Long-Term Vehicle Storage Checklist

Vehicle StorageWhether you’re globetrotting for business or finally taking that 6-month tour to Europe, there are a lot of loose ends that have to be tied up before you leave. Namely, making sure your car is safe for when you return home. Long-term storage can cause a lot of damage to your car if it’s done improperly. For that very reason, we’ve created a checklist of the top things you need to focus on before you store your vehicle.

1. Choose Your Location

If you’re storing your vehicle for 30 days or more, it’s generally considered long-term storage. Your best option is a garage or indoor storage facility to keep your car out of the elements. Indoor storage facilities protect your paint job from the sun as well as prevent moisture and rust build-up. A dark, dry place is the best bet for safe storage.

2. Don’t Use the Parking Break

We know this is countering everything that your parents and driving instructors told you, but using the parking break during long-term storage will cause your break pads to become one with your rotors. Instead, purchase a tire stopper to prevent your car from inching forwards.

(BONUS TIP: Make sure to remove your windshield wipers as well. Just as the break pads will fuse to the rotors, your wipers will fuse to your windshield.)

3. Keep the Battery Charged

Disconnect the batteryA dead car upon your return is not the best way to say “welcome home”. Have a charged battery waiting for you by doing one of these three options:

  • Buy a battery tender (charges the battery from the wall)
  • Remove the battery all together

Oil change

No matter which option you choose, make sure the battery terminals are clean before you leave and upon your return.

4. Freshen the Fluids

You don’t want to leave old fluids sitting in your car during it’s hibernation. Make sure you change the oil to prevent permanent engine damage and purchase a fuel stabilizer to keep your gas tank free of moisture, rust, and ethanol build-up.

5. Take Care of the Tires

If you’re going to be gone for more than 6 months without any plans of anyone driving your vehicle, it’s a good idea to just remove the tires completely. Otherwise, you could come home to find a flat spot on each of your four tires. However, if you do decide to leave them on, just make sure that the tire pressure is completely full.

6. Clean It Up


Give your car a good scrub and wax to prevent dirt and grime build-up from ruining your paint job. Putting your vehicle in storage without a scrub and a wax would be like getting into a bed with clean sheets after a day of yard work without taking a shower.

7. Keep Critters Out

The last thing you want to find when you get your car out of storage is a family of rodents that have taken up permanent residence in your hood or backseat. To prevent unwanted tenants, block as many gaps as you can (i.e. the tailpipe), and spread some mothballs around the outside of your vehicle.

Call us at 770-986-0270 for more information about vehicle storage.

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