How to Safely Store Your Vehicle for Long Stretches 

It’s likely that at some point you’ll need to store your car for a long period of time. Maybe you’re going on vacation for a few months, or maybe your car needs some repairs that you’re putting off for a while. Maybe you got a new car and are keeping your sports car in storage, or maybe you just don’t feel like paying for insurance and registration right now. Whatever the reason, if you’re leaving your car by itself for a while, it’s important to take care of it accordingly. You can’t simply leave your vehicle alone for months on end and expect it to maintain the same condition. Here’s everything you need to know.

Keep it Clean 

Before storing your car, make sure that it is clean, both inside and out. It’s important to clean out the interior, so that you don’t have any rotting, molding, or mildewing. Clothes, food, or other material left in the car may not seem like a big deal on a day to day basis, but when left untouched for a few months can result in funky smells and bacteria, and irreparable damage.

You also want to make sure the exterior of your car is clean, so that no damage is done to the paint job. Bird poop, tree sap, and other dirt and debris can cause notable wear and tear to your exterior if given time to sit and stick. 

Keep it Covered 

If you have a garage, keep your car in it. If you don’t have a garage, buy a car cover or a car tent. Sun, rain, the elements, and falling matter can all cause serious damage to your vehicle, so make sure it is as protected as possible. 

If you’re keeping your car in the garage, keep the windows slightly rolled down to make sure that no excess moisture builds up in the vehicle. 

Keep it Warmed Up 

A car, like a dog, needs frequent exercise or its health will deteriorate. As such, it’s best not to leave your car untouched for a few months. If you can, take time once a week to turn on your car, and let it run for a few minutes. You don’t need to drive it; just let the engine run for a little bit. If you’re not at home, see if a friend can come over to occasionally start up the car.

Conversely, if you have a classic or valuable car that you don’t plan on driving for a very long time, consider draining it of all fluids, including gas and engine oil. 

It doesn’t take much to make sure that your stored car stays in great shape. By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that your vehicle is ready whenever you decide to drive it again, and you’ll help maintain the highest possible resale value. 

About The Author

Brady Klopfer

Brady Klopfer is a freelance writer and editor from Los Angeles. You can read more of his work here