Home Car Tips How To Store a Car Long Term for Optimal Value Retention

How To Store a Car Long Term for Optimal Value Retention

How To Store a Car Long Term for Optimal Value Retention

Store a Car Long Term for Optimal Value Retention the right way is crucial for maintaining its value and ensuring it’s in good condition when you’re ready to use it again.

How to Store a Car Long Term?

Storing your car long-term is crucial for maintaining its value and ensuring it’s in good condition when you’re ready to use it again.

Whether you’re going on an extended trip or simply have an extra car that won’t be driven for a while, proper storage is key to car value retention.

Neglecting this can lead to costly damage and depreciation. This post will guide you through the essential steps to store your car properly, helping you preserve its value and keep it in peak condition.

Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

How to Store a Car Long Term? When storing your car for an extended period, taking the right steps is critical to preventing damage and maintaining car value retention. Here’s how you can prepare your vehicle to ensure it stays in excellent condition.

Clean the Car Inside and Out

Cleaning your car thoroughly before storage helps prevent damage and unwanted odors. Here are some tips to get your vehicle spotless:

  • Exterior: Wash and wax the exterior to protect the paint from dust and grime. Pay special attention to areas like the wheel wells and undercarriage, where dirt tends to accumulate. Using a cleaner and degreaser or wheel and tire cleaner can be very effective.
  • Interior: Vacuum the seats, carpets, and floor mats to remove any debris. Use a mild cleaner for leather, upholstery, and dashboard. Disinfect surfaces with wipes to kill germs and prevent mold. Easy Detailer DIY Car Interior Cleaning Tips

Fill the Gas Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer

Filling up your gas tank before storing your car prevents moisture from accumulating inside the tank, which can cause rust.

Adding a fuel stabilizer keeps the fuel from degrading over time, ensuring the engine runs smoothly when you resume driving.

Steps to Add Fuel Stabilizer:

  1. Fill your gas tank to about 95% full.
  2. Add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer (follow the instructions on the product label).
  3. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer through the fuel system.

Find Fuel Stabilizer on Amazon Here!

Change the Oil and Other Fluids

Old oil contains contaminants and moisture that can cause engine damage if left stagnant. Fresh oil is essential for preventing rust and corrosion in the engine’s vital parts.

Steps for Changing Oil:

  1. Drain the old oil and replace it with fresh oil.
  2. Replace the oil filter to ensure your engine gets clean oil.

Besides the engine oil, check and top off other fluids like the coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.

Check Out Our Post – 10 Quick Car Care Maintenance Tips

Check and Inflate Tires

Proper tire maintenance is crucial to preventing flat spots, which occur when a car sits in one position for too long.

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Steps for Tire Care:

  1. Inflate the tires to the recommended pressure, usually found in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door jamb.
  2. Consider using tire jacks to lift the car slightly off the ground. This reduces the weight on the tires and prevents flat spots.
  3. If jacks aren’t an option, moving the car slightly every few weeks can also help.

For more detailed tips on tire preparation, read this comprehensive guide.

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Choosing the Right Storage Location

Choosing the Right Storage Location

Selecting the perfect place to store your car long term is crucial. This choice affects how well your car retains its value and the ease of access you’ll have to the vehicle. There are a few key factors to consider when deciding where to store your car, and this section will guide you through them.

Indoor Car Storage vs. Outdoor Car Storage

When choosing between indoor and outdoor storage, it’s essential to weigh up the pros and cons of each option. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide what might work best for you:

Indoor Auto Storage Benefits:

  • Protection from Weather: Indoor storage shields your car from harsh weather conditions like snow, rain, and sun, which can cause paint damage and rust.
  • Security: Typically, indoor storage facilities have better security features to protect your vehicle from theft and vandalism.
  • Climate Control: Some indoor storage options provide climate control, which can further help in preserving your car’s condition.

Indoor Auto Storage Drawbacks:

  • Cost: Indoor storage is generally more expensive than outdoor alternatives.
  • Limited Access: Accessing your car can be less convenient, especially if the facility has restricted hours.

Outdoor Car Storage Benefits:

  • Affordability: Outdoor storage is usually more affordable than indoor options.
  • Easy Access: You can typically access your car more easily in outdoor storage, with fewer time restrictions.

Outdoor Automobile Storage Drawbacks:

  • Exposure to Elements: Your car will be exposed to weather conditions that can cause damage over time.
  • Security Risks: Outdoor storage often has less security, increasing the risk of theft or vandalism.

Choosing between indoor and outdoor storage depends on your budget, the value of your car, and how often you need to access it.

For more details on choosing storage locations, click here.

Climate Control Considerations

Climate control is an essential aspect when it comes to storing car for 6 months or longer term, especially if you want to retain their value. Let’s explore why temperature and humidity control matter:

Temperature Control:

  • Prevents Engine Fluids from Freezing: Cold temperatures can cause engine fluids to freeze, leading to potential engine damage.
  • Reduces Battery Drain: Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can drain your car battery. Climate-controlled environments help maintain the battery’s charge.

Humidity Control:

  • Prevents Rust and Corrosion: High humidity levels can cause rust on metal parts and corrosion in the engine and other components.
  • Preserves Interior: Leather, upholstery, and other interior materials can deteriorate in humid conditions. Climate control helps keep the interior pristine.

