Prepping Your Car for Storage

Storing your car for a lengthy period can potentially cause damage and other issues. If you’re stowing your vehicle for the winter, an extended trip, or any other reason, consider using a secure storage unit to help protect your vehicle. At The Storage Mall Management Company, we offer storage for cars in our indoor, outdoor, and covered units. Here are some tips for preparing your car for storage:

Clean Your Car

Start your storage preparation by cleaning both the inside and outside of your car. Wash and wipe down the exterior to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Vacuum the interior of your car, including the seats and carpets, to help remove food crumbs and prevent odors. Clean your car windows and mirrors of any water spots, insects, and bird droppings that may be harder to remove after storage. If you have personal items in the trunk or glove box, remove them for easier access while your car is in storage.

Change Oil, Filters, and Top Off Fluid

Consider changing your oil and filters before storing your car. Used or old oil can contain contaminants that may lead to corrosion and engine damage after some time. Fresh oil may help minimize these effects, protecting your engine while in storage. Check and top off all your car’s fluids, including the coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid. Having the correct fluid levels can help prevent potential issues, like oxidation and corrosion, during your long-term car storage

Fill Your Car’s Gas Tank

Fill the gas tank to the brim to reduce air space inside the tank and prevent moisture from accumulating while your car is in storage. Moisture in your car’s fuel system may lead to rust or other issues. You can also consider adding a fuel stabilizer to help prevent fuel breakdown.

Remove the Battery

Depending on the amount of time you’re storing your car, you may want to remove the battery. This can help avoid sulfation and prevent it from losing its charge. If you’re storing your car for an extended period, disconnect the battery’s negative terminal first and then the positive one. Store the battery in a cool, dry place to keep it from getting damaged. Consider bringing a backup battery when you remove your car from storage just in case your old battery experiences any problems.

Inflate the Tires

While your car is in storage, flat spots may develop on your tires. This can occur when the tires are left sitting with low or no pressure. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure levels, and consider using a jack stand to take some of the weight off the tires during the storage period. This can help prevent flat spots and compromised integrity, keeping your tires in good condition for when you are ready to return to the road.

Protect Your Car’s Exterior 

Consider using a high-quality car cover to shield your car’s paint from dust and potential scratches. Make sure the cover is breathable to prevent moisture buildup underneath, which can lead to mold and rust. If you don’t have a car cover, consider an indoor storage unit to help prevent damage from harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow, and hail.

Maintain the Interior

For those who plan to store their cars outside, consider using a sunshade to block harmful UV rays. UV rays can fade or damage your dashboard and upholstery. Consider also using seat covers and leather or vinyl conditioner before storing your car. This may help prevent the seats and trim from drying or cracking while in storage.

Use Pest Control

Take preventative measures to deter pests from entering your car while it is stored outside. You can do this by placing cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil inside your car, as the aroma may help ward off rodents. You can also cover tailpipes and other openings to keep pests from entering. For those who choose our indoor car storage, pests are typically less concerning, but you can still take preventative measures to be cautious.

Perform Regular Check-ups

Every few months, consider visiting your storage location to inspect your vehicle. If you’re out of the state or country, you can ask a friend to do it for you. Start the engine, check the tire pressure, and make sure there are no leaks or other issues. This proactive approach can help you catch and address any problems before they become major issues in the future.

Find Quality Storage for Cars

Preparing your car for storage includes cleaning, changing fluids, filling the gas tank, removing the battery, and inflating tires. If you need a place to store your vehicle during a move, military deployment, or until you have time to work on it again, we can provide indoor, outdoor, and covered storage units. Contact The Storage Mall Management Company today to learn more about our storage for cars.

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