible away as the temperatures cool off or going on an extended vacation, there are several reasons that you might want to store your car. Before you do, follow these few tips for ensuring you properly protect your engine and everything else under the hood. 

Wash It

Make your car look brand new by washing it. Not only is this step good for appearance, but it also helps to get rid of bird droppings, water stains and anything else that might damage your car’s paint while it’s in storage. Tar, grease and mud are often found on tires and the underside of fenders, so be sure to scrub those areas as well. For an added layer of protection, add a coat of wax to your car.

Cover It

If at all possible, it’s better that you store your car in a garage to keep it safe from the weather and ensure it remains in a stable temperature. For those who don’t have access to a garage, you might be able to find a car storage facility in your area at a good price. A simple weatherproof car cover will also give your vehicle added protection.

Change It

If you’ll be storing your vehicle for fewer than 60 days, don’t worry about changing the oil. Storage that lasts at least 60-90 days can warrant an oil change. The reason we recommend this is that your used engine oil might have particulates and contaminants that can affect your engine.

Gas It

Filling up your gas tank before you store your automobile is another good idea if you’ll be storing it for at least 30 days. Doing so prevents moisture from building up inside of your fuel tank and keeps you from having dried out seals. While you’re at it, add some fuel stabilizer to your tank to protect the engine and prevent a buildup of ethanol.

Charge It

Ask your friends and family if any of them would be willing to take your car out every two weeks or so to stretch its legs and help keep the battery charged. Having the car taken out for an occasional spin also ensures the components remain lubricated.