Preparing for Long-Term Car Storage

Preparing Your Car for Long-Term Storage

Man covering a car for long-term storage

Long-term car storage helps protect and preserve a vehicle you're not using regularly.

Learn more about how to pick a facility and prep your vehicle for storage:

How to Choose a Facility

You want to be sure you're leaving your vehicle in a safe place.

  • Read online reviews and ask friends or family members for references or recommendations.
  • Consider the level of protection you want: Indoor car storage facilities offer the most. While outdoor options may be less expensive, they offer less protection from the elements.
  • Look at prices and special services offered, such as a gated premises, video surveillance and personnel to give your vehicle a regular 'workout.'

How to Prep Your Vehicle

These tasks can help better protect the interior and exterior of your vehicle.

  • Add fuel stabilizer to a full tank and drive for 30 to 40 miles.
  • Change the oil and fill up the brake fluid, windshield fluid and coolant.
  • Pull the spark plugs and spray oil onto the cylinders to prevent rusting.
  • Clean your vehicle, wax the exterior and condition the upholstery to prevent cracking.
  • Wipe down the battery and disconnect the negative cable. Or purchase a battery tender.
  • Release the parking brake to prevent it from fusing with the rotors " use a chock, or tire stopper, instead.
  • Add 10 pounds of pressure to the tires to avoid deflation. Or remove them altogether and put your vehicle on blocks.
  • Cover any openings, such as the tail pipe, dash vents or engine gaps, to prevent critters from taking up residence.
  • Cover the vehicle with a high-quality weatherproof cover if storing outdoors or a light cloth cover if storing indoors.
  • Talk with your agent to ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage.


The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.