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Car storage in FL summer heat

We are taking the plunge and will fly to our northern home for the first time. How best to store our VW Passat from June to October? Should we rent a garage? Do we need to buy a cover or not? What about protecting the tires? Battery? Is it ok to just leave it outside in the sun?

Before you park the car for the last time, wash it and wax it. I would get a cover for it. The cover keeps gunk from trees off it as well as protects from the rays of the sun.

If you can get an extension cord to the car I’d buy a Battery Tender brand charger and hook it up to the battery. These chargers are made for long term storage and you can leave them hooked up to the battery. This will mean a fully charged good battery when you return in the fall.

Otherwise have the oil changed and be sure to add fuel stabilizer to the gas in the tank. Run the car for a few minutes to make sure the stabilized gas gets into all the fuel lines and up to the motor before you shut it down.

To protect against critters (mice, squirrels, etc.) you can put something in the exhaust pipe to plug the hole. Some traps in the trunk and interior is a good idea, and some more traps or bait in the engine compartment. Damage from these “pests” can be significant and they seem to find cars when they sit unused for a while and like to make them into nests.

that was very nice of you. Thanks for the thorough response.

The summer sun is your car’s enemy, especially in Florida. The sun will burn the paint, oxidize the tires, and cause a massive buildup of heat in the interior. If you can afford it, parking the car in a garage or under a roof will help extend its life.

Other than that, follow Uncle Turbo’s advice regarding fuel stabilizer and a Battery Tender. Four months isn’t an eternity, but you’ll still need the stabilizer to avoid problems with the fuel system, and a Tender will keep your battery properly charged without over-charging it.

f you can get an extension cord to the car I’d buy a Battery Tender brand charger and hook it up to the battery.

I would suggest a better suggestion. Buy the battery tender (trickle charger) and remove the battery and put it in your home with the battery tender on it. The real advantage here is the reduced chance of theft because few of the bad guys are going to happen to have the right battery with them.

I would add that you may be able to temporarily cancel your collusion insurance. That is the most expensive part. Don’t cancel comprehensive. Talk to your insurance agent.

I wouldn’t cover it…you wouldn’t have covered it if you stayed in Florida for that time period. If cover isn’t tight the edges and straps could damage the paint.

One reason I might leave the battery in the car is the chance of activating the anti-theft stuff for the radio if the battery’s removed, requiring entering some kind of code to get it back working.

I live in Florida, and I would do the following:

Either garage it or cover it. A garage would be better, especially if it has an electrical outlet for a trickle charger.

I recommend this charger—>

I would add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel, and run it through the car’s fuel system before it is put into storage.

If you go with a car cover, get additional wheel covers to keep the sun off the rubber. Check out this link to see what I have in mind—>

Since most car covers let some light in, I would put reflective window shades in the front and rear windows.