How to Store Your Car

Posted on Apr 7 2014 - 9:25pm by Garret Stembridge

Vehicle StorageWhether you’re storing a classic car for posterity or sticking your car in the driveway while away for a month, make sure you’ll return to a vehicle in good shape. Proper storage is essential, whether you’re leaving it outside or in. Follow these steps.


First, wash the car, then change the oil and filter. Then top up the tank with premium gas and check coolant levels. Filling up the fuel tank all the way to the top will prevent condensation inside. You may want to add a gasoline stabilizer, often used in lawn mowers and landscaping equipment.


Next, fill your tires up to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. The best way to avoid flat spots in the tires is to store your car up on jack stands, taking all pressure of the tires. Drive the vehicle until it is fully warm before putting it up on the stands. Regardless of how you store your car, remember to check the tire pressure before you drive it again.


Finally, release the parking brake to keep the pads from sticking to the rotors. Put chocks under the tires to keep the car from taking a ride on its own.


Now to a less obvious element of car storage: preventing small animals from nesting in your ride. Clean all the wrappers, food scraps, and other such things out of the interior to reduce your chances of attracting vermin. Stuff rags in the air intake and the exhaust to keep critters out, and if you crack a window when storing indoors, make sure the crack is quite small.


The above are things you shouldn’t neglect, but here are some optional tasks to keep things ship-shape. If you are storing your car for more than a month, use a battery maintainer to keep the charge. Pop up your wipers to keep the rubber from sticking to the glass. Alternately, wrap your wiper blades in plastic or even remove the blades.


If you’re storing your car outdoors, put a cover over it to protect it from the elements. Don’t cover it if you’re keeping it indoors, to allow water vapor to escape.


You’ll have to remember to reverse any changes when you return to drive the car, so WikiHow suggests sticking a note to yourself on the steering wheel. This should instruct you to remove the rag in the exhaust and the intake, unwrap the wiper blades, unhook the battery from the maintainer, check the tire pressure, and otherwise make the car ready to drive again.


Your car is now ready for storage, but before you head off on your extended beach holiday, remember to lock your doors.