What's the Best Way to Store a Car for an Extended Period?

If you plan to store a car for an extended period of time you will need to do more than just park it in the garage. First, wash and wax the body of your car to prevent accumulated dirt, bugs, or tree sap from bonding to the surface. Then follow these steps:

Change the oil and oil filter to prevent contaminants from sitting in the engine.

Use a battery maintainer to keep your vehicle's battery topped off without damaging it by overcharging.

Leave the hood open (because rodents like dark spaces) and use rodent repellent or mothballs, stashed in pantyhose, to discourage critters from nesting or chewing the car's engine wiring.

For more information, read "How to Inspect Car Belts and Hoses" and "How to Check Your Car's Engine Oil."

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the December 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.



More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2019, Consumer Reports, Inc.