How to Store a Car Long-Term

There’s no denying that cars play a significant role in our lives. Whether you drive a traditional car, truck, or SUV, your car empowers you to get where you’re going. That’s especially true if you’re a daily commuter, a soccer mom, or drive for a ride-share company like Uber. Cars are important and expensive, which is why it’s important to know how to store your car long-term.

Most of us use our cars daily, but we occasionally need somewhere safe to store a car long-term. For example, if you’re in the military, you might get sent overseas. You might go on a year-long sabbatical for work. Or maybe you own an extra car you don’t have space for in your garage.

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If you’re faced with any of the above situations, StorAmerica Storage is a great option to store your car long-term. The good news is that storing a car in a self-storage facility is about as easy as it gets. If you’re going to be storing your car long-term and have never done it before, the information below is for you. We’ve collected the top tips on how to store a car long-term! If your goal is to ensure your car stays in excellent condition while stored, read on.

Tip 1: Fill Your Car’s Tank Before Storing It Long-Term

Storing a car with a full gas tank seems illogical, but it’s the best choice. An empty gas tank can rust due to moisture build-up. If that happens, the rust and gasoline will mix the next time you drive. You can guess what happens next; the rust gets into your engine and causes all sorts of problems. To avoid any damage, store your car or truck with a full gas tank.

How to Store a Car Long-Term

Tip 2: Change Your Car’s Oil Before Storing Long-Term

If you plan to store your car long-term, experts recommend changing your oil before and after storage. This ensures that your car is operating correctly and protects your engine from oil build-up. Typically, cars need an oil change every six months. This is why experts recommend changing your oil before you store your car, especially if you plan to store your car for 6 months or more.

Tip 3: Remove the Wiper Blades from Your Car’s Wipers

Car windshield wipers are made of rubber and can melt onto your windshield in high temperatures. One way to protect your vehicle from damage is to remove the blades before long-term storage. This is especially important if you will be storing your car in a hot climate or during the summer. Taking off your wiper blades is an easy process and will prevent any damage to your windshield.

Tip 4: Clean Your Car Well Before Storing Long-Term

It’s always best to remove stains and crumbs from inside your vehicle, but it is crucial before long-term storage. If you are wondering how to keep mice out of stored cars, one piece of advice is to clean your car as well as you can. Food crumbs or spills will attract animals to your vehicle while it is in storage. The same cleaning principle applies to the exterior of your car. For example, bird poop contains acid that can ruin the paint on your car. To ensure your car is clean while in storage, we recommend thoroughly cleaning your car inside and out before long-term storage.

How to Store a Car Long-Term

Tip 5: Put a Large Box Under Your Car while in Storage

Cars and other vehicles often have leaks, which can create a big mess if the car is in storage for a long time. To prevent that, place a large, used cardboard box under the car. (Several if you need to.) The cardboard will absorb any oil and other liquids that leak, keeping your storage area cleaner. This will save you from any cleanup hassle or cleaning fees.

How to Keep Mice Out of Cars Stored Long-Term

Nobody wants to find out that a big family of mice has been living in their car in storage. However, many people find exactly that. Mice are an invasive species and especially during the winter, they seek out warm environments like stored cars. If you want to avoid mice when storing your car for winter, here are two humane tips to keep mice out.

  1. Buy a box of scented dryer sheets from your grocery store. Then, put them all over your vehicle. In the interior, of course, but under the hood, in the trunk, and on top of tires. You can even put them in the exhaust pipe to prevent mice from making a nest inside. The strong scent of the dryer sheets will deter mice from making a home in your car. Did you know that scented dryer sheets work as well as mothballs but smell a lot better?
  2. Make homemade sulfur pouches to place in your vehicle. You can buy sulfur at any big-box garden store. Then, cut some material into 8-inch by 8-inch squares. Place a spoonful of sulfur in the center and tie the ends to make a pouch. Place many of them throughout your vehicle for an effective mouse-blocker. Just like dryer sheets, the smell of sulfur will deter mice.
How to Store a Car Long-Term

How to Store a Car for Winter or Long-Term

One extra tip when storing a car for winter is to put a fuel stabilizer in the gas tank. Another is to block your exhaust with some rags. Lastly, check the coolant level in your engine compartment and top it off if needed. Storing a car for winter is just like storing a car long-term. With these three extra precautions, your car will be stored safely for the winter.

Store Your Car Long-Term or Short with StorAmerica

CA Storage is your best choice whether you need to store your car for a month, a year, or longer. CA Storage has safe, clean, and secure storage facilities throughout Arizona, California, and Nevada. All of our locations feature 24/7 security cameras and an on-site manager for even more security.

You can reserve a storage unit or parking space online with CA Storage in under 15 minutes. We don’t ask for a deposit, so there’s no credit card needed. However, we only ask that you call ahead to check for car storage availability.

We hope the tips we’ve given today have been helpful and answered all of your questions about long-term car storage. If you have more, please feel free to chat with us online or visit the CA Storage facility nearest you. The on-site manager will answer any questions and help you decide what type of car storage is best. Until then, be sure to take good care of your car, because it takes good care of you!


Read moving & storage guides on the StorAmerica blog!

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