Those who live where winter brings snow and ice may want to store their cars for the winter. This is especially true for classic cars, convertibles, or any car that the owner does not want to experience harsh winter weather.
The first thing to do before storing any car is to thoroughly clean your car, inside and out. Make sure the exterior is cleaned, polished, and waxed. Be extra certain that there is no tree sap or any residue left on the paint. If there is exposed metal, spray it with a protective coat, rubberized undercoating, or WD-40.
Clean the inside, throwing out trash and vacuuming the seats and floor carpet. If you do use water to clean the vehicle, make sure you do it well before storing it so moisturize will not remain in the vehicle and create mold.
Keep mice and other small animals from getting inside your car by putting a sock in your exhaust pipes. You can also put dryer sheets or baking soda on your seats which will smell better than mothballs, as an alternative idea.
Your tires should be inflated to a full pressure, as they will slowly deflate over time and cold weather. However, do not over-inflate your tires. Replace any tires that have leaks, as the car could end up on its rims, causing damage.
Do not store your vehicle with the parking brake on, as the brake could become ‘frozen’ and nearly impossible to disengage. Get wheel chocks or blocks of wood to place against the tires if you are worried about the car rolling. An even better approach is to put your vehicle on a car jack stand. That will take the weight off the suspension and tires, but be sure you know how to properly and safely do so.
Store your vehicle with a full tank of gas and fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion in the fuel lines and engine. Also be sure to manage all your fluids by changing your oil and filters and topping off all fluids.
After completing your oil change, topping off fluids, and adding fuel stabilizer, take your car for one last drive to circulate all fluids. Park your automobile in a dry location and then remove the battery or connect it to a trickle charger. If a battery gets too cold, it can freeze and crack, so it is important to remove it you are in a colder area.
The final step is to cover with a quality car cover. This is usually a two person job, to make sure the cover gets put on correctly. If you complete all the proper steps to store your vehicle for winter, you will not need to start it periodically during the winter.
Proper storage of your vehicle during the winter will keep it running for years to come.