How To Prepare Your Car For Long-Term Storage

If you need to store your car for weeks, months, or even years, it's important to take care of it prior to parking it for the extended period of time. By taking the time to prepare the vehicle for storage, you'll ensure that it'll be in perfect working order when you need to use it again. Properly storing your car will also protect it from cosmetic damage.

Before storing your car, consider doing these things:

1. Thoroughly clean the car, inside and out, before telling it goodbye for a while. It's important to remove all debris, such as bird droppings or salt, from the vehicle exterior to prevent corrosion. Some materials contain acidic elements that can eat through automobile paint or even the body, over time.

Make sure you clean the vehicle's undercarriage as well to get rid of any built-up mud or grease. Pay special attention to the fender and bumper as well, to ensure that they're shiny and in good condition when you're ready to roll again. Coat the clean car in a protective wax as a sealant.

Wipe the interior portion of your vehicle down to remove any grime that can cause staining after an extended period of time. Removing all traces of the solid or liquid debris will prevent it from penetrating further into fabric or leather upholstery.

Also, vacuum the vehicle to remove any mold-, mildew- or critter-attracting food crumbs. Make sure the car interior is completely dry before closing it up for storage. 

2.. If you don't plan on storing your vehicle in a covered garage or storage unit, which is the ideal scenario, be sure to cover it with a tight-fitting, breathable, weatherproof car cover to protect it from outdoor elements. Pick a cover that is specifically made for your vehicle type, to ensure that it is completely covered with no exposed areas. 

3. Stuff clean, soft rags in any open areas, such as the tailpipe, to keep rats, mice and other pests from building nests in them. Also, place soft cloths under the windshield wipers to prevent the rubber from sticking to and damaging the glass, especially if the car will be stored in a hot climate. 

4. Fill the tank at least halfway with gas, especially if you live in a cold climate, to prevent the fuel from freezing during storage. Add fuel stabilizer as well, and drive the vehicle for a minute or two to circulate the product before storage. Follow this link for more information about car storage in cold climates.