Whether you are storing an antique/vintage car, an expensive car, or just an everyday car it is imperative to take the necessary precautions.  Storage units are great for storing vehicles, you can even find an rv storage facility.  For owners of classic, antique and vintage cars, sports cars and racing cars, storing your seldom-used car in a storage unit is often a viable option. Whether your car is an expensive one that you display in auto shows and parades or just an average car holding only personal sentimental value, you will want to know how to best prepare your car for storage. Proper recreational vehicle storage will extend the life of your vehicle, keep it looking like new and running in top condition.

There are many advantages to storing your vehicle in an enclosed storage unit.  First, it protects your vehicle from theft and/or vandalism.  It also protects it from natural elements such as hail, snow, rain, and wind.  Damage to the exterior of your vehicle can significantly reduce its value.  Another advantage of storing in an enclosed unit is that it prevents it from being hit or damaged by another vehicle.  When storing your vehicle at a car storage facility you want to be able to drop by and check on it frequently so choosing a facility that is close your house is a good idea if possible.

When storing a vehicle you want to check with your insurance provider to find out the coverage your vehicle has.  Most insurance companies offer coverage for stored vehicles.  Many times the cost of “off road” coverage is much less costly than standard insurance.

Here is a helpful checklist to go through when putting your car into storage:

  • Clean your car thoroughly inside and out (including all mirrors).  You want to put some kind of protective coating on the exterior of the vehicle (such as wax).
  • Before cleaning you should use a buffer to buff out and dents or imperfections.
  • Remove trash from the interior and then vacuum thoroughly.  After vacuuming scrub/clean off any stains or spills.  Using an air freshener such as Fabreze will help to prevent unwanted odors when you remove your vehicle from vehicle storage.
  • If the vehicle requires any repairs/mechanical maintenance this should be taken care of before putting it in to storage.
  • Take the vehicle to get serviced (oil changed, etc) a couple days before putting it into storage.  Be sure to drive the car for a couple days so that the oil can circulate through the engine.
  • Remove the spark plugs and add a teaspoon of engine oil in each cylinder.  Next, replace the spark plugs – this coats the inside cylinders and prevents rust.
  • Seal off all engine openings will an absorbent cloth such as a towel.  This will prevent moisture from getting in as well as any wildlife such as bugs and mice.
  • Apply all metal surfaces with a rust preventative substance such as WD40.
  • Putting your car in to storage with a full tank of gas will prevent an moisture from collecting in the tank.  You will also want to add a fuel stabilizer (drive the car around for about 15 miles to insure the fuel stabilizer circulates).
  • Replace the brake fluid if necessary.
  • Check all fluids such as transmission fluid and coolant and replace them if they are dirty.
  • If you car is a convertible make sure you store it with the top up.
  • Do not use any kind of chemical to shine the tires when storing.  Over inflate the tires slightly so prevent flat spots.
  • There are a few different options when deciding what to do with the battery – refer to your owners manual to decide which option is best for your vehicle.
  • Make sure the windows are rolled up and all vents are closed.
  • Remove the windshield wipers or place a cloth underneath them to prevent windows from being scratched.
  • Cover your vehicle with a tarp.
  • You want to visit your vehicle and start/run it as often as possible, specially if you are leaving your vehicle in an rv storage facility.