Vehicle storage tips


I will be storing a vehicle for about 6 months to a year.

Other than periodically starting it to keep battery charged, what else would be good to do?

It will be kept in covered storage.



This is one of those ’ Google is your friend things’. Put ( how to store a vehicle ) in Google and you will have published articles and video’s to give you all the information you need.


unless you drive it for a number of miles, that is self-defeating. Instead, if you are near a source of AC power, get a small battery charger. Or possibly a solar one. Or disconnect the battery.


Agree with @BillRussell Keep it hooked to a battery maintainer like the one he shows or a low current solar charger. If you are going to store it only 6 months, don’t start it unless you intend to drive long enough to get it fully warmed up. Also, if non-ethanol gas is available in your area, fill the tank with that gas before storing. If ethanol free is not available, oh well. Either way use enough fuel stabilizer for the size of your tank. Add it before filling the tank so it circulates on the drive back to the storage area.


Agree – if you start it then you should drive it about 5 miles each time. The battery – well if it was me I would remove the battery and then charge it, then re-install it, prior to starting the car. If you have ever seen a battery explode or catch fire while charging you would not charge it while it’s in the car. Also treat the gasoline with Strar-tron and Sta-bil. I would also add a quart of automatic transmission fluid to a full tank of gas. The AT fluid will provide a little extra lubrication and it burns clean. Lots of things to do so do research on the net. Good luck on your storage.


I own a vehicle that I purchased new in 1997 and I store it every winter for up to 7 or eight months.

I drive it for a distance and get it good and warm, park it with clean motor oil, and charge the battery (in the vehicle) every month or two. I set tire pressure at about 40 psi (specs 35). That’s it. No crap added to anything and it starts right up and is good to go every year.

Indoors? On concrete? Depending on your climate and depending on whether or not the floor is new enough to have been poured over a vapor barrier…
… I’d consider spreading some 4 mil plastic sheeting and parking over it. :wink:


If you are parking it where there may be rodents, stuff some steel wool up the exhaust and in the air intake.


Thanks for all the ideas. :slight_smile:


@AK-7, don’t freak out when you drive it in the spring and you go bouncing down the road. It’s rather disconcerting at first. :open_mouth:

Keep driving and those flat spots on the tires will begin to disappear once they heat up. :smile:


I won’t freak out.

Trump sometimes freaks me out though. :slight_smile:


I let my 03 Ranger sit for a bit, the rotors rusted, I had a shimmering break pedal, it self healed after 100 miles or so, I have no idea if there is any solution for that, make sure if you do the charger or maintainer it cuts off when the battery is charged, or it can fry a battery. Left my 72 ford pickup for 6 months while touring Europe and did nothing, hopped in, it started and i drove away.


Will the vehicle be inside a garage?

You’ll be fine, as far as the battery goes. I would personally prefer the battery maintainer over the solar charger.

I’ve had cars sit several months at a time, without a trickle charger hooked up, and experienced no problems starting the engine

Bear in mind, I live in Los Angeles, and the vehicles I’m referring to were very basic, with extremely low parasitic draw

You might have slight valve clatter immediately after start-up. If so, it should go away rather quickly, provided your valve train is in good shape

I even know some guys that prefer to store their vehicle on jack stands, but I don’t know if you want to go to such lengths


It will be under a metal cover.

I may take the battery out.

It lost a full charge after about 2 weeks.


But was it able to easily start the engine?

How old is the battery?

I’d be tempted to perform a parasitic draw test and thoroughly check out the charging system


Keeping the battery charged & driving it 4 or 5 miles once a week is the best way to forestall storage problems. Make sure that the engine coolant temperature is fully warmed up and has stabilized at normal operating temperature each drive before turning the engine off. If it is impossible to drive it, then idling the engine for however long that took would be the next best alternative.


Not sure what that has to do with parking a car, but that’s good to hear! I absolutely love it. It’s a little like going over the high point of a roller coaster, a little scary, but very thrilling. :slight_smile:

That’s what happens when somebody with enough _ _ _ _ _ comes along to right the ship after several years off course and taking on water. :smile:


Without really getting into politics too deeply . . .

I will agree that with Trump, it makes for an interesting ride


Trump = Midas Man? Everything turns to gold or a muffler?


More than 6 months usually elapses between driving my car. It lives outside, uncovered. I disconnect the battery and use a booster battery to start it. I’ve been doing this for 12 years with no problem. I’ve gone more than a year between buying gasoline. It passes its emissions tests easily.


Depends on who you ask

As for Midas . . . I’ve heard some horror stories about that exhaust franchise :fearful: