Baby, it’s cold outside. And that means it’s time to put your beloved car into storage. Check out 5 winter storage tips to keep your ride safe and stylish.
A general rule of thumb when buying a car is to spend no more than 35 percent of your annual income. Regardless of how much you make, this still represents a significant investment.
If you are like some people, you may want to store your vehicle during the winter months to protect it from the harsh conditions. After all, the chilly winter air can cause quite a bit of damage to an array of your vehicle’s components.
However, before you just park your vehicle for winter, you need to ensure it is ready and prepped. After all, storing your vehicle doesn’t mean you are just going to park it in a warm, safe location until spring. You have to ensure it’s ready for wintertime hibernation.
It doesn’t matter if you have a luxury limousine, or a traditional vehicle, you can use the tips here to ensure no issues arise with your winter car storage methods.
1. Clean the Vehicle – Inside and Out
It’s important that you thoroughly clean your vehicle both on the inside an outside before storing it. The last thing you want to do is put a cover over a dirty vehicle.
Take the time to hand wash your car, polish the chrome, and apply a coat of wax. Be sure to get rid of any trace of tree-sap or bird droppings, too.
If you have noticed any unpainted metal areas under your car that may rust, then purchase rubberized undercoating to spray on these areas. Remember, this is something you will have to reapply each year.
Some other tips to help you get your vehicle ready for winter storage include:
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- Stuff a sock (or something similar) in the exhaust to prevent bugs, rodents, etc.
- Throw out all garbage in the vehicle
- Steam clean the carpet
- Purchase seat covers
- Place dryer sheets in the vehicle to prevent mice
Preparing your vehicle like this can help ensure it is ready to go into storage for months, or more.
2. The Tires
It’s a good idea to inflate your tires to a higher air pressure before you store your vehicle. This is because tires may lose pressure as time passes, and as the temperature drops.
While you need to inflate your tires, don’t exceed the maximum air pressure amount, which is typically found on the side of your tire. Also, be sure all four of your tires are at the correct air pressure when you take it out of storage.
If you know that one of the tires has a leak, it’s best to replace it. When it is sitting in storage, the tire may deflate completely, leaving your car sitting on its rim.
Avoid engaging your parking block for storage, as well. It can become frozen and hard to disengage. If you are concerned about the car rolling, use wheel chocks or even blocks of wood to wedge against your tires.
3. Fluids and Power
It’s smart to add a fuel stabilizer to your vehicle’s tank. The majority of ethanol-blended fuels only have a shelf life of approximately three months.
If you plan to store your vehicle for longer than this, using a fuel stabilizer can help prevent corrosion in your engine and the fuel lines. Be sure your gas tank is nearly full when you add the fuel stabilizer.
It’s smart to change your vehicle’s oil, and the filter, and top off all other fluids, too, prior to storing it. If your area is prone to freezing, then make sure there is enough antifreeze present.
The battery needs to be either connected to a trickle charger or removed and stored. Keeping the battery charged, even while your vehicle is being stored, is going to help prolong its life.
4. Find the Right Storage Location
You need to make sure your car is parked in a clean, dry location. If you don’t have additional space in your garage, consider using awnings, or even renting space from an off-site storage facility.
If you rent a storage unit, it can help ensure your vehicle is protected from any incremental weather, making it a smart investment.
When choosing a storage location, it’s a good idea to look for a place with concrete flooring, that is clean, dry, and well maintained. While it isn’t necessary to store your vehicle in a climate-controlled location, this can be beneficial if temperatures drop below zero.
5. Use a Car Cover
Even though you are going to be storing your vehicle in a covered area, you should still invest in a quality car cover. This provides an extra layer of protection for your vehicle and isn’t that big of an investment.
Think about it, if you are going to put all the time and effort into cleaning and preparing your vehicle for storage, make sure you protect this hard work. A cover will keep dust and debris from accumulating on the surface.
Winter Car Storage Tips That Work
If you want to ensure your vehicle is protected and ready to go when warmer weather arrives, then be sure to use the winter car storage tips found here. Doing so will ensure your vehicle is ready to stand up to harsh winter weather, regardless of where you live.
If you found the information here helpful then check out some of the other information, we have available, such as common myths about car financing. Our team is dedicated to providing information on a wide array of topics.