Storing a car for about 2 years

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:07
ThreadID: 29535 Views:2391 Replies:13 FollowUps:5
This Thread has been Archived
Hi all,

I have a car that it is in perfect cond and i need to store it in the back yard for maybe upto 2 years and i need some 'storage' advise.

I have a white car cover cover - some super doper - 'silky feel' stuff, that seems to let water through (once pressed to the metal, but water will 'flow' off it - and air can move in and out i think, and it's more than big enough to cover the whole entire car.

I also have a spare blue tarp that will cover the whole roof and half way down the bonnet and reach half way down the rear hatch back door.

Should i use the big cover first then put the tarp on top of that?

There is a brand new battery - so i am assuming i should disconect the POS terminal?

There is a full tank of ULP - should i run the car empty, till it splutters out?

Should i spray the entire car with some sort of lubricant?

Should i close all the windows - and put some sort of de-humidifier inside the car? or leave a few windows 'just' open?

The car (2 door hatch), is white in colour and will be parked in the sun (exposed about half a day), but all day/night rain. Grass underneath as well - Should i put some sort of floor covering down - and if so what would you recommend, price effective?

Basically my son is going away (not prison), to the Motherland for a few years. I don't want to leave the car outside on the street, and i don't want it in my garage either (My bikes are getting wet :) But i have room at the back of the garden and out of sight that i am prepared to keep it there.

So i thought i would ask the experts as i didn't want my son to come home to a rusted out shell.

Thanks in advance.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:33

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:33
There is a lot to consider about long term storage. If a car is going to be stored outside the sun & weather will effect the paint work. As a start you will need to cover it. The soft cover on first with the tarp over the top to stop water getting on to the paint. You will need to stop the tarp and cover flapping with the wind as it doesnt matter how soft the cover is excessive rubbing will cause wear.

If parked on grass just make sure that you mow around it and keep the long grass around the edge short. The grass under neath will eventually die any way. PLace it up on blocks so the tyres don't deteriorate.

Depending on the car you may also want to think about pest baits, i.e is there opennings were mice can get in. If the doors windows leak and therfore may let moisture in consider ventilation. If there are a lot electrics you may be better of leaving the battery attached and just charge it every few weeks.

I currently have a Mercedes in my shed being stored and every time i check it there is some thing else you see that is deteriorating, so it doesnt matter how you store it it will still deteriorate. Seals will dry out oils & sludge settle and other things will happen

In my view if it is driveable then the best way of storing it is to use it. Drive it regualrly, service it when due, clean and polish it when needed and you will find it will probably be better preserved than if you cover it an forget it.

AnswerID: 147595

Reply By: revhead307 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:41

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:41
Heres what I would do if it were my vehicle.

I'd put some carpet or heavy plastic down to stop the grass growing under the vehicle itself.

disconnect and take out battery (it will be dead in 2 years with no charge anyway as they self discharge)

run most if not all of the fuel out..fuel goes bad if it sits for long periods and the last thing you want is a tank full of crap

what sort of temperatures do u experience, if not too hot id leave the windows closed. more chance of moisture/spiders/bugs getting in if left partly open.

give the car a polish before it goes away, so it has a good surface that wont attract too much crap

the ordinary cheap tarps decompose under sunlight to have it underneat the white one

one factor to consider is the engine itself. all the lubricant will have drained out
and may be difficult to start (others may have a solution)

another important factor im unsure of is deteriorating seals in fuel lines etc if not used...

the engine and underbody can be sprayed with lanoguard or some slighly oil based lubricant/rust preventative. leave the paintwork alone.


AnswerID: 147596

Reply By: old mate - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:49

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 14:49
Is the car very valuable? You say at the beginning of your post about 2 years then say the son is off for a few years. My point is, unless its a collectable (which I wouldn't store it outside anyway) why doesn't your son consider selling it? The value of the car is going to drop considerably in 2 years and as Alan S said, no amount of preparation will stop it from deteriorating especially stored outside. I live in Brissie, do you get much hail in Southport? The car maybe worth a bit now but a few years stored outside, the car will be worth less and that's a lot of money sitting around when it could be in your son's pocket instead.

By the way, what sort of car is it?
AnswerID: 147598

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 15:27

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 15:27
Sell it or drive each alternate week instead of using your own.
AnswerID: 147601

Reply By: Scubaroo - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 15:31

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 15:31
What does a storage unit cost? Park the car there, and pull it out and use it one weekend a month. Park your own car in the storage unit for that weekend while driving his around. It will be stored out of the weather, and used often enough to keep it running.

Changing cars costs money - it could cost more for him to sell it now and have to buy another one in 2 years, than the cost of depreciation of the vehicle - especially if the money gets spent in the meantime, so keeping the car could be an economically feasible option.
AnswerID: 147602

Reply By: Member - Stephen M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 16:42

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 16:42
Go and buy yourself one of those carports from supercheap auto's I think for about 150 $$ and that will take care of it it will be long enough by a mile and wide enough as well that way will keep it out of all weather situations including any small hail that would otherwise leave dents.I would probably leave some fuel in it as it will needed to be started otherwise you will have a stuffed engine after leaving it for 2 years, rust in the bore,stuffed brakes,possibly wheel berings dryed out valve stem seals etc plus if it has aircon I would run that evevry time you start it to keep seals in that lubricated as well. is there a reson why you cant swap cars/bike on a fornightly basis so it will keep the car in good running condition ?? would be alot easier and save you klms on the bike and comfort if its bleep down rain. I know I'd prefer to be in a car than on a bike in winter when its raining heater nice and dry. Just some thoughts Regards steve m
AnswerID: 147616

Reply By: revhead307 - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:27

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:27
Ok I've changed my mind...

either drive it once every three weeks to keep it going (and trickle charge the battery), or sell it.

