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How To Correctly Store A Vehicle

What's in this article?
  1. Protect It From The Elements In A Garage, Storage Unit, Carport Or Car Cover
  2. Clean Up The Exterior & Interior 
  3. Change Your Oil
  4. Top Up The Fuel Tank
  5. Keep It Charged Up
  6. Avoid Using The Parking Brake
  7. Care For Your Tires
  8. Follow These Tips To Keep Your Car In Great Shape 
Vehicle Into Storage For The Season

Whether you’re heading overseas or on a long trip, or you need to put a collectible car or another vehicle into storage for the season, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to store a car for a few months or longer.

If this is the case, you’ll want to take some special precautions to store your vehicle properly, and make sure it’s in great shape when you return and need to drive it again. In this guide, A-1 Auto Transport will discuss a few tips for proper long-term vehicle storage.

Protect It From The Elements In A Garage, Storage Unit, Carport Or Car Cover

First, you’ll need somewhere safe and secure for your car. A garage or storage unit is the best choice, since you can lock the door to secure your car and keep it safe from the elements.

A covered carport is also a good solution and keeps sun, snow, dirt, and rain off of your car, but doesn’t offer the same level of security. 

If you don’t have any of these options, consider investing in a car cover. Car covers can be strapped around your car and protect it from debris, sun, rain, and more, so they offer reasonably good protection if you have to store your car outside.

Clean Up The Exterior & Interior 

You should clean up the outside of your car before long-term storage, since bird droppings and water stains could eat away at the paint over time. Clean the entire exterior and wax it to protect it. You should also clean up the interior to get rid of any trash and to remove any valuable personal items. 

Top Up The Fuel Tank

Change Your Oil

Contaminants in used oil can damage your engine over time, so if you plan to store your car for a long time, you should have its oil changed to ensure it’s fresh and free of metals and other contaminants. 

Top Up The Fuel Tank

Filling up your fuel tank will help prevent moisture from accumulating over time, and will stop the seals in your fuel system from drying out. You should also add a fuel stabilizer to help protect your car and its engine. Stabilizers like Sta-bil will stop gasoline deterioration for up to 12 months. 

Keep It Charged Up

Over time, car batteries lose charge if they’re not driven. Consider getting someone to drive the car about every 2 weeks to charge it up. If this isn’t an option, you can use a “battery tender” or “trickle charger,” which plugs into an electrical outlet and provides just enough power to keep your battery charged.

Or, for a low-tech solution, just disconnect the negative battery cable, and the battery won’t discharge over time. You’ll just have to reconnect it when you start your car again. 

Avoid Using The Parking Brake

Use rubber chocks to keep the car in place, rather than the parking brake. If you leave the parking brake on, it could fuse with your rotors over time. This is particularly common if the car is left outdoors.

Protect The Tires From Flat Spots

Care For Your Tires

Inflate your car’s tires to the recommended PSI before you store the vehicle. If you’ll be storing the car for more than a month or two, you’ll need to be aware of “flat spots” that develop if the car’s tires are left in the same place for a long period of time.

Having someone drive the car every two weeks will prevent flat spots, since the tires will rotate while it’s driven. If this is not practical, consider removing your wheels and using jack stands to support the car until you drive it again. This will protect your tires from flat spots.

Follow These Tips To Keep Your Car In Great Shape 

If you follow these simple tips and instructions, you’ll be able to store your car for months without any damage to the paint, interior, tires, and other components. And if you need to store or ship a car anywhere in the United States or internationally, remember that A-1 Auto Transport is here to help. Contact us now to get a quote and get started.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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