Outdoor Car Storage Tips

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Though it is sometimes necessary to store your vehicle outdoors, storing it outside for months at a time could be bad for the car's parts. You are leaving the car vulnerable to extreme weather--cold, rain and sun--and other negative factors, like theft and harmful rust. But there are ways that you can help keep your car in good, safe condition when you leave it outside for long periods of time.

Change the Fluids

  • Before you store you car outside for a long time, change the oil and other liquids, such as transmission and brake fluids. Old fluids can contains unwanted byproducts, like acids, that could cause your car's parts to corrode over time. After changing the oil and other fluids, drive the car around for a few miles to assure that the brand new fluids are circulating through the car's parts.

Buy a Carport

  • If you want to take your outdoor car storage to another level beyond the standard car cover, buy a carport or enclosed car canopy. These canopies can be assembled in your driveway or in your backyard. They are made of several layers of polyethylene, a material that is resistant to the effects of weather and chemicals. Polyethylene is waterproof and shields your car from the sun's rays. Your car will also be protected from the cold and strong winds. You can buy one of these for anywhere between $100 to $500 or more. Also, purchase large silica gel packs to place inside of the car canopy if you plan to close it up completely. These packs will help pull moisture away from your car.

Brake Lock

  • To protect your car from theft while it is parked outside for long periods of time, purchase a brake lock device (see Resources section). This is an anti-theft device that is rigged to your brake pedal, making it impossible to put the car into gear. The brake lock is made of solid steel and is virtually impossible to saw off or break. You can rest easier with your car stored outside when you have this device on the brake.

Start Your Car Up Frequently

  • When you store your car outside for long periods of time, it is very easy for rust to build up on the engine parts due to moisture. So even if you don't drive the car, make it a point to start it up at least once every other day, even it is just for a few moments to get the car parts moving.

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