How Long Should You Store Your Car?
Not every car is used as a daily driver for people who need to commute to work or school. Instead, some cars will be placed in storage for anywhere from weeks to years while their owners leave the country, stop driving for a period of time, or simply use a different car to get around. No matter why you want to store your car, it’s important to know how long you can leave it in storage and how to protect it while it’s there. So if you’re wondering how long you should store your car, consider these facts first.
In general, you can store your car for as long as you need to. If you want to store it for only a week or two, you won’t need to do much prep work ahead of time. Just find a safe place to park it—preferably in a garage or covered parking spot—and the car should be fine when you get back. But if you need to store your car for a month or more, you’ll need to take some steps to protect the paint and engine components if you want it to start and run properly once you return.
Wash Your Car Before You Store It
Before you park your car for months at a time, make sure the exterior of it is free of debris. Leaving any dirt, dead insects, bird droppings, or water stains on the surface will damage the paint over time, so wash your car before you store it. Be sure you wash the fenders, the wheels, and even under the wheel wells to get rid of any mud or debris. This is a good time to wax your car, too. That way, you’ll not only avoid paint damage, but you’ll also have a clean car to look forward to when you’re ready to drive it again. Don’t forget to clean out the interior of the car, too, and then cover it with a weatherproof cover for extra protection.
Give the Engine Some Extra Attention
You might think you don’t have to bother with regular car maintenance if you’re not going to drive it for months. But in reality, it’s important to pamper your car a little before you store it. Doing so will keep it in good condition during storage. First, change your car’s oil, since keeping old oil in it can damage the engine over time. Then top off some of the fluids, including coolant and gas. You should also add fuel stabilizer if you plan to store your car for a few months, since this type of fluid can prevent the fuel line from corroding and the gas from separating in the tank.
Keep the Battery Charged
Another car part that needs some extra care during storage is the battery. If you simply leave your car in storage for months or years without ever starting it during that time, the battery will likely be drained and the car won’t start. You can prevent this using a couple of different methods. First, have a friend start the car and drive it for about 15 minutes every few weeks. This will keep the battery charged and the engine components lubricated. But if this isn’t an option, you can either disconnect the battery, or buy a battery maintainer that will slowly charge the battery as needed so it never fully loses its charge. This way, your car should be good to go once you’re ready to drive it again.
If you need to buy supplies in preparation for storing your car, take a look at Gold Eagle’s products. We offer everything from fuel stabilizer to car wash necessities so you can store your car the right way for as long as you want.