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Tips To Protect Your Car While In Storage

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If you are going away for an extended amount of time, or you live in the frozen tundra of the northern states and wish to keep your car from being destroyed by salt and slush in the winter, the best option for your situation is to place your car in storage during the time you won't be driving it. However, putting a car in storage is not as simple as just driving it into a storage unit, locking the door and walking away until spring returns or you are back from your trip. There are several things you must do to ensure that your car is well-preserved and makes it through the long, sad time without you. 

Clean Your Vehicle

Before you put your vehicle in storage, clean it, wax it, and detail it, inside and out. Use a wax or other product with high reviews that will preserve the paint and clearcoat. Make sure you get all of the tar, bugs, and debris off the paint. Don't forget to scrub the wheels and wheel wells, too. Clean out the interior of the vehicle. Throw away trash, condition the leather seats, clean the windows and wipe off the dash and console. It is a great idea to steam-clean the carpets and cloth upholstery, but do this a month or so in advance so the car will have plenty of time to dry out and prohibit mold growth.

Battery & Fuel Tank

When left unattended for a while, your car's battery will drain and you will be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise when you return. Unhook the battery cables to preserve the battery. Better yet, invest in a battery tender that will keep the battery from dying while you aren't driving your vehicle. Top off the fuel tank before you drop your car off at storage to keep condensation from building up in the gas tank and ruining the fuel.


Inflate your tires to the maximum air pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Remember that tires can lose pressure over time when exposed to temperature changes, so don't forget to check the pressure in the tires and adjust properly before you pull your car back out of storage.

Environmental Considerations

Thoroughly clean your storage unit; sweep floors and remove as must dust as you can. Invest in a car cover to protect your car's finish. Take precautions to keep mice and rodents from taking up residence in your vehicle while it is in storage. Place cheap dryer sheets or mothballs around the exterior and interior of your car. These items deter unwanted visitors, and can also give your vehicle a nice smell when you rescue it from storage later.