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Prepping Your Car For Storage

A checklist of things to do to prepare your car or vehicle for long-term storage

The long winter season is over and you’re ready to head back up north for the summer. Or maybe you’re planning an extended vacation or just simply need the extra space in your own garage. Whatever your reason is for no longer needing a vehicle right now, chances are you’ll still need to prep it for storage, regardless of how long you plan to be away. 


If you know anything about cars at all, you probably already already know the checklist of things to do is long. But for those who may still need a little guidance, here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to do before putting your car in storage:​​

  • Clean the interior. So why is cleaning out your car a good idea before storage? Simply put, there’s nothing like picking up a nice, clean car the second you get back So be sure to vacuum the floorboard carpet, wipe down the dash and seats, wash the windows, and throw away any trash or unwanted items inside.

  • Wash the exterior. Remove all the dirt and debris on the outside of your vehicle, which includes any mud underneath the car or in the wheel wells. Remember mud contains extra moisture, which can lead to an increased risk of rust and corrosion. Also remember to throughly dry off your car before covering it and ultimately putting it in storage. 

tampa car storage prep

  • Get out the grease. Remember to grease the steering and suspension components as well as any sensitive metal on metal areas of the vehicle. This will help maintain good condition of the seals, bushings, and other key components of the vehicle and also help prevent premature failing and deterioration.

  • Check the tires. First, make sure each tire is properly inflated. Also consider putting your car on jack stands if you’re planning for long-term storage, which can help prevent flat spots on the tires while also taking pressure off the suspension and coil springs.

check tires for car storage prep in tampa fl
  • Check the fluids. Arguably one of the most important steps in car storage prep is checking the fluids throughout the entire car. First, make sure the gas tank is full to eliminate any extra air space where condensation can build up and get into the fuel. Next check the engine oil and coolant, and be sure to use the right amount of fuel stabilizer if you’re planning to keep your car in storage for longer than 30 days. 

  • Close it up. As simple as it sounds, remember to seal everything up to keep the car’s interior free of dust, debris, rodents, bugs, and critters. This includes making sure all your windows are rolled up, all the air vents are closed, the sunroof is shut completely, and your trunk and hood are latched and properly secured. We also recommend clogging the tail pipe as well, which can be done using a rag, towel, or expanding plug from any local home improvement store. 

  • Cover it up. Last but certainly not least, go ahead and put your car cover over the exterior. Remember, even though The Auto Den is a meticulously maintained, climate-controlled facility, your car will get dusty over time without a proper cover. 

car storage prep vintage interior

Need storage?

If you're looking for car storage in Tampa and might be wondering if we're a good fit, reach out at your earliest convenience to schedule a no-obligation tour of The Auto Den. 

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