How to prepare your car for long-term storage

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What should we consider as long-term car storage? According to car manuals, it means storing a car for more than 30 days. The reasons for such storing could be various. Regardless, you will have to prepare your car for long-term storage. You will also have to decide on the place where you will store them. Namely, you can leave a car in your own garage. Or, you can just cover it and leave it parked in the open parking lot. In case you opt for a more secure place, contact movers in Texas. They will direct you to the closest car storage facility. And, after all, using climate-controlled storage can easily show as the cheapest option.

Reasons to prepare your car for long-term storage

You may wonder why it is necessary to prepare your car for storage. There are actually numerous reasons for that. And we will here give explanations of why, and tips on how to do it. However, the shortest answer would be – to prevent common issues such as ruined tires and damaged parts. Repairing such damages afterward could be rather costly.

Car in storage parking unit - how to prepare your car for long-term storage.
There are various benefits of leaving your car in self-storage units.

Clean the car inside and outside, to prepare it for storage

Cleaning your car is the first preparation step. Before you park it in climate controlled storage Austin, make sure that there are no bird droppings, leaves, or other substances on it. Over time, they will release chemicals and thus damage the car paint. Also, check the fenders, and hubcaps. It would be good to clean and wax them.

The inside of the car should also be clean before you park it. Make sure that all dirt is removed. In case you don’t have a place for proper washing, use a good car wash service. That way you will be sure that the car is completely clean.

Why should you change the oil when preparing your car for long-term storage?

The inside cleaning also means taking care of the engine and fluids. In case of leaving the car parked for more than a month, change the oil.  Used engine oil has contaminants that could damage the engine. Also, change the oil filters. That will also protect the engine from contaminants and sludge. After you are done with that part, fill up the gas tank, adding the fuel stabilizer too. It will keep the fuel fresh. Namely, the fuel stabilizer will prevent the fuel oxidation process. And, once the oil turns bad, it may easily damage the tanks and some other parts.

Keep the car battery charged

Regardless if you will use services of car storage Austin, or keep your car covered and parked in front of your home, take care of its battery. If your car is parked near your home, ask a neighbor to run the engine for about 15 minutes every two weeks. That will be enough to prevent the battery from completely losing its charge. 

However, when the car is in the storage unit, you should disconnect the car battery. Or get the battery tender and attach it to it. The tender will deliver small amounts of charge to the battery. So, it will stay charged regardless of how long the car is parked. This way, you will easily start the engine once you are back.

Man cleans his car.
Preparing your car for storage clean it thoroughly.

Never use the parking brake when your car is stored for long-term

Using the parking brake is a good idea in normal circumstances. However, leaving your car stored for a longer period, avoid using it. When the brake pads are in too long contact with rotors, they can easily fuse. Repairing such damage won’t be the cheapest thing possible. So, it is much better to use the tire stopper. Follow the same advice in case you keep the car parked outside, or in your garage.

Tires can easily deform when you leave the car in storage for a long period

Remember to protect your tires. Holding the car’s weight for a long time can easily deform them. So, to prepare your car for long-term storage, you can take the wheels off. Instead, you can place the car on jack stands at all four corners. This will demand a bit more work, but it can show useful. In case you parked the car somewhere outside or in the garage, it won’t be attractive prey for thieves.

In case you have stored your car in full service storage Austin TX, you will just put the wheels back. Otherwise, you would need to take off the old ones. And buy brand-new ones. Which also means that you would have additional costs. 

If you store the car in your own garage, keep it safe from rodents

When you prepare your car for long-term storage in your own garage, make sure it is not accessible to rodents. You can do that by putting a mouse trap, or rat poison around. But, the time you come back, you might find your garage stinking a lot. And the smell will also keep for a longer time inside your car. Using the services of short term storage Austin, you won’t need to care about such things.

Man in Black Jacket and Black Pants Sitting Near Silver Vehicle.
Check your car after it was parked for a long time.

When you prepare your car for long-term storage, keep it insured

Even when you’re storing a car in a storage unit, it is good to maintain your car insurance. It might look unnecessary at first moments. However, it can easily happen that insurance companies assume that you are driving the car without insurance. Thus, they will raise your rates accordingly. Our advice is to contact your insurance company and discuss the issue with them. 

Getting your car out of the storage

Once you are back and taking the car out from the storage, run some checks. That way, you will make sure the car is in good condition and safe for driving:

  • Check if the battery still has some charge
  • Check the fluid levels (gas and oil), and check their quality
  • Checks if the brakes are functioning well
  • Make sure the wires and belts are in good condition
  • Put the wheels back and check the tires pressure

Keeping your car in the storage unit is safer

When you prepare your car for long-term storage, you should also consider its security. If you park it on the street for an extended period, it may easily get burglarized. Or even stolen. Also, it would be exposed to elements. Keeping it locked in your garage is not the best solution either. In the garage, it can attract many bags and rodents. Also, the temperature in the garage changes can fluctuate a lot. Although you will have to pay use of the storage unit, your car will be perfectly safe. Storage units are under surveillance. They are climate controlled. And your car will be protected from any kind of damage.

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