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Home » How to Safely Store a Car for 6 Months: Expert Tips

How to Safely Store a Car for 6 Months: Expert Tips

How to Store a Car for 6 Months

To store a car for 6 months, clean the vehicle, change the oil and filter, inflate the tires to the recommended pressure, disconnect the battery, and cover the car with a breathable material. Storing a car for an extended period, such as 6 months, requires proper preparation to ensure it remains in good condition.

Cleaning the vehicle, changing the oil and filter, and inflating the tires to the recommended pressure are essential steps. Disconnecting the battery is also crucial to prevent drain. Furthermore, covering the car with a breathable material helps protect it from dust and dirt.

Taking these steps will help ensure your car will be well preserved and ready to hit the road again when you return.

Table of Contents

Finding A Secure And Affordable Storage Facility

When it comes to storing a car for an extended period of time, finding a secure and affordable storage facility is essential. Leaving your car unattended for six months can expose it to various risks such as theft, extreme weather conditions, and damage from pests. Therefore, it is crucial to research local storage facilities, compare prices and security measures, and read customer reviews to ensure your vehicle is in safe hands.

Research local storage facilities

Before choosing a storage facility, it is important to conduct thorough research. Start by looking for local storage facilities in your area or near the location where you plan to store your car. Consider factors such as proximity to your home, ease of access, and the facility’s reputation. To find storage facilities in your area, you can use a search engine or check online directories. For example, websites like Yelp or Google Maps provide comprehensive listings and customer reviews.

Compare prices and security measures

Once you have a list of potential storage facilities, the next step is to compare prices and security measures. This will help you find the best balance between affordability and safety. Create a table or list to compare the prices, services, and security measures offered by different facilities. This will allow you to make an informed decision based on your budget and preferences. Some security measures to look for include 24/7 surveillance, gated access, and security staff on site.

Read customer reviews

Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the reliability and quality of a storage facility. Reading reviews can help you understand the experiences of previous customers and determine if a facility is trustworthy. Look for facilities with positive reviews and comments about their services, security measures, and customer satisfaction. Online platforms such as Yelp, Google Reviews, or the facility’s website often have sections dedicated to customer feedback.

In conclusion, when storing your car for six months, finding a secure and affordable storage facility is crucial. Researching local storage facilities, comparing prices and security measures, and reading customer reviews will help you make an informed decision and ensure your vehicle is well-protected during its time in storage.

Preparing The Car For Storage

Preparing the Car for Storage

Before storing your car for an extended period of 6 months, it is crucial to take certain precautions to ensure that it remains in good condition. One of the first steps in this process is cleaning the car inside and out. This not only helps to maintain its appearance but also prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime that can potentially damage the paintwork over time.

Next, it is essential to change the oil and other fluids before placing the car in storage. Old and used oil can become acidic and corrosive, which may lead to engine damage if left unchanged. By freshening up the fluids, you can help to maintain the integrity of the engine and other vital components.

In addition to fluid changes, it is important to inflate the tires to the recommended pressure. Over time, tires can lose air, and underinflated tires can lead to flat spots, making them unsafe to drive on once the car is removed from storage. By properly inflating the tires, you can ensure their integrity and longevity.

Lastly, prior to storing the car, it is crucial to remove all personal belongings. This includes any loose items on the seats, in the glove compartment, or in the trunk. Removing personal belongings not only prevents theft but also keeps the interior clean and free from potential damage due to moisture and pests.

Protecting The Exterior

Protecting the exterior of your car is essential when storing it for an extended period of time. By taking proper precautions, you can ensure that your vehicle remains in good condition during its hibernation. In this section, we will discuss three important steps to protect the exterior of your car: washing and waxing the car, applying a car cover or tarp, and using a tire conditioner to prevent cracking.

Wash and Wax the Car

One of the first things you should do before storing your car is to give it a thorough wash. This will remove any dirt, bird droppings, or other debris that could potentially damage the paint. Use a gentle car wash soap and a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the surface. After washing, make sure to dry the car completely to prevent water spots. Once the car is cleaned, applying a layer of wax can provide an additional layer of protection. Waxing not only gives your car a nice shine, but it also acts as a barrier against dust, moisture, and UV rays. Use a high-quality car wax and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t forget to focus on areas prone to rust, such as the fenders and undercarriage.

