A truck and RV being stored in outdoor parking spaces at a Lockaway Storage facility.

8 Essential Tips for Storing Your Car Long-Term

Lockaway Storage | April 3, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

Whether you're traveling for an extended period, dealing with seasonal changes, or have a classic car you only drive occasionally, properly storing your vehicle is crucial to maintaining its condition and performance. At Lockaway Storage, we have a number of facilities with vehicle storage options – uncovered parking spaces, parking bays, and drive-up storage units with room to fit your car or truck. We have experience safely storing vehicles, and we’re ready to show you how to store your car. Check out our top 8 storage tips!

1. Assess the Condition

Before tucking your car away, it's essential to give it a thorough inspection. Check for any existing issues or signs of wear and tear that might worsen over time. Addressing these concerns preemptively can prevent further damage during storage and save you headaches down the road.

2. Clean and Protect

Give your vehicle a meticulous cleaning both inside and out before putting it into long-term storage. Food crumbs in the interior of your car may attract rodents or lead to long-term odors, while dirt, grime, and moisture on the outside can lead to corrosion and paint damage over time. Pay special attention to removing any stains, as these can become more difficult to clean with time. A clean car is not only more pleasant to return to but also less prone to deterioration.

3. Tire Maintenance

Tires can develop flat spots when left stationary for extended periods. To prevent this, inflate your tires to the recommended pressure before putting your car in storage. You could also consider placing the car on jack stands to take the weight off the tires. This simple step can help prevent flat spots on tires during storage and ensure a smoother ride when you're ready to hit the road again.

If you know you’re going to be checking on your vehicle regularly, you may want to store it somewhere with an air station so that you can easily refill your tires when the pressure gets low. Our Celina, TX location has an air station for just this reason.

4. Fuel Tank Preparation

Fill up your gas tank before storing your car to prevent moisture buildup and rust inside the tank. However, remember that fuel can degrade over time, so plan to drain and replace it every few months if storing for an extended period. Don’t forget to also check up on your coolant, transmission, and brake fluids.

5. Engine Protection

Changing the oil before long-term storage helps remove contaminants that can cause damage over time. If you’re planning on storing your car for more than a couple of weeks, this is an essential step. Additionally, removing the spark plugs and spraying oil into the cylinders can prevent rust from forming in the engine block, ensuring it remains in optimal condition during storage. If this is too far outside your comfort zone, consider asking a mechanic to help you out!

6. Battery Care

Keeping your car's battery charged is vital for ensuring it starts smoothly when you're ready to use it again. Use a battery maintainer or trickle charger to keep the battery in good condition. Alternatively, have someone start and drive the car every two weeks to prevent the battery from losing its charge.

Some Lockaway locations, like our storage facility in Celina, TX, offer 30 amp electrical outlets to make sure your vehicle stays charged while it’s in storage.

7. Wiper Blade Maintenance

To prevent wiper blades from sticking to the windshield or becoming misshapen, wrap them in plastic wrap before covering the car. This simple step can extend the lifespan of your wiper blades and ensure clear visibility when you're back on the road.

8. Cover and Protect

Shield your car from dust, moisture, and debris by covering it with a breathable, weatherproof tarp. This protective layer acts as a barrier against environmental elements and helps maintain your car's exterior finish. Many Lockaway Storage locations sell packing and moving supplies, including tarps for your vehicle! We’re happy to help provide what you need to keep your vehicle safe and sound.

If you want to protect your car from the elements, you can also choose a covered parking bay or an interior storage unit. Many of our large drive-up storage units are climate-controlled to ensure that your car doesn’t have to deal with extreme temperatures.

By following these expert tips for long-term car storage, you can safeguard your investment and enjoy peace of mind knowing your vehicle will be in prime condition when it's time to drive again. Proper preparation and maintenance now can save you time, money, and frustration later on, allowing you to get back on the road with confidence.

If you ever have questions about how to store your car, we’re always at your service. Find a Lockaway Storage facility near you and ask for help storing your car safely and securely!

Lockaway Storage
What unit size is right for you!

Watch our size guide videos to choose the right unit

Size Guide for storage units

Find storage near me

Recommended locations