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Cars are meant to be driven. Unfortunately, there are many circumstances where a car has to go into storage. Your Miata might not like winter weather. Maybe work has shipped you overseas on a long-term assignment, and there’s nobody to use your car while you’re away.

Before you leave your vehicle sitting, make sure you prepare it properly. Here are some tips to store your vehicle long-term.

Climate-Controlled vs. Standard

Climate-controlled storage is unquestionably the best choice for a car, and it’s more than just a matter of temperature. Moisture is metal’s worst enemy, and long-term storage in humid air can do undesirable things to your undercarriage and engine. Regardless of what you choose, it’s still better than leaving it outside!

Fix Your Fluids

Unless you want to drain your tank later – a costly and difficult endeavor – put some fuel stabilizer in it. This keeps the gas from gumming up and causing damage. You should also top off the tank to keep moisture from accumulating.

An oil change is also essential, even if the car isn’t being driven. Engine oil naturally picks up contaminants as it circulates through your engine, which are stopped by a filter. If the car isn’t running, the filter doesn’t work, meaning that those contaminants stay there and cause problems. Clean oil is good oil.

Clean, Clean, Clean

It may seem odd to wash a vehicle that you don’t plan on driving, but dirt is more than cosmetic. Mud rusts your suspension and undercarriage, squashed bugs leave stains, and bird droppings damage your paint. Make sure you wash every nook and cranny – even the ones you can’t see – before your car goes into storage.

Mind the Battery

Want your car to start when you get back? Want to avoid dropping money on a new battery? Disconnect the negative terminal; you’ll lose your radio presets, but save that money. If your unit has power access, you can also buy a trickle charger to keep the battery ready.

Prevent Flat Spots

When your car sits for a long time, weight falls on the same patch of your tires. Over many months, that can flatten them out, and nobody likes paying for new tires! If you can, jack the car up on all four corners and support it on jack stands.

Looking to store your car, motorcycle, or watercraft? Hillsborough Self-Storage has both climate-controlled and standard storage units for your needs. We serve all cities in and around the Triangle and the Triad. Contact us today and let’s keep your vehicle safe!

  1. Finley Moreira

    I’m looking at storing a car of mine, so this article was really helpful. I
    thought your tip to disconnect the battery to be really useful. I’ll definitely
    do this so I don’t have to buy a new battery once I want my car to start
    again. http://www.shipcreekstorage.com/vehicle-storage

  2. Dan Moller

    My wife has been asking me to sell two of my cars or find someplace
    else to store it AND selling my babies isn’t an option. Since these are
    collector cars, I think purchasing a climate controlled storage unit is a
    no-brainer. I agree, as well, that performing a car tune-up first before
    you stow them away is an absolute must! Don’t forget to pay them a
    visit once in a while just to check that everything is still in place.

  3. Oscar O'Malley

    I really like that you mentioned filling up that tank and putting fuel stabilizer in there before
    storing the car. My wife and I are going to Europe for the next two months, and have decided
    to place our cars in storage. Thanks for the tips! I didn’t know any of these things before, but
    I’m glad I do now.

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