How do I store a car?


I am going to be storing my son’s 2000 Honda Civic, outside in Northern California (no freezing weather). I will have a cement slab area to store it, and I plan on covering it. What else should I do? fluids, Gas, battery, etc.??


For how long?


put in on something to hold it up to take off pressure off the suspension


You must use a cover that allows moisture to escape from the upper part or water will evaporate from the ground and accumulate. If it is not too unsightly for the area, I would go as far as to put a moisture barrier (durable plastic sheet) on the slab and drive the car onto it.


Put the car on jack stands to take the load off the suspension and tires. Cover it with, as others have mentioned, a breatheable car cover. Outside is far from ideal, but at least you’re in northern Cal instead of, say, Michigan. Also, if you have a non-cement area to store it, that would be preferable - - cars stored on cement tend to get more moisture accumulation.

And as a final step, put some mothballs in the engine bay and around the car under the tarp - - rodents LOVE to nest in cars that are just sitting there. I parted out a car after it’d been sitting for only 2 months and found a nest of baby mice sitting on top of the fuel tank.


After you get the car up on jack stands, I would pour in a bottle of Sta-Bil fuel extender (or equiv.). That’ll extend the useful life of your gas for 8 months-year. Then start the engine and let it idle for about 3 minutes. That should get the Sta-Bil into your fuel lines and into your caerb., TBI, or injector system. Shut the engine off. Let it cool. Pull all spark plugs and put about 1/2 oz. of motor oil into each cylinder. Replace the plugs and wires. Disconnect and remove the battery. Place it on a rubber mat or on a piece of 2" X 8" framing lumber–never directly on the ground and especially not on concrete. If you have a 115-volt household current receptacle available, preferably indoors, buy a trickle charger for the battery. Get one with an automatic cut-out so you don’t “overcook” the battery. Typically under $20. Auto parts stores, J.C. Whitney and a bunch of other places have them. If it is not a maintenace-free battery, check the water level. Top it off up to the split ring. (About the water. Distilled water will cause a motorcycle battery to last about 1 year. Regular tap water will cause the battery to last about 12 months. This can be transposed to automotive batteries of all kinds, but spend the money for a gallon of distilled water—just to be safe.) Doing an engine oil change and new oil filter is also a good idea. Keeps the acids in the used oil from eating seals, metal parts, etc. Do this before you do the Sta-Bil treatment. That way, you’ll be able to circulate the new oil when you start the engine to circulate the treated fuel. I have a few more tips but I’ll put it into an additional post.–Prof. Handy


P.H. again. I tried to post another reply, but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. I would also clean out old fries, onion rings, wrappers, soda and soda cans out of the inside. A couple of moth balls in each front and rear works well here, too. If it’s gonna be stored for over a couple of months, I’d consider washing the outside and waxing it. How long is this vehicle going to be stored?–Prof. Handy