As we approach December, you’re probably thinking about how to store a car for winter. Storing a car for winter is more than throwing a sheet over and locking it in your garage. There are plenty of things to do, including washing and waxing the car before storage.
It’s essential to take good care of your car before storage. You have to consider things like storage location, engine oil, and condition of tires. In this guide, we look at the tips on how to store a car for winter. Keep reading to learn more about winter car storage.
Some of the Best Winter Car Storage Tips to Consider
If you own a car, winter shouldn’t catch you unaware of how to store it. We’ve compiled a few car winter storage tips to help you stay on a safer side.
- Store When Clean
You don’t expect to wash your car the first thing after winter when you get it from where you stored it. Your car winter storage process should start with a thorough washing to see all the compartments cleaned.
Strive to give the car a great wash by cleaning the underneath to ensure its sparkling as it was when you bought it. Make sure you dry off any moisture to keep rust far away from your car. You can wax it after a perfect wash for added protection.
2. Change the Oil
Leaving oil that you have used in your car’s engine for a long time could be disastrous to your engine. If you are considering storing your car for longer than 30 days, then this is one of the factors you should not overlook.
Used engine oil harbors contaminants that could destroy your engine or contribute to sludge buildup. You can check if the engine oil is dirty by pulling the dipstick. If it’s dirty, and you’ve hit the mileage limit, consider changing the oil.
3. Protect the Fuel Tank
The fuel tank is fragile when you don’t take care of it. In your to-do list for car winter storage, protecting the fuel tank should rank among the priorities. During storage, you should make sure that you fill your car’s gas tank to help keep the moisture out of it.
When moisture accumulates inside the fuel tank, the walls may start corroding, leaving space within the tank may lead to the seals drying up. That’s also the time to bring in a fuel stabilizer to protect the engine from gum, rust, and varnish.
4. Swap the Tires
Storing your car for an extended time might not be healthy for your tires, especially on the flat spots that will remain so for the whole duration. Bring in a set of used tires that you don’t commonly use to help withhold the car’s pressure for the duration.
You may consider other options like lifting your car off the wheels and allowing it to hang freely or inflating the tires to maximum PSI ratings. These may work but are not the best options for a car in storage for a long time.
5. Keep the Rodents Away
Winter is cold, and rodents won’t resist the chance of inhabiting your car where the temperatures are warmer. Rats would easily fit through several openings in your car and eat some fragile wires. You’ll end up with a lot of repairs by the time winter ends.
You can stop all these from happening by blocking all the gaps that rodents can use to enter the car. Block the exhaust pipe or an air intake using steel wool. You can go a step ahead to set up mouse traps for the nosy ones.
6. Keep the Insurance Active
A common trend during winter storage for cars is that owners tend to scrape off the insurance coverage over that period. Terminating the coverage puts your car at more risks than it is already exposed to during the winter.
If the car gets stolen or a fire accident occurs, there won’t be insurance to hedge against the loss. To save on insurance costs, look for affordable coverage. Thankfully, Surex can help you find the cheapest car insurance quotes in Calgary and the rest of Canada.
7. Don’t Brake the Car in Parking.
The car brakes are there so you can use them while driving. But when the car is in storage, you should resist the temptation of using a parking brake to hold the tires in place. That’s important when you intend to leave your car in storage for a long time.
Engaging the brakes may cause the pads and the disc to fuse through corrosion over time. You can use tire chocks instead to avoid the risk of losing your entire emergency breaks over the storage period.
8. Protect Your Battery
Car batteries are fragile when not in use and could go to ruins within time if you’ve not taken good care of it. If you leave your battery unattended for some time, it will lose its charge and eventually go bad. There are solutions to this, including:
Unplugging the battery cables beginning with the negative one
Using a trickle charger to connect your battery to an outlet to keep your battery topped up throughout the storage period
Unplugging may be the most viable option, but you will have to deal with the loss of your stereo presets, time, and other settings. Conversely, a trickle charger can be risky if you are storing your car off the property. They carry a possibility of sparking fires.
9. Startup Your Car Frequently
Storing your car doesn’t mean you are dumping it up until the day you need its services again. You can always stop by to give it at least 20 minutes of engine rumble to warm it up and keep its internals active.
Before starting the engine, you should remove any item you were using to block the exhaust. You can repeat this exercise regularly for at least once a week. If you are not close to monitor that, you can send someone to do it for you.
As you may have noticed, storing a car is not as easy as driving it around. You may need to keep it active if you want it to serve you for the long time it should. But when winter comes, you might have to store it. The good news is that you now know how to store a vehicle for winter.
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