A car being washed before it's stored for an extended period of time.
Wash you car before you store it

If you plan to store a car for an extended period of time you will need to do more than just park it in the garage. First, wash and wax the body of your car to prevent accumulated dirt, bugs, or tree sap from bonding to the surface. Then follow these steps:

More on Car Maintenance

Change the oil and oil filter to prevent contaminants from sitting in the engine.

Use a battery maintainer to keep your vehicle's battery topped off without damaging it by overcharging.

Leave the hood open (because rodents like dark spaces) and use rodent repellent or mothballs, stashed in pantyhose, to discourage critters from nesting or chewing the car's engine wiring.

For more information, read "How to Inspect Car Belts and Hoses" and "How to Check Your Car's Engine Oil."

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the December 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.