Whether you’re getting ready to store your boat, RV, or one of your favorite collector vehicles, proper preparation is key before bringing your vehicle in for storage. Investing in a vehicle storage unit or parking space at a storage facility is your best bet when you don’t have ample garage space. Keeping your vehicle parked outside on the street or in a community lot leaves it more susceptible to vandalism, accidents, and other damage.
When selecting a storage unit, the most protection can be found in a ground-level storage unit with drive-up access. Drive-up storage units act as a shelter from bad weather, dust, and other damage. Outdoor parking spaces in an enclosed storage facility are still a great option (and often the only option for larger vehicles and boats), although they are outside, more protection is offered over keeping your vehicle stored on the street or in a community parking lot.
To prepare your vehicle, take the following protective steps:
- Give your car a good scrub before storing it away, especially if there is salt or anything else that could cause corrosion to your vehicle’s paint. Waxing adds another layer of protection.
- Thoroughly clean the inside of your car or treat it to a detailing. Any crumbs in the vehicle can attract animals to your car.
- For storage longer than two weeks, change your oil before putting it away to protect your engine against contaminants that may cause corrosion. Tell your mechanic that the car will be in storage so the proper oil is used.
- Fill your gas tank before storing and add a fuel stabilizer if storing for a month or more. Fuel stabilizers prevent fuel from deteriorating over time, thus causing damage to your engine.
- Invest in a trickle charger to keep your battery’s charge when you are away from the vehicle for a while. Trickle chargers give a very low amperage charge to your car battery so it remains charged.
- Place steel wool in the tailpipe of your car to deter mice and other vermin from making your car a nesting home.
- Purchase a weatherproof car cover for your vehicle for protection against the elements.
- Tires can change shape over time, causing a flat spot on the tire. If you frequently take your car in and out of storage, this may not be a concern. However, if you are storing longer than one month, take the wheels off and place your vehicle on jacks to preserve your tires.
- Do not set your parking brake when storing to prevent fusion of the break, rendering your car immobile.