Are you planning on leaving your vehicle for a long period of time and looking for long-term storage? There are some key steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your vehicle is protected while you are away. Read on for our tips on vehicle storage over a long period of time.
Choose a Storage Location
If you are wondering how to store a car long term, you’ll want to start by choosing where to store your vehicle. The best storage option for where to store a car will be indoors. By storing your vehicle indoors you’ll limit access to the vehicle by other people, keep it away from the elements and reduce temperature fluctuations the vehicle might experience. If you don’t have a space in your garage, consider storing your vehicle at one of our indoor or outdoor car storage facilities or in one of our drive-up storage units at Price Self Storage. You won’t have to question how big of a storage unit you’ll need, because our vehicle storage facilities are spacious and the drive-up storage units will fit most vehicles.
Indoor vehicle storage facilities and drive-up storage units are a great option for long term vehicle storage. At Price Self Storage, our indoor facilities offer keypad controlled access when storing your car. Additionally, access will be further limited by virtue of being in a locked storage unit, if that be the route you choose. By storing your vehicle indoors, you also won’t have to worry about the elements, which can be a serious concern for long term car storage.
Get it Cleaned
Now that you’ve figured out where to store your car long term, you’ll want to begin taking steps to prepare storing a car for a long period of inactivity. The first step is to get it thoroughly cleaned. Clean the outside of the car, the inside of the car, and undercarriage. Pay particular attention to removing any tempting pieces of food inside your car, as these can attract pests. Get an extra coat or two of wax applied to your paint to help protect against any dust that might collect.
Keep Pests Out
Using a garage to store your car is a great place to keep it dry and warm, however, it makes it an easy target for rodents and pests. Cars are perfect hiding spots for these critters. Be sure to cover gaps such as the air intake and exhaust pipe with steel wool. Other options include placing some mousetraps and rat poison around the car.
Top it Off
Before storing your vehicle for a long period of time, be sure to change the oil and oil filter. Oil can contain contaminants that may damage your engine if it is left for a long time, so it’s important to get an oil change beforehand.
Topping off your engine coolant is a great idea before you leave. You’ll also want to top off your fuel tank, and consider using a fuel stabilizer if you are planning on leaving your vehicle for more than a month or two. This will help prevent corrosion and damage to your engine or fuel system.
Mind Your Battery
In order for your car to start when you return, you’ll need to do something about your car battery. Your car will drain your battery slowly over time while you are away, so even if you are storing your vehicle for a short period of time you’ll want to take steps to ensure your car battery is healthy when you return.
The best option for long term car storage care is to use a battery tender. A battery tender, or trickle charger, is a device that keeps your battery charge topped up. This not only protects your car battery from damage, but it will also ensure that you can start your car as soon as you return.
A second storage option is to disconnect the battery and store it outside of your vehicle. You can also choose to do this with a battery tender. If you choose this option, store the battery on some blocks of wood in an area that doesn’t have significant temperature fluctuations.
Final options for long term battery storage are to have someone you know run your car periodically or to disconnect and sell your battery and buy a new one when you return. If you have a friend who will be near your car, having them start and run the car for 15 minutes every couple of weeks will keep your battery healthy. If you don’t, then you can go ahead and remove the battery, sell it, and repurchase another later.
Avoid the Parking Brake
If you’re used to leaving the parking brake on in your car, be sure to avoid doing so when putting your vehicle in storage. There could be potential problems from leaving your parking brake on for too long, causing it to fuse. If you want an alternative method to prevent your car from moving, consider purchasing a tire stopper, also called a chock.
At a minimum, you’ll want to inflate your tires to the recommended tire pressure. But if you are planning on storing your vehicle for a long period of time, it can be better to place the vehicle on jack stands. What this does is bring the tires off of the ground completely. This takes the pressure off of the tires, which can help you avoid flat spots. This step may seem like a hassle now, but it can save you having to buy a new set of tires when you return.
Get a Cover
It’s a good idea to cover your car when storing it for a long period of time. A car cover will protect your paint, and limit the damage that moisture and dust can cause over long periods of time. Choose a sturdy car cover that is breathable and will repel moisture.
Long term car storage care is all about taking preventative steps to avoid big problems down the road. Before you leave your vehicle for a long period of time, you’ll want to get your engine oil and oil filter changed, top off your fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer, and ensure your vehicle has adequate coolant. These steps will help you avoid any corrosion or damage to your fuel system or engine.
You may also consider investing in a battery tender to keep your car battery topped up while you are gone. Covering your car can keep dust and moisture away while storing it on jacks will keep pressure off of your tires. Remember to not engage your parking brake, otherwise, your brake pads might fuse to your rotors.
For long term storage, you’ll definitely want to store your vehicle in covered auto storage. If you don’t have the garage space, use a drive-up storage unit or parking space at a Price Self Storage facility. Storing your vehicle indoors is essential for avoiding damage from weathering or pests.
To learn more about long term vehicle storage and types of storage units at one of our Price Self Storage facilities, please contact us today. Our staff is more than happy to help you find a storage solution for your vehicle or self-storage needs.