Putting your car away for Winter

Posted by Bob McJannett on

Autumn Means Time to Prep Your Car for Long-Term Storage

Keep Your Car in Good Running Order During The Winter

Sadly, as great as Summer and now the Fall has been, it will soon be time to put those cars away. Just a reminder of the best ways to do this. No matter where you are planning to store it, it should be spotlessly clean both inside and out. Wash it thoroughly and follow up with a quick wax job. Take it out for a short ride to be sure all the excess water is drained off. Mothers offers Polishes, Waxes, Cleaners, Clay Bar & More.

While you are out for that last ride, fill the fuel tank to the top and add a good quality fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizer prevents the degradation of the gasoline and protects the complete system from gum and other contaminants.


Be sure the Automotive Oil is clean and up to the correct level, if it is dirty, change it now. Top up all other Automotive Fluids to the correct level.


Fill the tires above the normal pressures, I usually add 10 pounds, this prevents flat spots. Check with a quality tire pressure gauge.


VERY IMPORTANT! Check your antifreeze, be sure it is correct for the expected winter temperatures. More than once, a heated garage loses power and before you know it, you have a frozen and cracked block.


Unless you are absolutely sure that the storage area is free of rodents and small animals, do something to discourage them from making a new home in your car. Some suggest moth balls, but they are dangerous to both people and pets. Others use Irish Spring soap in chunks throughout the vehicle; it smells nice, but the jury is out on just how effective it is. The latest thing is an electronic Mouse Blocker that is attached to the battery that sends out a sonic signal that rodents don’t want to be near.


In the old days, the trick was to remove the battery and take it into the house. However, with today's electronically filled cars, removing the battery is no longer recommended; instead hook up the battery to a Battery Charger to keep the charge up to snuff.  Coat the battery terminals with dielectric grease.


Don't Tarp It - Get a Car Cover

Finally, cover the car with a quality breathable, properly fitted Car Cover. Tarps don’t breathe which causes paint degradation. Hopefully you got your cover ordered before the fall, Custom-Fit covers from Covercraft are currently estimating from 6 - 12 weeks to be manufactured.


Don’t occasionally start the car during the winter unless you are prepared to take it out on dry roads and get everything up to operating temperature. Simply starting the car for a few moments in the garage causes condensation that will lead to unwanted rust.

Come on spring!

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