How to Prepare Your Car for Storage

You may want to put your car into storage for a number of different reasons, from protecting it from winter weather to making sure that it is in a safe location while you do construction on your home. No matter the reason, you need to make sure that you prepare your vehicle so that it can withstand a long period of nonuse without deteriorating.

Clean and Wax the Exterior

The first thing you should do before you move your car into a storage unit is clean and wax it. While this may seem superficial, cleaning and waxing your car’s exterior will remove any materials, like dirt, dust and salt. These materials could cause damage to the paint job and contribute to rust over time.

Check Your Tires’ Air Pressure

Another relatively simple and important thing that you should do for your car is to check your tires’ air pressure. Underinflated tires that are allowed to sit for too long can cause wear and flat spots to develop on the section of your tire that is in contact with the ground.
You can prevent this from happening by inflating your tire to its highest recommended air pressure, which can be found printed on your tire’s sidewall. Alternatively, you can invest in jack stands to physically hold your tires off the ground — just make sure that your vehicle is lifted evenly and is not at risk of falling.

Buy a Trickle Charger

While this isn’t necessary if you’re only storing your vehicle for a week or so, you will want to invest in a trickle charger if plan to leave your car in a storage unit for a significant period of time.
Trickle chargers are available at most automotive supply stores, and they are designed to provide a slow and steady supply of power to your car’s battery. This will ensure that your car’s ignition and all other electrical systems will be able to operate properly once you take your car out of storage.

Fill the Gas Tank

Putting gas into your vehicle before you let it sit in a storage unit may seem counterintuitive. However, it’s actually extremely important for you to do so. Any empty room within your car’s gas tank provides space for humidity in the air to condense, which can then cause rust to form within your vehicle.

Maintain Fluid Levels

Beyond the fuel tank, it’s a good idea to check and top up all the other fluids under your vehicle’s hood. This is a necessary step because contaminants and sludge in your coolant, oil or transmission fluid could gum up your car’s systems if it’s allowed to sit idle for a while.
Prepare your care for storage by adding additional fluids or draining and replacing them entirely. Depending on the quality of the existing fluid, you can ensure that your vehicle’s systems are properly lubricated and functioning by the time you take your car out of storage.

Protect Your Car With a Cover

Once your vehicle is actually in the storage unit, you should protect it with a car cover. Beyond acting as a protective barrier against minor physical damage, a breathable car cover will allow for adequate air circulation. Proper circulation helps prevent rust from developing on your car’s body.
Whatever the reason for storing your vehicle, make sure you take steps to prepare it for storage. For any questions about vehicle storage or any other storage needs that you may have, feel free to contact us at Anderson Properties. Our experienced team of storage professionals will be more than happy to work with you to find the best storage solution for your needs.