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.