Reader Question: Car Storage in Summer?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jeffrey asks: This summer there’s a possibility that I will be away from home for a couple of months. Home is very hot and my 2000 Toyota Tacoma and 2016 Toyota Corolla will be in our garage – which will get significantly hotter than the 114+ temperatures outside. How should I go about preparing the vehicles for this high-heat storage? Thank you!

My reply: I deal with this myself, so I’ll tell you exactly what I do!

First, wash the cars . Leaving them dirty for a long time to bake in the heat can bake in stains in the paint.

Wax ’em – to make it easier to clean off the dust which will inevitably accumulate. Wipe down rubber/plastic surfaces with a suitable protectant(not just the stuff that makes plastic/rubber shiny; you want heat/UV protection).

Crack all the windows at least a few inches – to allow air to circulate. Consider getting a stand-up/circulating fan that you can leave in the garage to keep the air circulating. If the garage has windows, get blinds – and close them, so that the sun doesn’t beat on the cars.

A good car cover helps with that, too.

Air up the tires.

Connect  the battery to a maintenance charger or disconnect the battery.

I’d also consider changing the oil/filter before you leave – so that the engine will be left not-running with a coating of fresh oil on the internals.

This should cover you for 2-3 months. If you have to leave the cars for longer, it gets more involved!

. . .

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  1. I’d also suggest a dehumidifier draining directly to the outside, I set one up for my sister in Florida where her car was covered with fuzzy mold the first time she left it for a couple of months. You can use 1/2” pvc through the wall and it’s fairly inconspicuous, just run it a few inches off the ground so bugs don’t crawl into it.

    • Mike, as an old a/c hand, I can guarantee you that any drain run outside needs a trap so keep insects and everything else out.

  2. I know it’s a real PITA but putting it on jackstands and greatly reducing tire pressure and coating them with some product for keeping rubber soft is great for the tires. I have yet to see a garage tight enough to not let dust in in most parts of Texas so keep the windows up and the vents allow air circulation (GM products for sure have had passive vents in the doors and the rear of the cabin)for decades.


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