Vehicle Storage

Car Storage – How to prepare

Car Storage

Not everyone has the luxury of a fully enclosed garage to store their car and protect it from the elements. Like caravan owners, you may require a car storage facility to store your car.  We have already explored vehicle storage options previously and discussed ideas on how to prepare a caravan for storage. Here we will look at what steps you should take to protect a car that is stored outside.

Wash and Wax before car storage

There are many car enthusiasts out there that agree washing and waxing your car is the best protection against the elements. The wax acts as a protective barrier between the dust, weather, pollen, bird poo, etc and the cars duco. In the winter, wax is like a raincoat and will protect the car by not allowing the water to come in contact with the paint. Wax will also protect your car in the hotter months with it acting as a sun block. This is important if you are using car storage in Australia’s harsh summer climate. Make sure the product has a UV protectant incorporated in it for best results.

However, washing and waxing it once and then leaving it will not be suffice. Some enthusiasts recommend washing and waxing at least twice a month to every three months. Also, it is best to dry your car by hand instead of air drying. Air drying can leave water droplets on a car. UV rays will magnify these dropletts causing hard water deposits to be etched into the surface of your car.

Most modern cars these days have a clear protective coating over the paint to protect it from the elements. If you are still concerned you can treat your car to a paint sealant to best protect it. Be reminded though, you will still need to wash and wax your car but perhaps not as regularly to ensure the exterior stays in the best possible condition.

To cover or not to cover stored cars

There seems to be mixed reviews on weather covering your car actually protects it. Some believe that it can do more damage than good with the risk of condensation forming in the engine and the underside of the bonnet. However, a cover can provide a good amount of protection for your car from the sun, debris from trees and insects.

There are all sorts of covers on the market ranging from a standard outdoor cover, ones that can protect your car against the sun, hail and storms, automatic car tents and car capsules. Car covers range from just under $100.00 up to $800.00. Avoid using a tarp or a plastic cover. One made from natural material that breathes is better and ensure you invest in one that suits the elements you are storing it in.

If you are going to invest in a cover ensure it fits your car properly. According to a poorly fitted car cover can scratch the cars paint when it is windy. A cover should also fully enclose the car to prevent rodents nesting in small spaces.

Service your car before car storage

If you intend on storing your car for a long period of time it is advised to give it a quick service. There are a few things you can check yourself before storing your car. At the end of the storage period it’s a good idea to call in the professionals.

As a minimum for long term storage, the coolant and oil should be changed. Dirty fluids simply sitting stagnate means any contaminants are sitting around too. In time this can cause more wear and tear on your engine. Dirty oil in particular can make it more difficult to restart your car on your return. The brake fluid and transmission fluid should be refreshed as well.

Petrol in the tank can break down. If you are storing your car for 3 months or more, add a stabiliser to prolong fuel life. By filling your tank before storing will reduce air build up in the tank.

Make sure your car battery is fully charged. The battery will still be drained by the vehicles electronics. Batteries can corrode over time, so if your car storage is long term it is best to remove it. Store the battery in a dry cool area off the concrete to prevent it from cracking. Don’t forget to check the users manual for any other precautions.

Air naturally escapes from your cars tyres over time. If storing short term, fully inflate your tyres so they are not too flat when you pick it up from storage. Tyres these days are now engineered to prevent “flat spots” so it is not necessary to jack the car up. It is also suggested that jacking a vehicle up can cause unnecessary strain on the suspension.

Do not store and forget

Check on your car while it is in storage particularly if it is going to be stored long term. Start your car to keep the battery charged. Check with the car storage facility to see if they have jump starter cables or a battery charger you can borrow just in case you need them. They may have a car wash deal with local car wash and detailing shop or organise one to come to you.

Protect your car in storage

Check your cars paperwork to ensure it is up to date before considering car storage. If your registration or insurance is due to expire whilst it is in storage set yourself a reminder to renew. Contact your insurer to inform them your vehicle is being stored in a secure storage facility and confirm it is fully covered whilst it is in car storage.

Car Storage with Store UR Stuff

Store UR Stuff is extending it’s vehicle storage area with our expansion well underway. Our secure area will have generous 10 meter drive through bays to make storing your caravan, truck, mini van or bus easy and stress free. Our well lit vehicle storage area will have 24 hour security monitoring and recorded surveillance, traceable unique PIN coded access 24/7 and security fencing to ensure your vehicle is protected at all times. Call 08 8371 0000 to reserve your spot today.

12 replies
  1. Trucks says:

    Your car is likely one of the most valuable and functional things that you own, and sometimes you need a safe place to keep it in your absence. Self-storage facilities across the country have stepped up to meet the storage needs of car owners by offering safe, monitored space for you to keep your car!

    • Jodie Byrne says:

      Thanks Trucks. Storage has come a long way and there are so many different options out there for consumers to consider. Storage is also a great idea for businesses that sometimes have an influx of vehicles that they cannot sell straight away. It may be more economical than expanding or moving a business to compensate for the growth 🙂

  2. George says:

    Great tips for storing cars for a long time.
    One tip I want to add:
    Bring your car battery charger with you when you returned from a long journey because most likely your battery will be discharged when you come back.

  3. Ellie Davis says:

    My husband and I are wanting to store our old car for a while until we can find a better use for it. Thank you for pointing out that we should make sure and get the oil and coolant changed before we store it. I’ll have to keep this in mind as I search for the best place in my area to store our car.

  4. James M. Wilson says:

    Such an informative article you had will surely help me for the preparation of my car storage. Thanks for sharing this.keep posting this type of post. Good wishes for you.. 🙂

  5. Emaa Watt says:

    How often should I clean my car with a vacuum? I have a tough schedule so would thrice in a year be enough?

  6. Sarah Smith says:

    I really appreciate your advice to at least change the coolant and oil in your car before placing it in vehicle storage. My husband bought a muscle car but he only wants to drive it for shows. It would be best for him to find a storage facility so it is not parked out in the sun.

  7. Katie Wilson says:

    Thanks for these tips on how to properly store a car. I agree that if you want to store it long term, you probably want to add a stabilizer to prolong fuel life. My husband and I are looking for somewhere to store our car, so we’ll have to consider the fuel as well.

  8. Zachary McGarry says:

    This is an amazing piece of information. It surely has increased my body of knowledge.i found your advice, change the coolant and oil in your car and keep the battery charged” quite helpful I hope most people will get benefit from this. Keep up doing nice work.

  9. Elisabeth Southgate says:

    Thank you for helping me learn more about how to prepare your car for storage. I like how you said if you are going to cover the car to find one that fits the car well. My husband and I are needing to store our car while we are deployed overseas sometime soon.

  10. Jean Taylor says:

    Thanks for your advice to store your car with clean oil because dirty fluids can make restarting your car difficult. I also appreciate your tip to make sure the paperwork is up to date and that it will be fully covered by your insurance while in storage. I just got a job offer in the city and won’t need to use my car for transportation for the foreseeable future, so your article is really helpful.


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