Is it time to put the old hot rod in storage until spring?
Lots of people only own seasonal cars - or they choose to put a car in storage if they have a second home that they plan to live in for months out of the year. But storing your car is about a lot more than just parking it in the garage and hoping everything is still good when you go to use it again.
When you're planning to store your car for more than 30 days, there are certain steps you need to follow:
Top off the Gas Tank
Most on-road fuels these days contain some sort of ethanol concentration. And with all the cons of ethanol, one big one when it comes to storage is that ethanol has a tendency to draw water from the surrounding environment into the fuel over time, potentially deteriorating it. So top off your fuel tank before putting your car in storage to ensure that water doesn't have a chance to build up. We'd also recommend administering a fuel additive to stabilize the fuel and ensure it's still good when you go to start your car up again.
Change the Oil
Used engine oil has contaminants and acids that could potentially cause damage to the engine if it's left to sit for long periods of time. So an oil change prior to storage is always a wise decision.
You should be storing your vehicle in a garage or covered structure to protect it from any inclement weather. We also recommend covering it with a car cover, just in case something were to fall in the garage and potentially dent the body or damage the paint job. Also, make sure you have comprehensive insurance on the car, in case the unthinkable were to happen.
Clean it and Wax it
Give your car a good thorough wash and wax before putting it into storage. This helps ensure that any contaminants, like bird droppings or mud, don't cause permanent damage to the paint job.
As you can see, storing a car is about a lot more than just parking it in a garage and then forgetting about it until you're ready to drive it again. To review, you need to:
- Top off the gas tank (and administer a fuel additive),
- Change the oil,
- Find an appropriate storage spot
- Clean it and wax it prior to storage
This post was published on April 21, 2014 and was updated on January 22, 2016.