Top 6 Steps for your vehicle’s Winter Storage
Here's what you should consider when preparing for winter car storage.
So you have finally purchased the car or truck of your dreams. The one you have lusted after for years. You have driven it all spring, summer and fall but as winter approaches you have to decide what you will do with your pride and joy. Well living here in the north we are faced with snow, sleet, hail, cold weather etc. all detrimental to keeping your vehicle in pristine shape. If possible, those of us with well-loved cars or trucks store them for winter
If you think you will be storing your car, here are our six steps that will ensure that your car or truck is ready to go in the spring when the weather improves.
- Pretend you are taking it to show your new girlfriend for the first time. Clean it thoroughly, wash both the outside and underneath. (Most car washes have bottom blasters to do that for you.) Polish and wax all the painted surfaces with high-quality car care product. Clean out the interior, wisk out all the stuff that has accumulated over the season. Wipe down tires, rubber seals and anything else rubber with a quality rubber protectant. I have been very happy with the Mothers line to do these jobs.
- Change the oil and filter. Lubricate all hinges, linkages and other moving parts with quality graphite or other light lubricant.
- Check and fill all fluid levels. Top up the rear end and transmission, fill the windshield washer reservoir and check the brake fluid. Fill the tires to the recommended pressure plus 5 pounds. Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer.
- Check the antifreeze and be sure it is good to -30 Celsius. Add rust inhibitor to the radiator.
- Once in position, many people remove the batteries and take them into the house. We are using Optima batteries, sealed gel filled models, and have been able to leave them in for winter with no problems.
- Finally, and most important cover your car with a high-quality car cover. We find that Covercraft offers more models than anyone else and have the best fabrics. Do not use a tarp or other non-breathable material, you will do more damage than if you leave it uncovered! The car cover keeps out dirt, and anything else that might land on the paint. Best of all it protects your investment.
As long as your garage is weather tight this should be all that is needed. I do throw a handful of mothballs under the car, since someone told me that it kept rodents away and I tuck a fresh bar of Irish Spring under the seat to make everything smell sweet. I usually start the car once a month and if the weather is pristine I can still go for a blast when the roads are dry and the sun is shining. Otherwise, it's just waiting for spring.
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