Storing Your Vehicle

Finding an appropriate locationto store your vehicle is important The ideal location is cool and dry – an indoor parking garage or building, for example. Some buildings have parking spaces available for monthly rental. Otherwise, storage facilities can be rented for the same purpose.

Preparing your vehicle for 3-6 weeks in storage;

  • Give it a thorough wash to rid it of all the contaminants that may be coating it.
  • Be sure to clean out the interior well. Animals looking for a new home may smell left-over food crumbs and try to get into your car and set up a home.
  • Get an oil change and top up all fluids, including oil, hydraulic, clutch, and brake, windshield wiper, coolant, antifreeze, and fuel.
  • Run the engine for about 30 seconds after leaving it off for a few hours. The purpose? To cover the internal surfaces of the engine with a thin protective layer of oil. Since the oil is cold, and thus more viscous, it will stay in suspension for longer.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires.

Extra steps to take to help prepare your vehicle for longer, or seasonal storage;

  • Be sure to add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank.
  • To help block points of entry into your vehicle, stuff a rag into the exhaust and the air intakes.
  • Be sure to avoid using your parking break. Rather, put shims beneath the wheels. This will help prolong the life of your parking break.
  • In regards to your battery, call your dealership and ask their advice on if it should be disconnected or not. Some cars require the battery to remain in place and connected at all times.
  • Lay a sheet of vapour barrier plastic underneath the car to avoid moisture from the ground settling on the vehicle.

In both cases, we also suggest that you contact your insurance company. They will be able to provide you with information on suspending civil liability coverage with regard to the driving or use of a vehicle, meaning you may get a credit on your premium.


Storing Tires

If you aren’t looking to store your vehicle, but rather to simply store your tires and rims, the following steps should be taken to help prolong the life of your tires and rims;

  • Clean the tires and rims to be stored.
  • Properly dry your tires and rims after they have been cleaned. Be sure that all residual moisture is gone prior to final storage.
  • Pack each wheel and rim in a plastic bag, a garbage bag or special tire storage bag will due.
  • Avoid resting the tires on the tread, stack them.

When storing your tires, remember that an indoor, dry, cool, and environmentally stable location is best.

Removing Your Vehicle from Storage

The steps you take to remove your vehicle from storage are just as important as the steps you took prior to storing it. When taking your car out of storage be sure to follow these steps to ensure the process goes as smooth as possible;

  • Open the windows and doors to air out the vehicle. This will help clear out stale or musty smells that may have developed.
  • Remove all rags you may have put in place to block the exhaust and the air intakes.
  • Remove the shims beneath the wheels.
  • Check your battery by making sure the connections and posts are free of any corrosion.
  • Make sure your vehicles belts and hoses are not damaged and change any dirty filters.
  • Be sure to check your engine for any animals or animal nests that may have been built during the storage period.
  • Check your fluid levels and top up any that are low.
  • Look under the car to ensure there were no leaks during the storage period.
  • Check the air pressure in your tires.
  • Check your windshield wipers.
  • After starting the engine let it run for 20 minutes in order to warm up. Take this time to look for any warning lights on your dashboard and to check items such as your brake pedal and emergency break.
  • Wash your car. Although you cleaned your car before putting it in storage it may have accumulated dirt throughout the storage period.  
  • Take your car for a test drive. Listen for unusual noises and watch for warning lights on your dashboard. Be sure to take the first few kilometers slow as your car will need time to warm up after its period in storage.