How can I prepare my gas-powered Ford for long-term storage?

If you plan on storing your vehicle for 30 days or more, read the following maintenance recommendations to ensure your vehicle stays in good operating condition.

Storing Your Gas-Powered Vehicle

Select a part or system from the drop-down options below to learn more about storing your vehicle.


  • Store your vehicle in a dry, ventilated place.
  • Protect it from sunlight.
  • Perform regular maintenance to protect against rust and damage.


  • Wash your vehicle thoroughly to remove dirt, grease, oil, tar, or mud from exterior surfaces, rear-wheel housing, and the underside of front fenders. 
  • Cover your interior trim to prevent fading.
  • Wash your vehicle periodically if it is stored in exposed locations.
  • Touch-up exposed or primed metal to prevent rust.
  • Cover your vehicle's chrome and stainless steel parts with a thick coat of auto wax to prevent discoloration. Re-wax as necessary when you wash your vehicle.
  • Lubricate all hood, door, and luggage compartment hinges and latches with a light-grade oil.
  • Keep all rubber parts free from oil and solvents.


Under various conditions, long-term storage may lead to degraded engine performance or failure unless you use specific precautions to preserve engine components.

  • Change your vehicle's engine oil and filter prior to storage because used engine oil contains contaminants that may cause engine damage. 
  • Start the engine every 15 days and allow your vehicle to run for a minimum of 15 minutes at fast idle with the climate controls set to defrost until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
  • Shift through all the gears with your foot on the brake, while the engine is running.
  • Change the engine oil before you use your vehicle again.

Fuel System

Fill your vehicle's fuel tank with high-quality fuel until the first automatic shutoff of the fuel pump nozzle.

Cooling System

Check the coolant fluid level to confirm that there are no cooling system leaks and that the fluid is at the recommended level when removing your vehicle from storage.


  • Check and recharge as necessary.
  • Keep connections clean.
  • Disconnect the battery cables to maintain the battery charge for quick starting if storing your vehicle for more than 30 days without recharging the battery.

    Note: It is necessary to reset memory features if you disconnect the battery cables.

Additional Information

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