Apply a Car Cover or Tarp

To shield your car from dust, sunlight, and other environmental factors, it is important to invest in a car cover or tarp. This will act as a protective barrier, keeping your car’s exterior safe from potential damage. Ensure that the cover or tarp you choose is breathable, to prevent moisture build-up that can lead to rust formation. Additionally, make sure it fits snugly over your car, covering it completely. This will prevent any accidental scratches or damage caused by loose-fitting covers.

Use a Tire Conditioner to Prevent Cracking

The tires of your car are susceptible to dry rot and cracking when stored for a long duration. To prevent this, it is recommended to use a tire conditioner. This product helps to moisturize and protect the rubber, keeping it supple and preventing cracking. Apply the conditioner to each tire, making sure to cover the entire surface. Using a non-greasy formula will ensure that the tires do not become slick, which can be unsafe when you start driving your car again. In conclusion, protecting the exterior of your car is crucial when storing it for an extended period. By washing and waxing the car, applying a car cover or tarp, and using a tire conditioner, you can safeguard your vehicle from potential damage and keep it in prime condition. Following these steps will give you peace of mind knowing that your car will be ready to hit the road again when the time comes.
How to Safely Store a Car for 6 Months: Expert Tips


Maintaining The Interior

The interior of a car is just as important as its exterior, and when it comes to storing your car for an extended period, it’s crucial to pay attention to maintaining the interior. Taking the necessary steps to protect and preserve the interior of your car will ensure that it remains in good condition during its time in storage. In this post, we’ll explore some techniques for maintaining the interior of your car when storing it for six months.

Vacuum and Clean the Interior

Before storing your car, it’s essential to give the interior a thorough cleaning. Vacuum the carpets, seats, and any other fabric surfaces to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to gently clean the surfaces, ensuring that you don’t damage any delicate materials.

Additionally, wipe down all hard surfaces, such as the dashboard, control panels, and door panels, using a gentle cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Be careful not to use any harsh chemicals that may cause discoloration or damage to the interior materials. Pay special attention to areas that tend to accumulate dirt and grime, such as cup holders and console compartments.

Use a Moisture Absorber

Moisture can be a significant enemy when storing a car for an extended period, as it can lead to mold and mildew growth. To combat this, place a moisture absorber, such as silica gel or desiccant packs, inside the car. These sachets work by trapping excess moisture and preventing it from causing damage.

Make sure to position the moisture absorber in an area where it can effectively absorb moisture, such as the center console or on the floor near the backseat. Check the moisture absorber regularly and replace it if needed to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Keep the Windows Cracked Open Slightly for Ventilation

Proper ventilation is crucial when storing a car to prevent musty odors and stagnant air. While it’s essential to keep the car secure, it’s also necessary to provide some airflow. One way to achieve this is by cracking the windows open slightly.

By leaving the windows slightly ajar, you can allow fresh air to circulate while still maintaining security. This will help prevent the buildup of stale air inside the car and mitigate the risk of musty odors or moisture accumulation.

Remember to monitor the weather conditions to ensure that leaving the windows cracked open won’t expose the interior to excessive moisture or other elements that could cause damage.

Preventing Engine Damage

Preventing Engine Damage

Properly storing your car for a long period of time is crucial to prevent engine damage. Without regular use and maintenance, your car’s engine can suffer from a variety of issues such as fuel degradation, battery drain, and corrosion. To keep your engine in top shape during a 6-month storage period, follow these important steps:

Add a fuel stabilizer:

One of the key considerations when storing a car for an extended period is the fuel. Fuel left sitting in the tank can degrade and cause a host of problems when you try to start the car again. To prevent fuel degradation, add a fuel stabilizer to your tank before storing the car. A fuel stabilizer is an additive that helps prevent fuel break down over time. It inhibits the formation of gum and varnish that can clog your fuel system, ensuring your engine stays clean and properly lubricated even after sitting idle for months.

Disconnect the battery or use a trickle charger:

Your car’s battery is another important component that needs attention when storing a vehicle for a prolonged period. Leaving the battery connected can result in a drained battery when you try to start the car again. To prevent this, you have two options: disconnect the battery completely to avoid any power drain, or use a trickle charger. A trickle charger slowly charges the battery and maintains its optimal charge level, ensuring it stays ready to power your car when you’re ready to retrieve it.

Consider getting a car storage charger:

Using a car storage charger is highly recommended if you want to provide maximum protection to your engine during long-term storage. A car storage charger is specifically designed to maintain your car’s battery and provide a continuous charge with minimal risk of overcharging. These chargers are equipped with advanced technologies to monitor the battery’s health and adjust the charging rate accordingly. This ensures your battery remains in optimal condition throughout the storage period, reducing the risk of damage to your engine.

