You want to make sure your antique or luxury vehicle is safely stored away before any road salt or snow flurries hit the ground. Below are the top tips you should follow when storing your summer vehicle this fall.

  1. Clean your car inside and out

Your car is going to be stored in your garage for the next three to six months, which means you want to make sure it’s fully clean before putting that baby away. Vacuum out the interior of the car and make sure you remove any old wrappers or food containers. These are the type of things that will attract rodents to your vehicle while it’s in storage.

You also want to give the exterior of the car a thorough scrub. Make sure all remnants of insects, bird droppings, and any other grime are removed from the car’s surface. Leaving these blemishes on your car for an extended period of time will cake them onto the vehicle’s surface and permanently damage the paint.

Once your beautiful car is sparkling clean, finish it all off with a coat of wax. This wax coating will help protect your car for the coming months in storage.

  1. Keep rodents away

Mice would love to live in your car and will almost certainly take up residence inside your car cushions if you’re not careful. As already mentioned, don’t leave any trash inside your car that a rodent can sniff out. After that, you have a few different options when it comes to rodent repellents. A popular choice by many car owners is dryer sheets. Bounce is the brand commonly recommended for keeping mice away from your stored vehicle. Rodents don’t care for the strong scent of the dryer sheets, and it has the added bonus of leaving your car smelling laundry fresh. Spread the sheets around the interior of your car, under the hood, and inside the exhaust pipe. Any access point a mouse might see as a new home should get a sheet.

  1. Choose the right storage location

Half the battle of safely storing a summer vehicle for an extended period of time is the location. Ideally, you want a place that is covered and dry such as a garage or storage facility. Barns are another place people tend to use but are less ideal. If there is a hole in your barn wall, make sure it’s not getting any water on your car or getting the floor wet.

You should also make sure you keep a car cover over your stored vehicle. This will help keep any dust or moisture from settling on the surface of your car, and it’ll also keep tiny paw prints from speckling the top of your ride.

  1. Remember the fuel tank and oil

Moisture can accumulate in your gas tank if there is a significant amount of empty space in the tank and the car has been sitting long enough. Fill up your gas tank to prevent any moisture buildup. You should also be putting some fuel stabilizer into the tank to protect your car’s engine during the coming cold months. Fuel stabilizer will keep your gas from deteriorating for up to 12 months.

It’s also important to get the oil changed on your car before putting it in storage. Sludge buildup can happen if used oil sits idle in your car for too long, so make sure all of the fluids in your vehicle have been topped off and prepped for winter.

  1. Talk to your insurance provider

You might think you can cancel your car insurance since your vehicle be sitting in a storage shed the next several months but this is a bad idea. You’d have no coverage in the event of a fire or theft. Talk to your insurance provider about the various insurance options available for your vehicle. For instance, some insurance providers offer options like classic vehicle insurance which covers you for the full year but takes winter storage into account when totaling your premium. Never fully remove insurance from your vehicle because damage can always occur, even when the car is parked for months at a time.

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