Vehicle Storage Faqs
Frequently asked questions about vehicle storage
Winter Storage For A Car?
You don't need to start it.
To prep for storage:
Wash and wax
Change the oil and filter
Test the anti freeze to make sure it is good to the coldest expected temperature.
Fill the fuel tank full. A full fuel tank will prevent condensation inside the
fuel tank. Put the correct amount of Stay
Bil fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank. Put this in the tank when you fill up.
this way it will get well mixed with the fuel when you drive home and it will get in the fuel system.
When in its storage location.
Place on jack stands to take the weight off of the tires.
Make sure the tires are correctly inflated.
Disconnect the negative battery lead
Cover with a good quality car cover.
If rodents could are a problem in your storage location, you may need to take
some preventive measures.
Put crumpled up aluminum foil in the engine air intake and the heater air intake.
If you do this, leave a note on the
dash to remind you to remove this before you start it up in the spring.
Place several mouse or rat traps in the area. Check them regularly.
In the spring, wait for a couple of good hard rains to wash any remaining salt
off of the road.
Check the air pressure in the tires.
Remove any aluminum foil if you used it.
Remove the jack stands
Connect the battery
How long can a can be in storage before the tires go bad?
One of the hardest things on tires is sunlight. As long
as the tires are out of the sunlight and stay inflated they should be fine.
You could sit the car on blocks just high enough for the tires to clear.
If I am storing my vehicle for the winter time in a storage
unit, is it suppose to have a fuel tank of gas in it, 1/2 filled, or empty tank?
Fill the tank and add gas stabilizer. Run for a while to
disperse. An empty tank can rust from moisture and unstabilized fuel will break
down and gum up the fuel system .
ATV during the winter, Does it matter if it's in climate
Climate Controlled Storage isn't needed for an ATV. But
if you have any plans to take it out of storage during the winter it is highly
recommended. Make sure to keep it covered/protected from and harsh weather elements.
ETA: Make sure to drain the fluids, too, when it's being stored for long periods
How often should I change the oil of a car while it's in
The thing that kills stored cars is condensation in the
engine. That condensation is why you still need to change the oil once a year
and take it for a drive every couple of months.
I have a 1997 Buick Skylark and I'm putting it into storage
over the summer. Is there anything I should do to it?
Fill up the tank and add gasoline stabilizer and drive
it 30-40 miles to get it all mixed in. Keep bugs and other pests out by cleaning
it thoroughly, plug up your exhaust, and disconnect battery. Put it on jacks
and do not lift it anywhere besides the suspension as that will place load on
different parts of the car than were designed to take the load.
If a car was in storage for a year, what could be some
of the possible problems/faults?
If you store a car for a large amount of time you need
to treat the fuel in the fuel tank with some Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer, or your
fuel will turn in to paint thinner. Your battery will go dead and your tires
might go flat. And the coolant might dry up.
What do I do after leaving my car in Storage for 1 year?
It will need an oil change, coolant change and engine flush
to remove any stagnant water. Brake cylinders may be stiff and seized so it
could do with a strip down and cleaning. Also check to make sure the tires haven't
perished, especially if they have been flat, look for cracks in the side walls.
How do I prepare my motorcycle for winter storage?
Wash the bike thoroughly to remove any residue that might harm the finish.
Pour the correct amount of gas stabilizer in the tank and fill the tank
to the brim with fresh gas. Run the engine a few minutes to get the stabilizer
in to the whole fuel system to prevent varnish.
Change oil to remove any trace of moisture.
Remove air filter, pull spark plug wires off and crank starter while spraying
fogging oil into intake. That will coat cylinder walls and prevent rust.
I recommend propping bike up so tires do not touch the ground.
A cover is a good idea but even an old blanket will help.
Keep a bunch of mothballs under it in a box to keep the mice away or they
will chew up the wiring.
How to Get Your Motorcycle Out of Storage and Back on the Road in the spring?
