I have an old car with a gas leak in a gas line (along with severe corrosion issues). I've figured out a good plan for fixing these issues, but it involves towing it across several states with a destination that is among the worst in the country with covid at the present, and visiting that area for an extended period of time — so it would be incredibly reckless to do so at this time. As such, I need to find a way to store this car cheaply, safely, and legally until then (it might be spring when I can get vaccinated, or it could be a year).

I don't have a garage that I can keep it in, and if I did it would probably be unwise since the gas leak is a fire hazard, and I don't want to cause a structure fire (or a car fire, for that matter). Keeping it in the driveway is a no-go too, since the area has laws against unregistered cars being visible in public and I need to spend what little money I have on registration of a different car that I can actually drive in the meantime. Family members who have enclosed garages have refused to help since they're worried about a structure fire, and one who doesn't live in an area that restricts registration is worried that that fire hazard on a driveway isn't justified (e.g. if some spark ends up on the roadway near the house, that could be a big problem).

As such, I ask how can I very cheaply (ideally for free) store this car until I can get a covid vaccine and do what I need to do to fix it? Although I lack much money, this car has incredible sentimental importance to me, so I really don't want to sell it to a junkyard (I would be willing to pay some non-trivial money, but I don't have it.) — although I do plan to call one to see if they'll let me keep it there, without being for sale, in the meantime, as they are equipped for this sort of thing.

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    Why haven’t you emptied the fuel tank so that there is no fuel to leak?
    – HandyHowie
    Jan 22 at 15:01
  • @HandyHowie That's part of the plan, although I was keeping it there for now so I could drive it to the junkyard if storage failed. The fuel has apparently "saturated" the fuel lines, which makes it impossible to remove even close to all of it.
    – john01dav
    Jan 23 at 10:59

Drain the gas out of the tank and lines.

However, that is not a perfect solution as vapor will still exist in the tank, but it will prevent the gas from spreading over / into the ground.

As for where you leave it then that is a solution you need to sort - does it meet the standards to be left in the public road? If not, your drive? A spare drive of a neighbor?

  • Disconnect the battery

  • Drain the gas tank

  • Disconnect (even better, remove) the gas tank

  • Fill the gas tank with water (this will displace any gas vapor - do it in an open area). Up to you if you empty the water out or not. It may cause more rust, but hey - rust doesn't burn.

Now talk again to friends and family about storing it at their places; there is no gas or gas vapor in the car, so it's not a fire hazard. Just hope that they don't know that rust can jump six feet... :p


I can't see storage coming out cheaper than registration.

Drain the tank that makes it safe, or at-least safe-er

Then throw a tarp, or car-cover over it, or build a temporary fence behind it That prevents it from being visibly unregistered.

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