How To Prepare a Classic Car for Long-Term Storage

Lake Oconee Boomers

How To Prepare a Classic Car for Long-Term Storage

Do you need to store your classic car away for many months or even years? If you don’t prepare your vehicle correctly beforehand, the car that comes out of storage could have many problems. Learn how to prepare a classic car for long-term storage with our tips below.

Find the Right Storage Space

First, classic vehicle owners must find a reliable and comfortable storage space for their vehicles. One of the best ways to maintain a classic car is to keep it in a secure, climate-controlled environment to preserve it for as long as possible.

The old-school way of sticking a classic car in a barn or shed presents many problems—such as fluctuating temperatures and potential moisture exposure. Whether you’re storing the automobile in your garage or a storage unit for a long time, ensure it can maintain a comfortable temperature and stay dry.

Give It a Deep Cleaning Inside and Out

Your car will be stationary for a long time, so putting it in storage with dirt, salt, or dust stuck to its exterior or interior could damage it. Before tucking it away for a few months, give it a deep and thorough cleaning inside and out.

Apply a coat of protective wax to the exterior to keep moisture and dirt away, and vacuum the interior to prevent dust from accumulating. And don’t forget the old trick of leaving a box of baking soda in the car to absorb and eliminate any unseemly odors that may arise.


If your vehicle has leather seats, it’s wise to apply some leather conditioner before long-term storage to preserve their color and prevent cracking.

Change the Oil and Fill Up the Tank

You want to top off your vehicle’s fluids, so change the oil and fill up the gas tank before storing it. After changing the oil, go for a short drive to ensure that the oil has circulated throughout the system properly.

For the fuel tank, it’s best to drive until it’s nearly empty and then fill it to reduce the risk of rust or corrosion. It’s also wise to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep the fuel fresh and prevent gunk buildup in your car’s system.

Disconnect the Battery

When preparing your classic car for long-term storage, you’ll have to decide what to do with the charger. If you leave the battery attached to the vehicle while it sits idle for months, it will die and compromise its functionality and longevity. Car owners have two options: disconnect the battery or remove it entirely.

Typically, it’s best to remove the battery completely to avoid any possibility of it leaking battery acid and damaging the engine compartment. Disconnecting the battery and hooking it up to a battery tender is a common solution for many car owners, but you’ll want to check on it regularly.