When it comes to storing your car, like so many things in life, patience is key! As tempting as it may be to simply drive your car into your chosen storage space, you’ll be more satisfied if you take the time to prepare your car for storage. First, let’s talk a little about where to store your car, then we’ll get into the gritty details of how to prepare your car for storage.


Where to Store Your Car

classic-car-storageIf you like your car enough to keep it around even when you can’t use it, then you owe it to yourself to select a good car storage option. For the best protection, choose a cool, dry and secure environment, such as a drive-up storage unit.

Drive-up storage is similar to a home garage, but you may also have the opportunity to select climate control to protect your car from temperature extremes. Climate control car storage, which offers a consistent temperature between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, is often chosen for classic cars, or expensive sports cars.

Drive-up storage may not be suitable for larger vehicles. If you need to store your car outdoors, select a secure environment, such as outdoor storage at a storage facility. Some outdoor storage spaces are covered, but you should also add a vehicle cover to your car to help protect the paint.


Prepare Your Car for Storage

If these steps seem like a lot of work, just remember that properly prepping your car for storage now means that you’ll have fewer headaches later. An ounce of prevention…


  1. Clean the exterior. Substances, such as bird droppings or road salt, can damage paint if not removed.
  2. Roll up your windows.
  3. Vacuum the interior, clean all surfaces, and remove any garbage. Don’t forget to tidy up the trunk as well.
  4. Make sure tires are properly inflated. This step will help prevent flat spots.
  5. Add fresh fluid. This includes brake fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze and power steering fluid.
  6. Change the oil and filter. Used engine oil contains contaminants that can cause damage, so start with fresh oil when storing your car for more than 30 days.
  7. Remove fuel, or add a fuel stabilizer. Check with your storage facility for additional guidelines.
  8. Disconnect your negative battery cable, or use a trickle charger to prevent the battery from discharging.
  9. Release the parking brake. If you leave the brake on, the brake pads may become stuck to the rotors.
  10. Cover the exhaust pipe and air intake. This step will keep critters from nesting in your car.


Tips for Long-term Car Storage

If you’re storing your car for a year or more without moving it, take some extra precautions.

  • Remove spark plugs, and add oil to the cylinder housings to prevent corrosion.
  • Remove wipers, or place plastic between wipers and glass. During long-term car storage, wipers can become attached to the windshield!
  • Remove battery, and store it in a dry location. Also, clean battery connections. Refer to the owner’s manual for your car, leaving the battery in your car if directed.
  • Add wax to car exterior. A good wax job will help protect the paint on your car.

And that’s it! Now you’re ready tuck your car into storage without the bedbugs biting.

What steps do you take before storing your car? Do you prefer drive-up storage or outdoor storage for your car?