Top 5 Tips for Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage


Long-term car storage requires more than just finding a safe parking spot and walking away. Whether you’re a classic car collector, a seasonal driver, or simply planning an extended trip, properly preparing your vehicle for storage is essential to ensure it remains in optimal condition when you’re ready to hit the road again. In this article, we’ll provide you with five practical tips to help you get your car ready for long-term storage.

  1. Thorough Cleaning: Before tucking your car away for an extended period, give it a thorough cleaning both inside and out. Dirt, dust, and grime can corrode paint and upholstery over time. Wash and wax the exterior to create a protective barrier against moisture and contaminants. Vacuum and clean the interior to prevent any odours or mould growth. Make sure to remove any food particles or items that might attract pests.
  2. Fluid Maintenance: Proper fluid maintenance is crucial for preventing damage during storage. Start by changing the oil and the oil filter. Old oil can become acidic and cause engine components to corrode. A fresh oil change ensures that the engine is protected. Additionally, fill up the fuel tank to prevent condensation from forming inside the tank, which could lead to fuel system issues. Adding a fuel stabilizer can also help prevent fuel degradation over time. Check and top off other fluids such as coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid as needed.
  3. Tire Care: Tires can develop flat spots or lose pressure when a car sits in the same position for an extended period. To prevent this, inflate the tires to the recommended pressure before storage. Consider using jack stands to take the weight off the tires or slightly overinflate the tires to compensate for any pressure loss. If possible, roll the car forward or backward a few inches every couple of weeks to shift the weight and prevent flat spots.
  4. Battery Preservation: Car batteries can discharge over time, especially if the car isn’t driven regularly. To prevent a dead battery, either disconnect it or use a battery maintainer or trickle charger. A battery maintainer will keep the battery charged without overcharging it. If you choose to disconnect the battery, be aware that some vehicles might lose certain settings or codes, so refer to your owner’s manual for guidance on battery disconnection.
  5. Protective Measures: To shield your car from dust, debris, and potential pests, use a car cover that’s designed for long-term storage. Make sure the cover is breathable to prevent moisture buildup. If you’re storing your car indoors, choose a storage location that is dry, cool, and well-ventilated. Avoid places with direct sunlight exposure, as UV rays can fade paint and interiors. If you’re storing your car outdoors, consider using tire covers to protect the tires from UV rays.


Properly preparing your car for long-term storage is an investment in its future performance and value. Following these top five tips – thorough cleaning, fluid maintenance, tire care, battery preservation, and protective measures – will help ensure that your vehicle remains in pristine condition during its time in storage. Remember that a little preparation now can save you time, money, and potential headaches when you’re ready to bring your car back on the road.