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Outdoor Auto Storage Tips

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If have decided to store your vehicle at an outdoor auto storage facility, use these tips below to prepare your vehicle for outdoor storage and to protect your vehicle from exposure to harmful outdoor elements.

Prevent Rust, Mold and Mildew during Auto Storage

One of the best steps you can take to protect your vehicle from the accumulation of mold, rust and mildew while it is stored outside is to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your car.

  • Vacuum the inside of your car completely, paying attention to areas under the seats.
  • Use an interior car polish to condition the dash, steering wheel and any other plastic or leather components inside the car.
  • Remove all car mats and seat covers to prevent moisture from accumulating under these surfaces.
  • Thoroughly wash, dry and wax the outside of your vehicle – a thick coat of quality wax is especially important to protect your car’s finish from outdoor decay, particularly rust.

Prepare a Vehicle’s Engine for Outdoor Auto Storage

Once your car has been cleaned and waxed, it is time to prepare your car’s engine for outdoor auto storage.

  • Fill the gas tank to full to prevent rust from accumulating on the inside of the tank and to prevent oxidation in the fuel system, and add a quality fuel stabilizer just before you store the car to extend the life of the fuel.
  • Change all of your auto’s liquids – including oil, coolant and brake fluids – before you store the car to slow the chemical breakdown of these fluids during the storage time period (breakdown of engine fluids can affect their components and cause difficulties when you are ready to drive your car out of storage).
  • Remove the vehicle’s battery to protect the life of the battery.
  • Check your vehicle’s manual for recommendations on what type of gear to leave the car in while it is stored.

Protect the Outside of the Car during Auto Storage

Use an all weather car cover with secure attachments to protect your car in all types of weather, and make sure windows and doors are completely closed before you put the cover on.

Cover the exhaust pipes with a plastic cap, or stuff steel wool into the pipes, to stop rodents from nesting inside the vehicle while it is in an outdoor auto storage facility.

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