If you've been on a round-the-world trip or if you've simply been on the other side of the country for a job for a few months, putting your car into long-term car storage may have seemed like the best option at the time. But before you start driving a car that's been inactive for so long, you'll need to do some basic inspections (or have your mechanic do them), as well as perform some basic maintenance that you would've done periodically in the interim if the car hadn't been in storage. Here are three steps to help you get your car out of storage in good working order.

1. Inspect it for damage

Before you attempt to move the car, check it over for damage and wear. Whether it's been stored indoors or outdoors, you'll want to check for any evidence of pests (which can damage many parts of a vehicle). Common areas for pests include the exhaust pipe, under the hood, and in the interior of the car. It's especially important to make sure there's no damage to engine belts or other components from pests.

2. Check levels of fluids

As always when you run your car, it'll need to have adequate levels of fuel (if you removed the fuel before storage, you'll need to replace it now), coolant, engine oil, brake fluid, and any other fluids your car uses to run. And depending on how long the vehicle has been in storage, you may need to replace these fluids because they may not work reliably after so long.

3. Reverse any modifications made for storage

If you took the wheels off to keep your tires from going flat or becoming misshapen, you'll have to replace them; if not, you should still check the tire pressure to make sure they're fully inflated. If you disconnected the battery, you'll need to remember to reconnect it again before trying to start the car (if not, you may need to recharge it). It's a good idea to have a list of the modifications you made for storage, such as plugging the tailpipes, draining the fuel tank, and so on, so you can just run down the list without being in fear of forgetting anything.  

Use these steps to help you prepare your stored car for getting back on the road with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of safety, whether you've stored it for a week or a month..