Put the money in a term deposit at 5% the money will at least hold its own to buy another car when he returns...

rather than coming back to something that wont turnover, seals cracked etc.

obviously not your question...but something to ponder

AnswerID: 147637

Reply By: Of Mice & Men - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:40

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:40
Hi Al,

Just my two cents, but unless the car has some sort of significant sentimental value, i would sell it & put the money in the bank to buy a car on return. There is a whole list of problems which could happen with two years of being stored outside for two years without being driven, seals will perish & harden, bearings will dry out & maybe not rust, but leave small witness marks on the spots where they were contacting. The car value will depreciate, are you going to pay two years worth of rego, or are you going to let the rego expire only to have to go through the trouble of getting it back on the road, the list is endless. Good luck with your decision though.

AnswerID: 147639

Follow Up By: old mate - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 20:15

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 20:15
good point regarding the money spent on rego and insurance so it can be driven now and then, or having to reregister it with a roadworthy etc.
FollowupID: 400978

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:58

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 18:58
I'd either sell it now while its still worth something and buy another when I came back.. or Hire a Garage to keep it out of harms way.

but theres no way 2 yrs in the backyard will be worth the effort.
AnswerID: 147641

Reply By: Exploder - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 20:21

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 20:21
Yep sell it, 2 years under a tarp outside and it will be well damaged.
Find yourself a self storage Unit
To store it, you want to put it up on jack stands so the suspension hang’s free and wheel bearing’s, tyres, suspension don’t go bad.
If it’s a concrete floor put black plastic or carpet down to stop moisture and rust forming under the body.
Drain all the fuel
Put a corrosion inhibiter in the Cooling system (I think you may be able to buy special storage stuff.
Pull the battery out
Leave the windows down a crack and the doors on the firs lock (click) as you close them so they are not fully closed. This stops the rubber seals compressing so when you open it in 2 years the seal’s will not be stuffed.
Drain and replace Oil with new stuff and run it throe the motor.
Moisture absorbent crystals on the inside.
Put a car cover over it and your done

Oh and wash and polish it before you store it.

AnswerID: 147661

Reply By: Andrew from TrekTable - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:09

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:09
Hi Alan,

Why don't you sell your car and drive your son's for 2 years. You'll be doing him a favour by keeping it well maintained!

Seriously, once you add up 2 years worth of rego, 2 years of insurance (don't forget you'll need it insured even if it's in the backyard), plus the depreciation over the 2 years, having a car in storage is a costly exercise.

Just my 2.2 cents worth (inc GST).

AnswerID: 147669

Reply By: Alan Southport QLD - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:29

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:29
Ok, Ok.

I get the message...

The Car was a Hyundia Excel Sprint 1997 Auto, with 20,000km genuine. It has the Triple metallic tint. Replaced A/C that has done 3 hours work. New tires, EFI, Central locking, Car alarm, CD/MP3 Stero - 4 speakers. New (6months), rear suspension, looks like new and drives like new. Battery is 1 month old (with a 3 year warranty). He bought the battery, then decided to visit the Queen :)

If it could be held in suspended animation for 2 years, it would be good for another 10 years.

So i take quite seriously the comments about seals, lack of usage etc.

As much as it pains me, i wil leave my bikes covered outside (with those tarps), and use his car (pay extra insurance no doubt somewhere!), to keep it 'running'.

I was hoping for a good compromised solution. But i think you are all right, it needs to be used to stay in good condition.

Thanks for all your help and advise.

If i crash the car, will he disown me?

Lets hope :)


AnswerID: 147676

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:55

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 21:55
You are going to leave bikes outside in the weather for a crappy Excel?

They are worthless second hand, flog it now while its almost worth someting, and buy another later on. Excels are probably the closest thing on the market to a true disposable car (according to a mechanic in the club)

FFS keep the bikes in the shed!
FollowupID: 401002

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 22:36

Tuesday, Jan 10, 2006 at 22:36
I was just about to say the same as Truckster.

20,000km and a new aircond and new suspension? Car is 8 years old and has done 2500km per year??? Obviously only driven to church on Sundays.

Sell the car and invest the money. Then when he comes back he will be able to buy a 3 litre Nissan LOL

FollowupID: 401011

Follow Up By: John L G - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 15:05

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2006 at 15:05
I agree with Willem and Truckster.

Flog it and invest the dollars!!!!!

If you must store it in the garage, bikes go in the lounge room.

He will probably run out of dollars anyway at some stage of his trip so expect the phone call and you can send him his dollars rather than yours.

John G
FollowupID: 401108

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 01:18

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 01:18
Or send me the bikes!
FollowupID: 401255

Reply By: Member - Bware - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 13:07

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 13:07
You don't say how many cars or people live at home or what your son's wishes are but most people would be happy to have a 2nd car that is economical and easy to park etc, especially if your other car is a large 4wd.
AnswerID: 148282

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (9)