While there is no definitive timeline, a car should not be idle for long durations without being started or driven a short distance. The time a car can sit in storage without any issues may depend on several factors. Here are some of the factors affecting storage for cars:
The Vehicle’s Battery
If you fail to start and run your car for a short duration, the battery may begin to drain. When a vehicle is turned off, specific systems like the clock or the alarm system still draw power. If a car sits idle for an extended period, the battery could completely discharge. This could result in the vehicle being unable to start without a jump-start or battery recharge. Disconnect the battery if you plan to store a car for an extended period or to use a battery maintainer, which can keep the battery fully charged.
The Storage Security
Secure facilities that offer storage for cars may have 24/7 surveillance cameras, controlled access gates, security alarms, well-lit areas, and sometimes on-site staff or security personnel. These measures help deter potential thieves or vandals and can help protect your vehicle. The peace of mind that comes with knowing your car is in a secure location can allow you to leave it in storage for longer periods without worrying about its safety.
The Storage Facility’s Climate
Extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, can harm a car. Hot conditions can cause the car’s fluids to damage the battery, tires, and interior. Freezing temperatures can cause the engine oil to thicken, making it harder for the car to start after storage. High humidity levels can lead to condensation, which can cause rust and corrosion. This is especially true in the car’s undercarriage, brake lines, and exhaust system. It can also lead to mold and mildew growth in the car’s interior. Constant exposure to sunlight can cause the paint to fade and damage the interior, particularly if the car has leather seats. A climate-controlled storage facility can provide consistent temperature and humidity, protecting your car from these potential issues. This can allow the car to be stored longer without worrying about weather-related damage.
The Vehicle’s Insurance Coverage
If your policy is due to expire and you don’t plan to renew it, you may need to remove your car from storage. Some insurance policies may specify how long a vehicle can be stored. If the car is stored beyond this period, the insurance may become void. If you’re storing your car for an extended period, you might choose to switch to comprehensive coverage only. This type of insurance covers damage caused by factors other than a collision, like fire, theft, or vandalism. Some insurance companies offer specific storage insurance for vehicles that are not in use. This could allow you to store your car for longer periods at a lower cost than standard insurance.
Unlock the Benefits of Long-term Storage for Cars
By choosing a reputable facility offering long-term car storage, you may not only preserve your vehicle’s condition but also enhance its longevity. With proper preparation and regular checks, you can keep your car in storage for extended periods. Consult a professional mechanic to confirm that your vehicle remains in top shape during storage.