How To Prepare Your Car For Long-Term Storage

Putting your vehicle into storage is the best way to ensure that it does not experience environmental damage during the winter, or general wear and tear associated with age if you are simply not going to be around to drive it for a while. However, before you put your vehicle in a self storage facility, there are a few things that you should do to prepare it to make sue that it is still in peak working condition when you take it out again.

Manage the Fluids

Before you put your car into a storage unit or facility, you should check all of your car's fluids and fill them up. This is because any empty space within your tubes, reservoirs, and tanks can allow water to build up, which can lead to rust forming on the interior of your vehicle. Changing the oil, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid also helps ensure that there are no contaminants within the fluids while your car sits idle, and that those systems are able to function properly when you start driving again.

Fuel Stabilizer

While you should also ensure that you fill up the gas tank of your car to prevent rust buildup, you'll have to also add in a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gasoline from breaking down over time. If you try to drive with old fuel that has degraded, you can cause severe engine damage. Fuel stabilizer can be found at most automotive supply and hardware stores.

Install a Battery Tender

You should also make sure that you install a battery tender on your car's battery if you are leaving your vehicle in storage for more than a week or so. Also known as trickle chargers, battery tenders will provide a slow, steady stream of power to your battery that will ensure that the charge doesn't completely drain while your car is idle. Battery tenders can also be found at most hardware and automotive stores.

Cover It Up

Though it may seem like a superficial concern, it's an extremely good idea to cover your car with a waterproof car cover. This will prevent the paint of your vehicle from being scratched by dust and other airborne debris, but will also ensure that water does not manage to come into contact with the body of your car. This will severely reduce the risk of rust forming, which can pose more than a superficial problem: rust allowed to sit for a significant period of time while your vehicle is in storage can cause structural damage to your vehicle which affects its performance and reliability.