Storing a Vehicle

Q: What precautions should be taken when a car is being stored for a long period of time (e.g., several years)?

A: Change the engine oil. Dirty oil has moisture and contaminants that can increase rust in the engine. Fill up the gas tank to minimize condensation, reducing the likelihood of rust forming in the fuel system. Then add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. One product that seems to work well is Sta-bil®. Run the engine to get the stabilizer throughout the fuel system. Test the coolant and make sure that it is clean. A 50% water/50% antifreeze mixture is usually required. In addition to protecting the engine block from freezing, antifreeze has anti-corrosion properties. Top off the brake fluid (and clutch fluid if applicable). Brake fluid absorbs water. Keeping the brake master cylinder full will reduce moisture absorption. Finally, you may want to perform the task of fogging the engine. This will coat internal parts with a thin film of oil to reduce corrosion.