Ah, winter. It’s a time of hot cocoa, cozy fires, and preparing your vehicle for storage. That’s right! When the cold weather rolls in, you may need to store your vehicle properly. But fear not, as we have four helpful tips for winter vehicle storage that’ll ensure you and your automobile emerge from the colder months unscathed.
1. Choose a Good Storage Location
Location, location, location! The first step in protecting your vehicle is finding a suitable storage space to protect it from harsh winter conditions. Ideally, you should choose a dry, clean, and secure indoor location like a garage or a dedicated storage facility. If such a facility isn’t available, you may want to invest in a cover or protective tarp.
2. Prepare Your Vehicle for Hibernation
Before tucking your vehicle away for the winter, you must prepare it for the long, cold months ahead. Take the time to clean the interior and exterior thoroughly, wax and polish the paint, and remove any dirt, debris, or road salt that may have accumulated on the undercarriage. This will prevent corrosion from eating away at your prized possession. Knowing how to spot the signs of salt damage can help you keep your car from sustaining future damage. Check all fluid levels, including coolant, brake fluid, and engine oil, and top them off if necessary. It’s also smart to change the oil before storage, as used engine oil contains contaminants that can lead to engine corrosion over time.
3. Protect Your Tires
One of the most helpful tips for winter vehicle storage is to protect your tires. Tires can lose pressure over long periods of inactivity, which can lead to flat spots and uneven wear. Before you store your car, inflate the tires to their recommended pressure and consider placing your vehicle on tire cradles or jacks to protect them further. If you’re storing your vehicle in an area where temperatures fluctuate, be sure to periodically check tire pressure throughout the winter.
4. Disconnect or Remove the Battery
Your car’s battery can slowly discharge over time, leading to the unwelcome surprise of a dead battery when it’s time to take your vehicle out of storage. To prevent this, disconnect the battery cables or remove the battery completely and store it in a cool, dry place. If you opt to remove the battery, be sure to use a battery maintainer to keep it charged throughout the winter months.