With the cold season here with us, it’s yet another time to store your classic or sports car for several months until spring. After all, slippery roads, road salt, snow and rain, and sub-zero temperatures are not exactly ideal conditions to risk your vehicle. You need to properly store your vehicle as it helps extend the life of your car, avoid costly repairs and ensure your vehicle is in top shape come spring. Lack of proper car storage can do as much damage to your vehicle as driving it during the freezing temperatures of winter. Here are top tips on how to store your car over the winter months.
Clean and Cover
Winter means you will have to put your car away for a few months. Give your car one last clean to prevent dirt and grime from damaging the paintwork. It’s also advisable to invest in an essential car cover, especially if you don’t have Indoor storage. Quality covers are effective in keeping out moisture to prevent rusting and protect the paintwork. Even if you own a garage or have indoor storage, it’s best to invest in a cover to prevent scratches and bumps when moving items in and out of the garage. Make sure that the car is completely dry before covering it up.
While most car owners have access to a garage or similar alternative, most prefer a high security and climate-controlled storage option. However, your garage can work just fine in keeping your car protected. As long as it’s safe and dry, your car will make it through cold months. Alternatively, you can build a prefab metal garage (if you have enough space in your yard) or reconstruct your garage. Prefab metal garages or steel buildings are solid and built to withstand harsh weather conditions and protect stored items. They are cost-effective and require low or no maintenance. For those without a storage option, it’s advisable to rent outdoor or indoor storage.
With cold weather and fluctuating temperatures in your garage, moisture can accumulate in your empty fuel tank. Older cars especially are prone to rust and a clogged fuel filter come spring. To avoid this, fill up the fuel tank before parking, particularly with high-octane, low-ethanol fuel. Leave a small volume of empty air in the tank to prevent moisture buildup and diluted contaminants. Otherwise, you can invest in a fuel stabilizer to prevent water from separating from gasoline since you require more extended storage.
Regularly Check Your Tire Pressure
Your car can easily develop flat spots when stored for more extended periods. This is because the rubber sits continuously compressed over several months. Adding a few extra pounds of pressure can solve the problem and ensure that you regularly take pressure readings. You can also take off the tires using jack stands or park the car with a flat section of 2-inch by 10-inch word boards. This helps insulate the rubber when parking on concrete and prevents it from extremely hardening up.
Disconnect Your Car Battery
It’s always a good idea to remove the vehicle’s battery unless you plan to start your car occasionally. When removed, store it in a warm place to prevent freezing due to cold temperatures as it can crack. You can also connect it to a trickle charger or battery tender with an automatic shutoff feature to prevent overcharging the battery.
Mice and pests can also ruin your car. Ensure that you clean the interior of your car and not just the exterior. Aim to protect your vehicle at all costs so it’s in the proper condition come spring.