long-term airport parking -- cars lined up in parking lot with soft yellow and orange light

How to Prepare Your Car for Long-Term Airport Parking

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Whether you’re going solo on a business assignment or flying the family off on a European adventure, it’s a good idea to get your car ready for your time away. Here are five tips for preparing your car for long-term airport parking.

#1: Check your tires

Fill your tires to the proper pressure before leaving your car in long-term parking. Not only does this ensure a safe drive home, but it helps to prevent flat spots in the tires from your car sitting too long. This is especially important if you travel during winter months when your car is exposed to the cold.

#2: Top up your car’s fluids

Fill your gas tank before you go to save yourself a trip to the gas station after you return, particularly if you’ll be arriving late at night or with a jet-lagged family. If you’ll be gone more than 30 days, add a fuel stabilizer to your tank to keep the gas from oxidizing.

In addition to topping up on gas, think about changing your oil. At the very least, check that your oil tank is full and fix any leaks. Last, but not least, top off your windshield wiper fluid. It’ll be helpful when you return for wiping away any dust or debris — or melting those last bits of snow if you park your car outside in winter.

#3: Leave it clean

Throw out any leftover food items (crumbs, Cheerios, fast food wrappers) and drinks that could go bad. Recycle receipts and other paper items you won’t need. If you’re traveling for business, don’t forget to keep your parking receipt!

It’s also a good idea to give your car a good wash to remove any bird droppings, bug splatters, and other things that can damage your paint job. If you don’t have time before your trip, find a parking garage that offers car washing and detailing services.

#4: Remove any valuables

Golf clubs in your trunk? Your favorite leather jacket in the back seat? Your brand-new GPS unit clinging to the windshield? Obviously, you should park in a safe, secure lot, but it’s still a good idea to leave your valuables at home.

Then, grab any self-identifying documents, like your car insurance card and vehicle registration. They won’t take up much room in your wallet or purse, and removing them will prevent a potential thief from finding your empty home.

#5: Park in a covered parking spot

Covered parking costs more, but for longer trips, it’s worth it to protect your car from the elements — whether that’s the beating hot sun or a snowstorm. Besides, who wants to clean snow off their car after returning from a month-long trip?

If you don’t want to spring for the extra covered parking fee, consider investing in an outdoor car cover that offers all-weather protection. As an added bonus, a car cover will make it so no one can see inside your car, just in case you forgot about that leather jacket in the back seat.

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Flying out of Denver? Prep your car for your time away, then reserve your covered parking spot for as low as $13.95/day with ParkDIA — the closest, fastest, and the least expensive private airport parking lot serving DIA.