By following these preventive measures, you can rest assured that your car’s engine will be protected from damage during a 6-month storage period. Taking the time to properly prepare and maintain your vehicle before storing it will help ensure that it starts up easily and runs smoothly when you’re ready to hit the road again.

Preventing Damage From Pests

If you’re planning to store your car for an extended period of time, it’s important to take steps to protect it from pests. These unwanted critters can cause significant damage to your vehicle, from chewing on wires to nesting in the engine compartment. By following these preventive measures, you can ensure that your car remains pest-free during its time in storage.

<h3>Use pest repellents such as mothballs or dryer sheets</h3>

1. To repel pests, consider using mothballs or dryer sheets. These common household items are known to deter rodents and insects due to their strong scents. Place these repellents strategically throughout the car’s interior and engine compartment. Consider using a small container or mesh bag to contain the mothballs, ensuring they do not come into direct contact with any surfaces.

<h3>Place traps or bait to catch rodents</h3>

2. In addition to repellents, it’s wise to set traps or bait specifically designed to catch rodents. These pests can cause significant damage, especially if they nest in the car’s engine bay. Utilize mouse traps or rat bait stations and place them near areas where rodents are likely to enter or nest. Check the traps regularly and dispose of any captured pests properly.

<h3>Seal any openings in the storage area</h3>

3. Ensure the storage area is properly sealed to prevent pests from gaining access. Inspect the storage space for any openings or gaps where pests could enter. Seal off these areas using weatherstripping, caulk, or other suitable materials. Pay close attention to areas such as doors, windows, and vents. This will create a barrier and minimize the chances of pesky creatures from finding their way into your car.

<h3>Keep the storage area clean and free of food sources</h3>

4. Maintain cleanliness within the storage area to eliminate potential food sources for pests. Remove any debris, crumbs, or organic material that may attract insects or rodents. Thoroughly clean both the interior and exterior of the car before storing it. Avoid storing any perishable items or food in the storage area as this can attract unwanted visitors.

Visiting The Storage Facility Periodically

Check for signs of damage or pest infestation

When storing your car for an extended period of time, it is important to visit the storage facility periodically to ensure that your car remains in good condition. One of the first things you should do when you visit the facility is to check for any signs of damage or pest infestation. This includes inspecting the exterior of the car for scratches, dents, or any other visible damage. Additionally, you should also look for signs of pests such as rodents or insects that may have made a home in your car.

If you notice any signs of damage or infestation, it is important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration. This could include contacting the storage facility for assistance or seeking professional help.

Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes

Another important task when visiting the storage facility is to start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. This helps to ensure that the car’s engine stays in good working condition. When a car is left stagnant for a long period of time, the oil can settle and the battery can drain.

By starting the engine and letting it run for a few minutes, you allow the oil to circulate and help prevent any build-up or deterioration. Additionally, this also helps to charge the battery and keep it from going completely flat. It is important to note that you should let the engine run outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases.

Verify that the tires are still properly inflated

In addition to checking for damage and starting the engine, it is crucial to verify that the tires are still properly inflated. Storing a car for months can cause the tires to lose air pressure, which can lead to flat spots or uneven wear.

To ensure that the tires are still in good condition, use a tire pressure gauge to check their pressure. If the tires are underinflated, add air according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is also important to inspect the tires for any visible signs of damage or cracks. If you notice any issues, consult a professional to determine the best course of action.

Monitoring The Car’S Condition

One of the most important aspects of storing a car for an extended period is to regularly monitor its condition. This ensures that any potential issues or problems can be addressed promptly, preventing further damage and ensuring your car is in optimal shape when you are ready to hit the road again. In this section, we will discuss three key areas to focus on when monitoring your car’s condition during its storage period.

Check the car’s battery voltage

When storing a car for a long duration, the battery can lose its charge, leaving you with a dead battery when you eventually come back to it. To prevent this, it’s crucial to regularly check the battery voltage. A healthy car battery should have a voltage reading between 12.4 to 12.7 volts. If the voltage drops below this, it’s an indication that the battery is losing charge and may need a boost or replacement.

Be on the lookout for leaks or fluid stains

Another essential aspect of monitoring your car’s condition is to inspect for any leaks or fluid stains. Over time, various fluids in your car, such as oil, coolant, or brake fluid, can develop leaks, which can lead to significant damage if not addressed promptly. Regularly check the ground under your car for any fluid stains or puddles. Additionally, inspect the engine bay and underside of the car for any signs of leaks. If you notice any leaks or fluid stains, it’s crucial to identify the source and fix the issue to prevent further damage.

Inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage

Tires are an integral part of your car, and their condition is vital even when the vehicle is not in use. Inspect each tire for signs of wear, such as uneven tread wear or cracks in the sidewall. Additionally, check the tire pressure to ensure it is at the recommended level. Improperly inflated tires can lead to quicker wear and even pose a safety risk when driving. If you notice any signs of wear or damage, consider replacing the tires or seek professional advice to address the issue.

Taking The Car For A Spin

Taking the Car for a Spin Before storing your car for an extended period of time, it’s essential to take it for a spin. Driving the car for a short distance can help prevent any issues that may arise during the storage period. By following these steps, you can make sure your car is in top shape before putting it away. Drive the car for a short distance The first step in preparing your car for storage is driving it for a short distance. This not only helps to circulate fluids throughout the engine but also ensures that the tires don’t develop flat spots. Flat spots can cause vibrations and uneven wear on the tires, so it’s important to avoid them. While driving, pay attention to how the car handles. If you notice any unusual vibrations or noises, address them before storage. Checking for these issues now can help prevent any further damage or complications when you take the car out of storage. Test the brakes and lights Another important aspect of taking the car for a spin is testing the brakes and lights. Start by checking the brake pedal for any sponginess or excessive play. If there is any such issue, it’s advisable to have the brake system inspected and serviced by a professional. In addition to the brakes, remember to test all the lights on the car. This includes headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazards. If any bulbs are burnt out, replace them now to ensure maximum visibility and safety. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations Before storing your car, it’s crucial to listen for any unusual noises or vibrations. Turn off the radio and roll down the windows to better hear the engine and other components. Pay attention to any knocking, grinding, or squealing sounds, as they can indicate underlying issues. In addition to the noises, vibrations can also serve as a warning sign. If you feel excessive shaking or vibrating, it’s important to have your car inspected by a professional mechanic. Addressing these issues early on can prevent more costly repairs in the future. In conclusion, taking your car for a spin is an integral part of preparing it for storage. By driving the car for a short distance, testing the brakes and lights, and listening for any unusual noises or vibrations, you can ensure that your car is in good condition before storage. By addressing any potential issues now, you can be confident that your car will be in optimal condition when you take it out of storage after those 6 months.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Store A Car For 6 Months

Is It Ok To Let A Car Sit For 6 Months?

Yes, it is generally okay to let a car sit for 6 months. However, it’s important to take precautions like topping up fuel, checking tire pressure, disconnecting the battery, and storing it in a dry place to ensure it starts properly when you’re ready to use it again.

How Do I Prepare My Car To Sit For 6 Months?

To prepare your car for a 6-month sit, follow these steps: 1. Clean your car inside and out to prevent dirt buildup and potential damage. 2. Fill up the gas tank to prevent moisture accumulation in the fuel system. 3. Inflate the tires to the recommended level to avoid flat spots.

4. Disconnect the battery or use a battery maintainer to prevent drain. 5. Use a car cover to protect your vehicle from dust and potential scratches.

Is It Better To Store A Car With A Full Tank Of Gas Or Empty?

It is better to store a car with a full tank of gas. This helps prevent condensation inside the fuel tank, which can lead to rust. It also keeps the seals and gaskets from drying out.

How Long Can You Let A Car Sit Without Driving It?

A car can typically sit unused for up to a month without any significant issues. Beyond that, it’s wise to take precautions like disconnecting the battery or using a car cover to protect against damage. Regular maintenance and starting the engine every couple of weeks are also recommended.

How Do You Store A Car For 6 Months?

To store a car for 6 months, clean it thoroughly, change fluids, fill tires, remove the battery, and find a covered, dry storage location.

What Steps Should I Take Before Storing My Car?

Before storing your car, remember to top off the fuel tank, disconnect the battery, remove valuables, and consider using a car cover.

Is It Necessary To Prepare The Car For Long-Term Storage?

Yes, preparing your car for long-term storage is essential to prevent damage caused by inactivity, weather, and pests.


Properly storing a car for six months is essential to maintain its condition and prevent any potential damage. By following the steps mentioned in this blog post, such as cleaning the car thoroughly, preparing the engine and fluids, and protecting the exterior and interior, you can ensure that your vehicle remains in top shape during its extended period of storage.

Taking these precautions will give you peace of mind when it’s time to bring your car back on the road.

John Thompson

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