Tips for Car Storage

Tips on car storage to ensure the best protection for your car

Cars are made to be driven but sometimes car storage is the only option. If you are storing your car, it’s important to ensure that you consider the following points, particularly if you are storing the car for a long period of time.

  • Warm the car up fully and go for a drive. When you get to close to the car storage facility, add most (not all, save 4-6 tablespoons for later) of a bottle of Valve Cleaner to the petrol tank, then fill the tank with fuel.

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    This high-tech solution will act as an upper cylinder lubricant. Petrol naturally absorbs moisture. Filling up your tank immediately before putting it in storage will reduce the chances of moisture accumulating in your fuel tank and lines. It is likely that the tank will accumulate at least a minimal amount of moisture, but a full tank will reduce this slightly.


  • Change the engine oil and oil filter. It is important to do this before you store your car as dirty oil will thicken over time making it more difficult to restart your car on your return. Even engine oil with less than 1,000 kilometres on it contains contaminants that can corrode your vehicle during storage.


SIDENOTE - Looking to store your car?

If you are looking for car storage at a good rate for any period of time, Sunshine Self Storage can help. We have a number of cars in storage currently. You can drive in and out of your container whenever you like and you have access when you need it. If you need to know more, contact us , or book car storage now.


  • Drain and flush the cooling system. Ensure that the heater valve is open. Refill cooling system with a 50/50 mixture of fresh antifreeze coolant and distilled water. Coolant contains anti-corrosion detergents that will prevent rust from developing in the vital parts of your engine. This needs to be performed regardless if the vehicle will encounter freezing conditions or not.

  • Top up the trans/differential/steering box. Transmission and differential oil should be changed every 30,000 kilometres. If your car is due for a change, do it before you store it.

  • Top up the brake fluid. Your car's braking system should be flushed and bled with new fluid every 2 years. If it's due, do it before you move into car storage.

  • Clean the interior of the car so that unpleasant odours do not develop during storage. Don’t forget to clean the boot too!

  • Polish and wax the car prior to storage so that the protective coating of the wax will make it easier to clean the exterior of the vehicle afterwards.

  • Remove the battery, then clean the battery and battery case with a solution of baking soda and water to neutralise acid. Some people recommend that you leave the battery connected so that electronic settings are not lost, but over a long period this is difficult to maintain.

  • Raise the car on car stands or jacks. Place the stands under the various suspension components so that the suspension is compressed and at normal driving height. Experience has shown that that fully extended shock absorbers tend to get stuck in that position, hence the last instruction. Some people suggest that it is better to leave the car resting on its tyres so that undue pressure is not applied to suspension over a long period. In this case, it is a good idea to slightly over-inflate the tyres so that flat spots do not develop. You may wish to get professional advice for your individual situation.

  • Slip a plastic bag over the exhaust pipe(s) and place a rubber band around it to keep it in place. Do the same to the air cleaner inlet. This will help keep moisture out of the engine.

  • Place a couple of mothballs in the boot of the car, the interior and the engine compartment. This will keep these areas as free as possible from contamination. Its also a good idea to put a good car cover over the car during car storage. Open the windows approximately 5mm to let air circulate.

  • Finally, if possible, rotate the drive axles a few turns once a month. This will help to keep the differential gears and transmission mainshaft and countershaft coated with oil.

These tips should keep your car in good condition while it's in storage. Sunshine Self Storage has a number of cars in storage – please contact us if you would like further information.



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Member number 51399 of the Self Storage Association

Sunshine Self Storage is a full member of the Self Storage Association of Australasia (SSAA) and have been since 2004! Our Membership Number is 51399 and our current membership certificate is show below.

You can see all our membership certificates since 2004 here.

The SSAA is the Industry Association for Self Storage in Australia and New Zealand. You should never book self storage with any company that is not a member of this group. The SSAA provides legal protection for storers and self storage owners and ensures that every transaction is fair and equitable.