Garage storage tips and tricks for your car
How to store your car in your garage depends on what you have in mind. Are you parking your vehicle for the long or short term? In either case, you’ll need a good cover so lets start with that.
Softness is key for any cover. Most importantly, buy a cover big enough for your car so you don’t have to stretch it tight around corners. That’s where rubbing can occur and you want to make sure the cover is loose enough not to do that. Remember, your car is indoors so you don’t have to worry about the cover being loose and flying away in the wind. Just what kind of car cover?
Cover colors range from the predictable gray to printed covers with flower designs. There are even “see-through” covers with a semi-transparent weave that lets you see the car underneath. Make sure with any cover that it will fit over and around your side view mirrors. If you regularly take the cover off to go driving, find a large plastic storage bin to stow your cover when not in use. It’ll keep dust and dirt off the cover when it’s not on the car.
Speaking of dirt and dust, you’ll want a large car duster to use before you cover your car. You’ll avoid potential scratches when you pull the cover off and on. And you’ll cut down on the number of times you’ll have to wash your car. A duster is always a good idea.
For long term storage there are a number of tricks. Before you cover it, make sure the car is clean so no bird droppings or tree sap stays on the paint for a long time. A trickle charger for the battery will keep that device from dying and putting the car on jack stands will keep the tires from developing flat spots. Use a fuel stabilizer like Sta-bil to keep the gasoline in your vehicle from deteriorating. Make sure the hand brake is off to prevent brake pads from fusing to the rotors. Use a metal drip pan to catch any errant leaks. Or simply put down a large piece of cardboard, like a flattened cardboard storage box.
If all the above seems like too much work, your best bet is to have a friend uncover the car every two weeks and have them run it around for fifteen minutes to a half hour. When you get back, consider changing the oil and the filter. The oil may have broken down while in storage and your best insurance is to refill with new. While at the shop for an oil change, get the mechanic under the hood to check on other things that might have happened while in storage. Like a rat building a nest in the undercarriage.
One more tip on how to store your car in your garage. When you get that cover off after a long time, make sure no dust or grime is on the windshield. Wipe it off or use a glass cleaner. Here’s why. All of us at one time or another have turned on our windshield wipers when it wasn’t raining. If you do that with a dusty windshield you could score the glass. Your cover will protect your vehicle from dust in general, but make sure you look at the windshield just to make sure.