How to Prepare A Car for Long Term Storage
Your seasonal or part-time vehicle is a valuable asset. Not only does it save you the cost of renting a vehicle every time you go to a vacation home, but it also is a part of your property that increases your wealth. If you need to store your car for the winter or for some time away, prepare it to minimize any chance of malfunctions or damage. Keeping a car functional even after putting it in storage requires a lot of careful planning and proactive steps. Here is what to do to winterize your vehicle for long-term storage.
Clean Your Car's Exterior and Interior
The first and most important step is to clean your entire car. The exterior and undercarriage of your car can have dirt and grime that can wear down its luster and vital components. For instance, salt in your vehicle's undercarriage can wear down and corrode metals. This can be dangerous if you leave your car in long-term storage. Also getting rid of mess such as bugs on the windshield will protect your paint from fading prematurely. If you have time, wax your car and any of its interior components like leather with protectants and sealants. When you get back to your car, later on, its exterior will gleam, and you can have peace of mind that you did all you can to preserve its looks.
Use Fuel Stabilizer or Drain the Gas Tank
If you plan to put your car in a storage facility, first ask if the facility allows you to store a vehicle with fuel inside it. For cars stored with fuel inside, put a fuel stabilizer into your gas tank and fill it completely. This will prevent the fuel from gumming up and causing problems when you restart the car in the future. If you cannot have fuel in the car at the storage facility, then you must drain the fuel. To do this properly, seek out resources in the area to find where you can dispose of fuel responsibly.
Take Care of Your Tires
Tires that go under pressure for a long period without moving can wear down quickly. To maximize your chances of having good tires, replace any old tires that are too worn and have little tread. Also, inflate each tire to the recommended pressure. If you can store your car in an elevated position so that the wheels are not constantly under pressure. However, this option may not be available in your garage or storage facility. And finally, replace tires that are too old or that are due for replacement, especially if the rubber is too hard and will not have enough traction for the road.
Change the Oil
Dirty oil can cause problems in any car, especially one that sits around for too long. Most mechanics recommend that you replace the oil and fuel oil filter before long-term storage. Synthetic oils tend to last longer but can create leaks and older vehicles, so ask your mechanic about what your vehicle can handle. Place a drip pan underneath your car just in case you have any concerns about oil leaks during a long-term storage period.
Mind the Battery
Batteries left in a circuit continue to release a slow but steady charge. When the alternator doesn't consistently provide it with charges, the battery slowly drains in storage. To prevent your battery from going bad, take it out entirely. Also, if your battery is between 3 and 5 years old, it may just be time to replace it entirely. So, when you get back to your car, just bring a new battery and install it.
Protect Your Car Against Pests
The storage area should not allow entry to any kinds of pests that like to chew through things. Rats are famous for chewing through air filters which can block your vehicle’s intake manifold. This nuisance will take up time to repair and is something you do not want to deal with when you simply want to get your car back on the road. A secure climate control unit with pest mitigation in place is the best and safest place for your car. If you plan to store your car in your garage, make sure that you place rodent traps and repellents to keep pests away.
Can You Park A Car in A Storage Unit?
Yes! As long as you can drive your car into the unit and the door closes, you can store your vehicle in a drive up storage unit. A drive up unit is a great way to protect your vehicle from the cold winter or the harsh summer heat. Many classic car enthusiasts use a drive up storage units to protect their car’s paint.
Outdoor Vehicle Storage & Parking Spaces
Many of storage locations have outdoor parking spaces ranging from 20 to 40 feet which is great for vehicles of all sizes. Make sure you know the size of your vehicle before you rent. Many storage locations do not allow or cannot accommodate overflow parking. In addition, you will not be able to store boxes or other belongings in these outdoor spaces as they are exposed to the elements. If you wish to store other belongings with your vehicle you should consider drive up storage units.
Do I Need a Climate Controlled Storage Unit for my Car?
For the average person storing a vehicle, no you don’t need a climate controlled storage unit for your vehicle. While you can inquire about them, many climate controlled storage units are located indoors with doors not wide enough to drive a car through. For those customers with classic cars looking for some extra protection from the elements may want to look for dedicated vintage car storage locations. These specialized auto storage facilities will typically run between $200 and $1,000 a month which is much more than any drive up storage unit will cost you.
What Documentation is Required to Store a Vehicle?
You’ll need to bring in three documents when you come in and rent with us. A government issued ID like a driver’s license or passport, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. Check with your insurance provider to see if your policy covers storing your car in long term storage and bring in a copy.
We’re Your Car Storage Solution
Whether you need extra space to store your sports car or protection for your vintage car, we have the perfect storage option to suit your needs. Free up your garage or driveway for your everyday family vehicles. Our storage facilities are safe, secure, clean, and convenient. Our locations offer superior protection form the elements. With all of this and more we’re providing you peace of mind that your car safe and secure for short or long term storage. You can reserve your car storage unit or parking space online for free for 7 days. No deposit or credit card required!