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Long Term Storage - 2004 Mini Cooper

I will need to put my 2004 Mini Cooper in storage for an extended period of time, likely numerous years, and was wondering if people could give me advice on what I should do in order to properly prepare the car.

Currently I know to: disconnect the battery, let the air out of the tires, and make sure the gas tank is nearly empty.

Any other long-term storage tips would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

Why do you want to let the air out of the tires?

If you intend to store the car longer than 18 - 24 months, I recommend selling it rather than storing it. The demand for Minis is high right now, and you could get top dollar. Park the money in a CD and use it to buy something else when you’re ready to drive again.

A car sitting in storage depreciates just as it does if you’re driving it, and the car may come out of storage in worse shape than it went in. Plus, it will cost money to put the car back on the road in a few years.

Gasoline goes bad over time, and even with stabilizer it isn’t a good idea to store it for many years. An empty gas tank will promote condensation and internal rust. For that reason it’s better to store a car with a full tank than an empty tank. If you store this car, add stabilizer and fill the tank.

Storing a car on jackstands, which I’m assuming is your plan since you want to let the air out of the tires, is very hard on suspension components, which are designed to support the vehicle, not hang loosely from the vehicle. I suggest inflating the tires a bit above normal pressure and leaving the car sitting on its tires.

Remove the battery from the vehicle if you decide to store the car, but as I said before, I don’t recommend long-term storage.

disconnect the battery I would remove the battery and store it away from the car, maybe on a battery tender, or just plan on replacing it. Removing the battery from the area, makes stealing the car more difficult.

let the air out of the tires No, you don’t let the air out of the tyres, in fact unless you put the car on blocks, that would damage the tyres. Putting the car on blocks is a good idea however.

make sure the gas tank is nearly empty. This one depends on how many “numerous” is. Two years or maybe three, you would want to keep the tank full and treat the gas with a gas stabilizer. For a really long time, you would want to empty the system dry it and seal it.

You certainly would want to cancel all the auto insurance other than comprehensive (protects from thief and fire etc.

[b] If you are really serious about storing this car, and this is not a joke, I would suggest selling it.  It is going to loose value each year and it will suffer deterioration with time no matter what you do.  Sell it and put the money in a saving account. [/b]

Good post Joseph! It’s possible to store the car with the actions presented in this post. However, selling it and buying another car later makes more sense to me as well! If you are away for 2 years, for instance the depreciation will be severe, you have to pay for storage and the car will deteriorate as well.

My cutoff would be 1 1/2 years, any longer than that and selling makes more sense.