How to Store A Car

How to Store A Car

May 6, 2021

For whatever reason, you need to store your car. If you’re not going to be driving the car for more than a few weeks, it’s a good idea to prepare your automobile for storage. Your car is an investment, and proper care can save you money in the long run. Not sure how to store a car? Check out our tips on how to keep your car clean and in working order, even after a long absence.

Our Tips on How to Store A Car

Protect The Paint:

Before leaving, there are a few quick things you can do to protect the outside of your car:

  • Buy a cover. Investing in a good cover will protect your car from scratches, dirt, and dust. Make sure the cover can breathe, as trapped moisture will result in rust and paint damage.
  • Paint and wax. Dirt, grit, and general outside debris can ruin a paint job. Hose down the car to prevent damage, and get it waxed to proactively protect your vehicle.
  • Address windshield wipers. Left alone, especially in hot environments, the rubber of the windshield wipers can stick to the glass. Wrap the wipers in plastic, remove them, or leave them in the ‘out’ position.

Keep Out Critters:

Cars – especially the ones stored during the winter months – can be warm, sheltered spaces for animals. Make sure you clear the whole car of perishables, crumbs, or anything else that might attract hungry scavengers. (Your car will also smell nicer after storage with a clean interior.) Cover up openings, such as exhaust pipes, with steel wool or rags to keep critters out.

Battery Care:

A dead battery is almost inevitable in cars stored improperly. Here are a few ways to make sure you have a battery to come back to after storing a car:

  • Best Bud. Have a friend take the car for a fifteen minute spin once every two weeks.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable. This means you will have to reset a few things once you’re ready to take your car out of storage – time, radio presets, etc. – but is a simple way to keep your battery in working condition.
  • Buy a float charger. Also called a battery tender or a trickle charger, this inexpensive device will feed a low level of energy into your battery to keep it functional during your absence.
  • Store outside the car. For longer storage, its often advisable to remove the battery entirely and attach it to a float charger. Make sure to check with the car’s manufacturer that removing the battery won’t cause damage to on-board computers.

Fill Up the Tank

We depend on our cars as an integral part of our daily lives. Should it become necessary to store your car for an extended period, it is important to make sure that it remains safe.  By finding a suitable indoor facility to store it, purchasing a good quality cover, filling the tank, properly inflating tires and preventing rodents from moving in, you will be well on your way to protecting your car while it is in long-term storage.

Prevent Tired Tires

Left stationary for too long, tires can develop flat spots. There are a few different approaches you can take to help prevent this from happening:

  • Phone a friend. Having someone drive the car around once in a while will help turn the wheels over and ensure that the car isn’t resting on the same section of the tires throughout storage.
  • Inflate. Make sure your tires are inflated to their proper pressure. Some sources even suggest overinflating, to help keep tires from flattening during your absence.
  • Wheels off. For longer storage, it might make sense to remove the tires entirely. Prop your car on jack stands in all four corners, or even blocks of wood.

Last Logistics:

You’ve done all the prep. Before leaving your car safely stored, leave a note. Make a checklist for yourself. Where are the keys? The battery? Which openings did you stuff with steel wool? Help yourself reverse your preparation once you’re back.

In Short

We depend on our cars as part of our daily lives. By following these tips, you can help keep your car safe while it is in long-term storage. For more information on how to store your car or if you are looking for storage space in the Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN or La Crosse, WI. area, visit Piepho Moving & Storage today.


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