Is it bad for the car to store it long term?

#1

Hey there! I am a poor graduate student trying to decide what to do with my 2001 Toyota Corolla, about 90,000. This car has served me well, I love it, don’t really want to give it up. I now live in NYC and don’t need it, and can’t really afford the $200/month insurance. Is it ok for the car to store it in a friend’s garage for about a year or so while I finish my degree, see if I’m moving somewhere that I will need it? If yes, what steps to I need to do (e.g., put it “up on blocks”?)

#2

Before you store it consider selling it. You could park the money in a 12-month CD at a bank and the money will earn interest while you complete your degree. When you finish school and relocate you can go shopping for another car.

But, yes, you can store a car for a year or so with no, or few, ill effects. Storage in a garage is much better than parking outside. Keep in mind that some new and used cars sit on dealers’ lots for a year, and no one worries about them.

I suggest having the oil and coolant changed before you store the car. Buy some fuel stabilizer, and add it to the gas tank as instructed, then fill the tank with gas before you put the car in the garage.

Inflate the tires 3-4 psi above the recommended pressure. Remove the battery from the car and store it up off the floor of the garage. DO NOT set the parking brake. Put the car is gear if it’s a manual or in PARK if it’s an automatic, but leave the parking brake off. Block the tires to keep the car from rolling if necessary.

For 12 months or so that’s about all you need to do.

Another option is to keep the car in your friends garage but drive it, or have someone drive it, once or twice a month to keep everything moving and lubricated.

If you decide to store the car, post back here when you’re ready to take it out of storage and put it back on the road. We’ll tell you how to do it with the minimum hassle.

Good luck with school!

#3

Keep the car in your friends garage but retain insurance if it has any significant value. Selling it will yield you little and the idea of CD is not great since interest rates are very low currently. The cost of selling/buying and fees etc will outweigh other factors.

Make sure to fully disconnect the battery.

#4

What they said, except I’d drop the insurance if it will not be driven, you can do this no problem, and the slight risk of something happening to the garage is much less than the $200/month.

#5

Think rodent damage,they can total a car. I vote for selling.

#6

Yes, that’s simplest. Find a cheap rental car, use a taxi, or pay a friend when you absolutely need one.

#7

Keep the car in your friends garage but retain insurance if it has any significant value The comprehensive insurance that is, skip the collision since the car will not be driven. See you insurance agent as the rules vary from company to company and state to state.

#8

Why keep insurance on an '01 Corolla w/90k?