What's the Best Way to Store Your Vehicle? Expert Tips

car parked in vehicle storage
Your car is more than just a means of transportation—it's an investment. Whether you're storing it for a season or an extended period, how you store your vehicle can significantly impact its longevity and performance. In this guide, we'll share expert tips to ensure your car stays in pristine condition during vehicle storage.

Why Proper Vehicle Storage Matters

Leaving your car unattended for an extended period can cause several issues, from flat tires to engine problems. Proper storage helps prevent these issues, saving you time and money in the long run. Plus, it ensures your vehicle is ready to go when you need it.

Choosing the Right Storage Location

1. Should You Store Your Vehicle Indoors or Outdoors?

Where you store your vehicle is crucial. Indoor storage offers protection from the elements, reducing the risk of rust, fading, and other weather-related damages. However, outdoor storage can be a convenient and cost-effective option if you take the proper precautions.

2. Can You Store Your Vehicle in a Storage Unit?

Yes, you can store your vehicle in a storage unit, but there are factors to consider. Ensure the unit is spacious enough to comfortably fit your car. Check if the facility offers climate control to protect your vehicle from extreme temperatures and humidity.

3. Do You Really Need Climate Control?

Climate-controlled vehicle storage maintains a consistent temperature and humidity level, which is essential for preventing rust, mold, and other issues caused by fluctuating conditions. This is especially important if you're storing your vehicle for several months.

4. Do You Need Electricity?

If you have an electric vehicle and need to charge your car, you’ll want to confirm that the storage facility you choose has options for charging your car battery.

5. Do You Want a Paved Lot?

Some storage facilities only have gravel lots, which increases the chance of rock chips, dirt, dust, and paint chipping. If you want to treat your car with a little extra care, look for a facility with paved lots.

Preparing for Vehicle Storage

1. Clean and Prepare Your Vehicle

Before storing your car, give it a thorough cleaning inside and out. Dirt and grime can cause damage over time, and a clean vehicle is less likely to attract pests. Remove any trash and vacuum the interior to prevent odors and mold growth.

2. Use of Covers and Protection

Using a high-quality car cover can provide an extra layer of protection against dust, dirt, and minor dings. Choose a cover that fits snugly and is made of breathable material to prevent moisture buildup.

3. What to Do with the Parking Brake

Leaving the parking brake engaged for an extended period can cause the brake pads to fuse with the rotors. Instead, use wheel chocks or parking blocks to prevent your car from rolling.

Maintaining Your Car's Condition While in Vehicle Storage

1. Change Your Oil

Old oil can contain contaminants that may harm your engine if left sitting for too long. Change the oil and filter before storing your car to keep the engine in good shape.

2. Top Off Your Tank and Add Fuel Stabilizer

A full tank of gas helps prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank. Adding a fuel stabilizer can keep the gas from deteriorating, ensuring that your car starts up smoothly after storage.

3. Take Care of Your Tires

Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure to prevent flat spots. If possible, place your car on jack stands to relieve pressure on the tires and suspension system.

Regular Check-Ins

1. Periodically Check on the Car

Even if your vehicle is in storage, it's a good idea to check on it periodically. Look for any signs of damage, leaks, or pest infestations. This can help you address any issues before they become major problems.

2. Take It Out for a Spin

If your car is stored for an extended period, starting it up and taking it for a short drive every few weeks can help keep the battery charged and prevent the tires from developing flat spots. It also allows you to identify any potential issues early on.

Secure Vehicle Storage With Hawkeye Self Storage

Find safe and secure storage options for your cars, motorcycles, boats, and RVs at Hawkeye Self Storage. With climate-controlled units and a secure facility, you can trust that your vehicle will be kept in top condition. Contact us today for more information!