If you need to store your car for an extended period, just a few simple steps will keep it safe and in working order. Advice will vary depending on the length of time the vehicle is expected to be off the road. However, assuming it's less than 45 days, here are some common tips:
- Prop up the wiper arms so the blades are off your windshield and won’t get stuck to the glass.
- Don’t use the parking brake when storing the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle and storage conditions, the brake could become frozen, brake pads could rust to the rotors, or brake shoes could distort the drums. With an automatic transmission simply place the vehicle in park. If the car has a manual transmission, place it in first or reverse gear and use wheel chocks—sturdy wedges you place against a vehicle's wheels—to help keep it in place.
- Add a fuel stabilizer and preservative such as STA-BIL®—this can be done by anyone and is as simple as fueling up a vehicle. Also, make sure to fill the gas tank to help minimize condensation. Drive the car for five to ten miles to ensure that the stabilized fuel is circulated throughout the fuel system.
- Keep your vehicle insured. This protects against claims due to unforeseen circumstances and can also prevent increases in car insurance premiums if there is a lapse in coverage.
- If the car is due for an oil change, have it done to remove any acids and contaminants. Be sure to call ahead to your mechanic to make sure they are open.