People use storage units to store a wide range of belongings – everything from holiday decorations and sports equipment to furniture. But is there any limit to what you can store?
At Storage West, we field a lot of storage questions. One that we hear a lot is:
Can I store a car in a storage unit?
The short answer is yes – but there are some things you need to know before you do it. We’ve put together this post to help you understand the ins and outs of car storage.
Why Should I Store My Car?
There are several reasons that people decide to store their cars. Here are a few of the most common.
- You live in an area for only part of the year and want to protect your car when you’re not there.
- You own a classic car and want to protect it from harsh weather conditions.
- You have an extra car you’re not using but don’t want to sell.
Storing a car can be a good way to make space in your garage or protect your vehicle when you’re not using it.
What Storage Options Are Available for Cars?
There are three choices available if you want to store your car. They include:
- Outdoor storage, which is the least expensive option but leaves your car exposed to the elements;
- Covered car storage, which offers outdoor storage with the added protection of a roof to protect your car from the weather; and
- Indoor storage, which offers your car the maximum protection, including climate control options.
If you’re storing a car for a short time, then outdoor or covered storage might be enough. However, for long-term storage and classic cars, we recommend indoor storage for the best results.
Tips for Car Storage
If you do decide to store your car in a storage unit, there are some things you should do to ensure that it remains in good condition until the next time you drive it. Here’s what you need to know.
- Make sure to measure your car before you choose a unit. We don’t really think about how large our cars are, so it’s important to double check to ensure you have enough space. Measure from bumper to bumper and side to side at the widest part of the car, making sure to leave extra space for mirrors.
- Perform routine maintenance on your car. You should:
- Fill the gas tank with high-octane fuel, which will minimize the chances of condensation accumulating in the tank or fuel line.
- Add a fuel stabilizer.
- Remove the battery. Batteries left in the car may leak acid and damage your vehicle.
- Top off the antifreeze, brake fluid, and oil.
- Clean your vehicle. You should:
- Wash and wax the exterior. Give the car a final wipe-down after you arrive at the storage unit.
- Vacuum the interior and apply conditioner to vinyl seats to prevent them from drying out.
- Put a car cover on to provide additional protection.
- Protect your tires. It’s recommended that if you’re storing your car for more than a month, you should put it on blocks or jack stands. This will prevent the tires from flattening out and protect your suspension.
- Leave your convertible top closed and close the windows and vents.
If you have a classic car, you should consult a car specialist for any additional preparation to protect your vehicle.
If you plan to store the car for a long period, it’s a good idea to drive it every few months to ensure that the hydraulics and mechanical parts are working properly. Make sure to top of the tank before you put it back into storage.
Storing a car is a good way to protect a vehicle when you’re traveling or not using it. Following the tips we’ve outlined here will ensure that you choose the right storage option for your car, so it’s ready to use when you need it.
Have a car you want to store? Click here to learn how Storage West can help!