Guide to storing vehicles long-term before moving coast to coast

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Moving cross country requires a lot of preparation. You need to figure out how to pack and transport all your belongings across the US. Also, you must sort out all the paperwork regarding your old house. Usually, the whole family is affected by the move and you need to include them in the process. Also, if you have pets their transportation can be a hassle as well. On top of that, if you happen to have a car that you need to leave in your old hometown, another issue arises there. Storing vehicles long-term is not necessarily a frightening enterprise. Find the correct information on how to prepare your car for storage. With guidance from professional movers at NationwideMovers, learn about storing your vehicle before moving cross country.

Storing vehicles long-term before moving coast to coast

There are various reasons to leave your car behind and store it away when moving. Unless you make sure the car is properly stored, it might sustain damage like a dead battery, flat tires, or rust.  Perhaps you are moving to a big city with limited parking options and no garage space. Or you need more time until you decide to sell the car. Whatever the reason may be, the drill around storing vehicles long-term is pretty much the same:

  • find a reliable company that provides storage solutions
  • clean the car and make sure it is covered
  • change the oil and fill up the tank
  • use tire stoppers or jack stands
  • protect the car from pests
  • check if you can save up on insurance while the car is off the road
a girl swinging by a beach
Store your vehicle safely and find the time to enjoy your coast-to-coast relocation

Find a good storage service

In case you do not own a garage, make sure to find a good and reliable storage service. Remember to rent a climate-controlled storage unit to prevent rust on your vehicle. Alternatively, find a place with as little humidity as possible. Also, the storage should have an alarm and surveillance system for extra security. Once you leave your vehicle safely stored away, you may devote yourself to your relocation endeavor. If you are moving from Miami to San Francisco, make sure to hire the best interstate movers in Florida.

Since you are leaving your car in Florida, you may want to be extra cautious when storing it. Florida is the most humid state in the US, being surrounded by the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The climate of South Florida is almost tropical, so keep in mind to protect your vehicle from being exposed to humidity.

Clean the vehicle and keep it covered

Whether you are storing a car, a van, or a motorbike, you should clean your vehicle thoroughly before putting it away. Cleaning is recommendable because stains might damage the paint. Make sure to also get rid of the mud from wheels and fenders. Vacuum the inside as crumbs and food leftovers may attract pests. In case you have no other option but to leave the car outdoors, cover it with a car cover. This will ensure protection against all weather conditions. Also, leave it standing on a solid surface, such as concrete. If you leave it on grass or gravel, you expose it to humidity and sinking.

Change the oil and fill up the tank before storing a vehicle

This is extremely important when storing vehicles long-term. Especially if you are moving coast to coast, for instance moving from Miami to Los Angeles, and will not be around to check on your vehicle. Top-up gas, antifreeze, windshield fluid, and brake fluid, to avoid condensation that might occur due to empty space in a tank. This can ultimately lead to corrosion of your vehicle. For the safety of the engine, change the oil if you are leaving your vehicle in storage for over 30 days.

a person pumping gas
Fill up the tank to avoid condensation and corrosion on your vehicle

Use tire stoppers or jack stands

Jack stands will prevent flat spots on tires, and keep your tires intact until you are ready to start the engine again. This way the weight of the vehicle will not be putting pressure on tires after the vehicle is left stationary for an extended period of time. And to prevent the car from moving, instead of using a parking brake, use tire stoppers. When leaving the car for a short period of time, using a parking brake will do no damage whatsoever. But to avoid any chance of brake pads fusing, use tire stoppers to make sure the car is stationary.

Protect the car from pests

Pests like insects and small rodents can easily find a way to nest in your vehicle. Therefore it is important to keep them away. Remove all food crumbs from the vehicle. Also, block all openings and vents with steel wool. Try to apply any pest repelling device or concoction near your vehicle. Lay down mousetraps near wheels, because small rodents usually use them as an entry point.

Check your car insurance

As you will be storing a vehicle long-term, you may want to check if you can save up on car insurance. Get in touch with your insurance company to check if you are eligible for a discount since the car is temporarily in storage. Your licensed insurance broker will advise you on any potential savings plan.

two people holding an insurance policy
Talk to your car insurance broker to check if you can save up on insurance while the vehicle is in storage

Keep your car safely stored until it is ready for the road again

Following all instructions for safely storing vehicles long-term will facilitate your coast-to-coast relocation. This will keep your car in a good shape until you are ready to drive it again. And you will get the chance to deal with your interstate move without having to worry about your vehicle. Once you pick up a car from a long-term storage check the tire pressure and the brakes. Also, check for any leaks or rodents. You will be ready to hit the road in no time.

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