Using a climate-controlled storage facility can be a bit more expensive, but it is a worthwhile investment for maintaining your car’s value. For a guide on choosing the right self-storage facility, check out this article.

Climate control is particularly important if you live in an area with extreme seasonal temperatures or high humidity levels. It’s worth the extra cost to protect your investment.

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Maintenance Tips During Storage

Maintenance Tips During Storage

Ensuring your car stays in top condition during long term storage is essential for maintaining its value. Here are some crucial maintenance tasks you should perform while your car is stored.

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Start the Engine Periodically

To avoid mechanical issues while your car is in storage, it’s essential to start the engine now and then. This simple step can keep your engine components in good shape and prevent a host of problems.

  • Lubrication: Running the engine helps circulate oil throughout the system, which lubricates moving parts and prevents corrosion.
  • Battery Health: Starting the engine helps maintain the battery charge. If a car sits too long without running, the battery can drain completely. Read our post – 50+ Frequently Asked Car Battery Questions and Answers
  • System Checks: When you run the engine, you allow the various systems (such as the fuel system and cooling system) to operate, ensuring they remain functional.

Ideally, aim to start your car’s engine at least once a month. Let it run for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow the oil to circulate and the battery to recharge.

Check for Pest Infestations

Pests can cause significant damage to a car, especially when it’s in storage for a long time. Here are some steps to prevent and address pest problems:

  • Seal Entry Points: Ensure all windows, doors, and vents are securely closed. Pests can squeeze through the tiniest openings.
  • Use Repellents: Consider using natural repellents like peppermint oil or commercial pest deterrents designed for cars. These can help keep rodents and insects at bay.
  • Regular Inspections: Periodically check the car’s interior and engine compartment for signs of pests. Look for nests, droppings, or chewed materials.
  • Set Traps: In a storage environment, setting traps around the car can catch any rodents before they do significant damage.

Routine inspections and preventative measures can save you from costly repairs caused by pests.

Long Term Car Storage Tips

When you need to store a car long term, it’s crucial to take steps to protect your investment. Whether you’re storing a classic car or just keeping your daily driver safe for an extended period, proper preparation ensures your vehicle stays in good condition. Here are the best long term car storage tips to keep your car in top shape.

1. Clean the Car Thoroughly

Before storing your car, give it a thorough cleaning inside and out. Dirt, grime, and bird droppings can damage the paint over time. Clean the interior to remove food crumbs and other debris that could attract pests.

2. Fill the Gas Tank

Fill your gas tank to prevent moisture from building up and causing rust in the tank. Add a fuel stabilizer to keep the gas from breaking down, which can lead to engine problems later.

3. Change the Oil

Old oil can contain contaminants that might damage your engine over time. Do an oil change before storage to ensure your engine stays in good condition.

4. Inflate the Tires

Check your tire pressure and inflate them to the recommended level. Consider using tire jacks to lift the car off the ground, which can prevent flat spots on the tires.

Find Tire Gauges on Amazon Here!

5. Use a Car Cover

Invest in a high-quality car cover that fits your vehicle properly. A good cover will protect your car from dust, debris, and harmful UV rays. If you’re storing the car outside, look for a waterproof cover.

Find Car Covers on Amazon Here!

6. Disconnect the Battery

If a car sits for too long without running, the battery can die. Disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining. Alternatively, use a battery maintainer to keep it charged.

Read Our Post – 50+ Frequently Asked Car Battery Questions and Answers for more information.

7. Protect Against Pests

To prevent rodents and other pests from nesting in your car, block any entry points. You can use steel wool or mothballs in the exhaust pipe and air intake. Place traps around the storage area as an additional measure.

8. Check and Top Off Fluids

Make sure all fluids are topped off, including brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. Proper fluid levels help prevent corrosion and other issues.

Check out our post – Oil Change Service Tips and Tricks

9. Keep it Covered

Store your car in a garage if possible. If not, use a portable carport or another covered area to protect it from the elements.

Find a Portable Carport on Amazon Here!

10. Avoid Engaging the Parking Brake

Instead of using the parking brake, which can cause brake pads to stick to the rotors, use wheel chocks to keep the car stationary.

11. Ventilation

Ensure the storage area is well-ventilated to prevent mold and mildew. If possible, crack the windows slightly to allow airflow inside the car.

12. Regular Check-Ups

Even in long-term storage, check on your car periodically. Look for signs of damage or pests. Start the engine every few weeks to keep it in running condition.

Proper long term car storage is key to maintaining your vehicle’s condition. By following these long term car storage tips, you’ll protect your car from common issues and ensure it’s ready to hit the road when you are. Take the time to prepare your car for storage, and you’ll save yourself from costly repairs in the future.

Store a Car Long Term Conclusion

How To Store a Car Long Term for Optimal Value Retention

Storing your car long term requires careful planning and execution to maintain its value and ensure it remains in good condition. From thorough cleaning to choosing the right storage location and performing periodic maintenance, each step is crucial for car value retention.

Adhering to the Store a Car Long Term guidelines will help you avoid costly repairs and keep your vehicle ready for use when needed. Follow these steps diligently to protect your car’s longevity and value.

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