How to Store Your Vehicle for the Winter
Storing your vehicle in the wintertime or for a lengthened amount of time requires more than putting a sheet over it and putting it in the garage. There are some things you should do if you want to keep your automobile in excellent order before driving it again. The following article talks about the steps you need to take to ensure your car will be properly maintained while you aren’t driving it.
Clean, Clean, Clean
You will want to clean your car on the inside and outside. Remember to wash everything – wheels, wells, fenders, and mud flaps. If your car is dirty with wrappers and food crumbs, that will attract insects. Make sure to throw out all the garbage and vacuum it thoroughly on the inside. Make sure the car is completely dry before placing it in storage.
You want the inside of your car to be dry as well and scent-free. Dampness can cause bad odors. You can place dryness products like silica gel packs inside the vehicle to avoid this from happening or place a box of baking soda on the floor of your car to keep the air from becoming stale and combat bad smells.
The Right Location
Where you store your car is extremely important. You can place it in your home garage or a storage facility, but you want to make sure of a few factors before doing so. The storage location doesn’t necessarily have to be climate controlled, but you should find a place that doesn’t have a surplus of moisture. An excess of moisture will ultimately lead to rust.
You should store your car on a level, smooth asphalt, or concrete surface. No dirt or gravel as it can subject your vehicle to impurities and moisture and if left for a while your car could sink into the earth. Some people even park their vehicles on top of a tarp to avoid any mishaps during storage.
Oil and Fluids
Before placing your vehicle in storage, change the oil even if the time for an oil change hasn’t arrived yet. You don’t want old oil to sit and get a buildup of harmful elements that will destroy your engine. This happens when the oil sits in the car’s tank over time. Fill up your car with fluids as well – the gas tank, windshield wiper fluid, brake fluid, and antifreeze because condensation happens when there’s space in the fluid tanks. If your storage area isn’t a heated space, make sure to use winter-effective products for your windshield washer fluid and antifreeze. Because your car will be sitting for winter, think about utilizing a fuel stabilizer. This will help defend your gas lines and tank while prolonging the fuel’s life. After all of this, you should drive your car one more time before placing it into storage. This is so the oil can reach its optimal temperature and the other fluids have a chance to flow and circulate.
Prevention Makes Perfect
You want to prevent things from happening to your car while it’s in storage. You don’t want pesky critters invading your vehicle while it sits there defenseless. Place steel wool into the exhaust pipe and close off the air vents to keep tiny animals and insects away. Try placing mothballs or mint leaves around your car as a deterrent as well.
To avoid flat tires, inflate them to the manufacturer’s pressure rating. Deflation can occur to tires when the temperature is colder, and the car is in storage for an extended period. You should also consider protecting your wiper blades by wrapping them in fabric to keep them in good order and to protect your windshield from spots and marks.
Don’t forget about your battery. You want to preserve it during the winter months while it’s in storage. You have three options to choose from. You can leave your car’s battery connected, or disconnected, or install battery tenders. A battery tender or trickle charger gives the energy to keep a battery charged while in storage. Doing this and keeping a charge will prevent problems from happening with a drained battery.
Throwing a sheet over your vehicle will not suffice, you will need to cover it with something to protect it from dust and grime. There are many kinds of professional car covers on the market. They range from one-size-fits-all to custom-fitted numbers. Whatever cover you get, you need to ensure that it’s fastened securely.
Seek the help of a mechanic and get your car serviced (before being placed in storage) if you don’t want to do the oil change and topping up fluids yourself. Storing your vehicle properly in the winter can prevent unwanted and costly service. When you have your car serviced at a car dealership or auto repair shop, the automotive service company often uses numbered dispatch tags that hang on the rear-view mirror to identify the car being serviced. There is also a matching numbered tear-off key tag which is attached to the associated set of keys. If you operate a car dealership or other automotive service business, check out MBR Marketing for Service Dispatch Tags and other kinds of Auto Dealer Service Hang Tags at: https://mbrmarketing.com/service-department/service-dispatch-control-tags.
Since you won’t be driving your car and it will be in storage all winter, this is a good opportunity to save some money. Call your insurance agent and ask if there’s a way to save money on your car insurance by not driving until springtime. You will just have to make sure you know what insurance is needed when you are ready to hit the road again.
Yes, there are several steps involved before storing your car for the winter, but all the bother will be worth it. Once the snow melts and the flowers start to bloom, you will be able to take your auto for a ride again, and all the preparation you did in the winter will have paid off.