Clean the fuel system and make sure no rust in the tank.
Check all the fluids and make sure the battery is fully charged. Make sure the
tires are in good shape too.You may want to change the oil just in case there
Can I let my motorcycle license plate expire while I store
You can let it expire and turn in the plate. When you're
ready for you bike to come out of storage you can just start over with a brand
How do you take care of your motorcycle over the winter
time while it is stored?
Change the oil and wash and wax the bike. Cleaning the
bike will allow you closely look over the bike and remedy anything odd that
you see. I would then put the bike up on stands if you have them, if not just
move the bike forward every so often and lube the chain. Take the battery out
and bring it inside (basement works) and hook it up to a battery tender. If
you do not have a battery tender, it can just hook it up to a trickle charger
every month or more times than not. And also cover the bike up.
My 1986 Jaguar XJ-6 Vanden Plas was in storage four years.
How do I take it out of storage?
Drain the gas and change all fluids. Replace spark plugs,
check spark plug wires, check all hoses, coolant and vacuum for die rot, cracks,
and serviceability. Get a brand new battery. Pull out the spark plugs and squirt
a couple drops of oil into the firing chambers, pull the fuse for the coil &
fuel pump and with your new battery turn over the engine a couple times, expect
the loud poping noise coming from the firing chamders. Then put the plugs back
in, the fuse back in and try and start it. If it does not start check the for
spark & fuel. You want to change the fluids because depending on where you
live the constant change in weather may have caused mositure to form.
What can happen if you let a car sit in storage?
Though 6 to 8 months isn't enough time to cause any permanent
damage. Gasoline left sitting this long will turn into "varnish" and
gum up your fuel system. Worst case it'll probably need a tune up and new tires.
How often should I start my car while it is in storage?
As often as you can and also, you will need to get all
the fluids going, so press on the brakes, put it in drive and hold the brakes,
etc. If it's standard, well, at least press the clutch in a couple of times
to get the clutch cylinder lubed up properly. And of course, drive it a little
if that is possible.
What happens to a car in garage after months?
DO NOT START YOUR CAR ONCE A WEEK
this will do very harmful damage do your engine. read the following
Prepping The Vehicle
The cleaner the vehicle the better, and that goes beyond wash, wax and shine.
Pick a warm, dry day to do the cleaning. Fill the gas tank, then add an adequate
amount of gasoline stabilizer (also made for lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc.)
to prevent gum and varnish formation. Drive the car long enough to really warm
up the engine and mix the stabilizer with the fuel--at least 30 to 40 miles.
Remove dirt from the underbody, particularly from the wheel wells. Dirt holds
moisture, and the combination of moisture and air causes iron and steel to rust.
Really, really clean the interior and trunk of the vehicle with a household
vacuum cleaner, using those little attachments that reach into nooks and crannies.
If the floor is concrete, park the car over plastic sheeting and if possible
jack the car up 3-6 inches off the ground and set it on blocks. Keeps tires
from rotting and getting "flat-spotting" A must for 6months +
Remove the spark plugs and spray some oil into the cylinders to prevent rust
and corrosion. You can use conventional engine oil with a spray-type squirt
can or aerosol fogging oil designed for boat storage. Turn the crankshaft (with
a socket and ratchet wrench on the crank pulley bolt) about four to six times
to circulate the oil. Reinstall the spark plugs and reconnect the plug wires.
Empty a large container of mothballs on the floor all around and under the
vehicle to discourage critters. DO NOT PUT THEM INSIDE THE CAR!!!!!!!!
Prop the wiper arms off the window with rags if they won't just flip open.
Remove the battery and keep it clear of damp concrete, hook it up to a float
A 30-mile drive every 90 days, with brakes, transmission, steering and air
conditioning all operating, is what the car really needs. If you fail to do
this, the car might not operate the same.
Glenview / Niles-Glenview,
and Forest Park/Mt Healthy-Cincinnati
locations in order to set up your own arrangements for vehicle storage.