For a place to safely keep a special car or truck, explore local vehicle storage options. If you only bring out a vehicle in Madison WI prime weather, secure self-storage is just the thing to preserve and protect it.
When planning to store a car or truck for an extended period, complete these steps prior to locking the storage unit’s door – and another series prior to rolling out the vehicle to put in back on the road.
A Vehicle Storage To-Do List
There are a number of things to do before your car or truck enters a secure self-storage unit for an extended stay. High on the list is selecting a secure self-storage facility with units large enough to hold your vehicle without risk (no tight squeezes or “just fits” openings).
Individual locations and special needs for your vehicle can expand the list, but here’s a place to start:
- Check the oil – if engine oil is dirty or approaching the mileage limit for the next oil change, have it changed before you put the vehicle into storage. Fresh oil will protect the engine as it sits. Modern oils, especially synthetics, are stable enough to sit in your engine for up to a year.
- Top off all fluids –parking for an extended period allows fluids time to evaporate. Fill your gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer – STA-BIL you use in your lawn mower works fine. Run the engine for 4-5 minutes to let it flow into the fuel system. Finally, check all the other levels – brake fluid, washer fluid and especially your radiator anti-freeze. Fill them all as required.
- Attention to tires – vehicle storage can be hard on tires. Before putting your vehicle away for an extended period inflate all tires to their maximum recommended tire pressures. Proper inflation prevents developing of flat spots.
TIP FROM A PRO – If tires will sit on concrete for a long time it’s wise to find a couple sets of old floor mats (or something
like that) to roll them up on. Rubber doesn’t always react well to the chemicals in concrete and a protective barrier like this is an extra protective step.
- Safe Parking – if your vehicle has a standard “stick” transmission, park it in neutral but DO NOT engage the parking brake. Block the tires to prevent moving. Vehicles with an automatic transmission can be left in Park or in neutral with the tires blocked.
- Make sure it will start – nothing is more frustrating than trying to get your car or truck out of vehicle storage and finding it won’t start. Attention to the battery could be at the top of this list. There are options to preserve battery life…
- Take the battery out and store it on a piece of wood, not concrete – connect it to a battery maintainer/tender device to keep it powered up (not a trickle charger).
TIP FROM A PRO – Newer cars may require the battery stay connected to protect the computer’s memory. If that’s the case you’ll need to connect a tender while keeping the hood open to run the cables and have a place to plug in that unit. Check your owner’s manual and with your secure self-storage provider for access to the necessary electric outlets.
- Wash and wax – before moving it into vehicle storage for an extended period, wash, wax and detail your vehicle. It may collect dust in storage but that will be easier to remove from a clean surface when the time comes. After you’ve finished the cleanup process, take it out for a ride to allow air to dissipate any moisture left in seams and depressions.
- Ventilation – leave a window open an inch or so to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture from condensing inside the vehicle.
- Moisture Barrier – because the weather around Madison WI is so variable and humidity is so unpredictable, consider using a moisture barrier – a plastic tarp or painters’ plastic over the concrete floor under the entire vehicle to help keep moisture from condensing.
- Add a cover – a tight-fitting full-body cover that allows air to circulate (breathe) helps to protect the finish.
- Pest control – critters like to find cozy homes inside a car or truck. Chewed wires and insulation are more than just nuisances. Take a few preemptive steps…
- A ball of steel wool in the tail pipe and air inlet opening – MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER THEM! (adding red flags or bright tape to them helps)
- Laundry fabric sheets in front and back seat areas and the trunk
- Moth balls around the outside
- Mouse traps, etc.
- Insurance coverage – check with your agent, you may be able to have your vehicle protected and save money by adjusting coverage while it’s in a vehicle storage facility.
- Don’t touch – resist the urge to take the car or truck out of its secure self-storage unit just because a weekend is looking nice. You’ll have to go back and do all this over again!
Secure Self-storage Options Abound
There are storage options just right for all kinds of vehicles in the Madison WI area. A+ Storage has storage units available at three separate secure storage facilities. Two locations include climate controlled units. All are readily accessible to for Dane county residents in Waunakee, Middleton, Verona, Fitchburg, Oregon, McFarland, Monona, and Cottage Grove.
After considering what goes into storing a valuable vehicle, let us help. Check this site later for suggestions on how to make the transition from storage to the open road smooth and safe, too.
Call A+ Storage at 608-837-5113 in Sun Prairie or 608-442-7339 in Madison or email us to visit our secure self-storage units and review vehicle storage options in the Madison WI area.