You are the proud owner of a classic car that took you an entire year to restore, and winter is coming. Or maybe you have a convertible or a sports car that you do not drive in the wintertime. Maybe you are in the military and are getting ready to deploy for a length of time. You have a summer cottage along Lake Erie, or maybe you are snowbirds and keep a set of wheels up north. You need to store your car.

Let’s get past the, “I have a friend or family member that is willing to store my car” thing. The classic car owners are horrified by that suggestion and would never consider it! Unless your friend plans to drive your car on a regular basis, it could wind up being a perfect nesting place for a family of rodents. Or maybe your car will be jockeyed about in a driveway being exposed to the elements and preoccupied family members as they back out of their parking spot like Betty Andretti until they hear the gut-wrenching sound of steel on steel as they connect with your beloved vehicle. You’d be surprised how often that happens. The bottom line, you should always rent a storage unit when considering the storage of your car for any length of time.

Now that we’ve determined that renting a storage unit for your car is the best option for your car and your sanity, do you really need a climate-controlled unit? The simple answer is yes you do! If you plan to store a vehicle of any kind for any length of time, a climate-controlled unit is a must-have if your storage plan includes thoroughly protecting your investment.

Climate-Controlled Unit – What Is It?

First, let’s dispel a common misnomer. Most folks believe there are only two types of storage units: a non-climate-controlled unit and a climate-controlled unit. There are, in fact, three types of storage units: non-climate-controlled, temperature-controlled, and climate-controlled. As we mentioned in our previous article, Why Temperature-Controlled Storage is Worth the Extra Money, temperature-controlled storage, and climate-controlled storage are NOT the same thing. Temperature-controlled only manages the inside temperature of the storage unit within a range of degrees. A climate-controlled unit not only controls the inside temperature of the storage unit, but the humidity level is managed as well. 

Humidity is the Harbinger of Destruction for Stored Cars

A climate-controlled unit is a key to your “front line” strategy in thoroughly protecting your stored vehicle. Managing the humidity level inside of a storage unit is VERY important when considering the storage of your car for any length of time. 

  • Controlling the humidity in your storage unit keeps the mechanical and technological elements of your car from sustaining damage.
  • A climate-controlled unit produces a temperature-controlled and humidity-free environment which prevents the formation of rust.
  • Moisture promotes the growth of mold and mildew, which is damaging to fabric, wood, and other materials. Extracting mold and mildew, especially from fabrics, without damage to the integrity and color of the fabric can be tricky. You’ll also be getting a whiff of that wonderful “Ode to Mildew” stench for months. 

Climate-Controlled Unit Sealed for Extra Security

A climate-controlled unit is sealed because the idea is to remove the humidity from the unit. Because the unit is sealed, rodents will have a much harder time finding their way into your car to make a nest. Some storage facilities also perform regular pest control. 

Additionally, most climate-controlled storage units are contained inside larger buildings. This provides additional security from outside elements, criminal and otherwise. There will be less dust too, and all this extra security adds another layer of Zen to your pink cloud peace of mind!

Tips for Storing Your Car in a Climate-Controlled Unit

In addition to renting a climate-controlled unit, there are several other things that you will need to consider to ensure that you have the best result possible when storing your car for an extended period of time. You should consider performing the following tasks prior to storing your car:

  • Change the oil and filter
  • Top off all fluid levels
  • Fill the gas tank with fresh, premium fuel (avoid fuel with ethanol)
  • Inflate the tires to the proper pressure
  • Clean and detail the car (inside and out)

For storage periods of 6 months or more, you may wish to consider using a gasoline stabilizer and battery maintainer as well.

Let’s face it, cars are meant to be driven, and there’s something to be said for a good road trip! So when you have to store your car away for a few months, you want to make sure that you rent a climate-controlled unit so that she’s ready for the open road when you get back.