locking car in garage

If you’re headed away from home on a long trip, and you’re not using your car to get to your destination, you should make sure your vehicle is prepared for the long wait. If a car is left unused for a long time, it could experience some problems. To combat this, we’ve gathered a few tips for how to prepare your car if you are going away for a while. 

  1. Fuel it Up

Whether you are leaving your car at home, with a friend, or at the airport parking garage, you should make sure that it has fuel in the tank. It might sound counterintuitive since you won’t be driving it, but keeping the tank full means that condensation from temperature changes won’t be able to form inside. It will also protect the seals from drying out. 

Clean it Out

Before heading off, clean your car out thoroughly. Remove any valuables that could provide temptation to passersby and empty the vehicle of any trash. Make sure to check under and between the seats so there’s nothing left that could cause odors while you are away. It’s a good idea to vacuum the interior and give the exterior a good wash as well. 

Change the Oil

If you will be away from your car for over a month, get the oil changed. Leaving dirty oil to sit for an extended period could cause damage to your engine when you start driving again. A fresh oil change will keep your engine safe. 

Check the Tires

The weight of an undriven vehicle applies a lot of pressure to the tires. To ensure you don’t have a few flats by the time you come home from your trip, ensure that the tires are pumped up to the PSI indicated in your car’s manual. 

Get a Friend to Drive It

If possible, see if a friend or family member can turn the engine on and go for a short drive every couple of weeks. Turning the engine over every once in a while will help your battery to stay in good shape. If you can’t leave the car with a friend and no one wants to go to the airport parking lot for you, you can disconnect the negative battery cable to prevent the battery from dying out. 

No Parking Brake

If your parking brake is left engaged for a long time, the brakes could fuse to the rotors, which is bad news when you want to go home after a long journey. Instead, look into getting a tire block as a parking brake alternative. 


Getting your car in good shape before an extended holiday should be towards the top of your pre-travel to-do list. For professional assistance in getting your car ready for storage, contact ASI Collision, the car maintenance experts.

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