How to Store a Car Long Term


Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of needing long term car storage. Maybe you’re parents of a recent grad who’s leaving the nest and leaving their car with you until they decide if they need it in the big city. Or perhaps your own parents are declining fast and no longer need their car but you’re simply too overwhelmed to deal with selling it. Either way, there’s an easy solution for vehicle storage. Store the car in a drive in Lock Up Self Storage unit and rest assured that it’s safe and sound until you need it. Here are a few tips on how to store a car long term. . They’re easy steps and will make a world of difference in the life of the car.

  • Wash it. This may seem like a pointless endeavor, but there is a point to it. Leaving water spots, dirt or bird droppings on a paint job can damage it over time. If a quick rinse is all you can manage, it’s worth doing. And if you’re feeling particularly pro-active, a wax coat is even better.
  • Clean the interior. Throw any garbage away (particularly important if this was your teen’s car!).  When you’re at the gas station, use the heavy duty vacuum there to clean the floor mats and seats.
  • Change the oil. This is particularly important if the car will be in storage for a long time. Sediment inside the oil will eventually damage the engine. It’s best to have a fresh oil change so there’s no risk of this happening.
  • Fill the gas tank. A full gas tank will prevent moisture from building up and condensing in the tank. You’ll appreciate that when you go to start the car for the first time after a few weeks. Adding a fuel stabilizer is helpful too. Doing these things will keep moisture out and keep seals lubricated.
  • Fill the tires with air. If storing less than six months, make sure the tires are filled to the proper psi. This will keep flat spots from forming on the tires. If you’ll be storing for longer than six months, it’s best to lower the tire pressure about 10psi lower than the recommended pressure and place your car on jack stands to keep the tires off the floor.
  • Make sure your battery is charged. Electronics in cars can slowly drain the battery. Consider hooking up a trickle charger during the storage period. If it will be longer than 6 months, it might be prudent to disconnect the battery altogether. Or, be sure to get into your storage unit every 2 weeks or so to start the car.

These are simple and easy steps that you can take to make sure that the vehicle you store in your Lock Up Self Storage drive in unit will be in great condition when you finally decide to drive it out of there.

Have some suggestions on what to do when storing your car? Share them with us here!

Visit to find the Lock Up Self Storage facility nearest you.We offer a wide variety of storage for all your needs, including climate controlled self storage  units. In addition, all of our facilities feature secure self storage units.


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