12 WINTER STORAGE TIPS FOR YOUR VEHICLE
10/20/2022 - 9:00 AM
While we may very well have a few warm days left in the year, the cold weather is creeping in and winter is just around the corner. For those of us with classic cars, hot rods, sports cars or even just RWD vehicles that don’t do so well in the snow, it’s time to start thinking about placing our 4-wheeled friends into storage.
Step 1: Decide Where You Will Store Your Vehicle
Ideally, your own garage is the best place to store your vehicle for the winter. Not only is it easier to keep an eye on and makes things more convenient if you need to access the vehicle, but it also helps with a few of our storage steps below. It’s also FREE which is a plus! However, if you don’t have a garage or if your garage is too full to fit your vehicle, you can rent indoor vehicle storage at a number of self-storage facilities. With climate control options, month-to-month rental agreements and security features like video surveillance, a storage facility provides the flexibility and peace of mind you want.
For a listing of local storage facilities in and around Macomb County, MI, including facilities in Casco, Chesterfield, Clinton Township, Fraser, Macomb, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray Township, Richmond, Roseville and Washington Township – CLICK HERE.
Step 2: Clean Your Vehicle
Once you’ve decided where you will store your vehicle, the next step is to CLEAN IT! Remove all of the trash, remove anything that might freeze and vacuum up any and ALL crumbs that could attract pests. The last thing you want is for critters to snuggle up and hibernate inside your vehicle during the winter months! Once you’ve deep cleaned the interior, spend some time on the outside as well. Any dirt or salt left on the body of your vehicle could lead to rust, so make sure to wash your car before storing it. And not only the body, but underneath your vehicle as well. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, a fresh coat of wax can also help protect paint while in storage.
For a PROFESSIONAL cleaning, either before OR after the winter, come see us at Monicatti Auto Sales & Service in Chesterfield, MI and book an appointment with our professional, in-house auto detailers. You can give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM.
Step 3: Change Your Oil
Before putting your vehicle into storage, be sure to get an oil change. Fresh oil will protect your engine while it’s sitting and guarantee it’s ready to drive again when the weather warms up.
Step 4: Refresh the Coolant/Antifreeze
With a name like “antifreeze” (also known as coolant), you can probably guess that it’s definitely made for the winter! Adding more antifreeze is especially important if you’re storing a vehicle outside. Due to the risk of freezing, make sure your water-to-antifreeze ratio for the winter is close to 50/50.
If you’re unsure of how to perform an oil change or flush your antifreeze or coolant, Monicatti Auto Service Center in Chesterfield, MI services all surrounding areas including (but not limited to) Algonac, Casco, Chesterfield, Clinton Township, East China, Fraser, Macomb, Mt. Clemens, Marysville, New Baltimore, New Haven, Ray Township, Richmond, Roseville and Washington Township. Give us a call at 1-844-463-6722 or fill out our ONLINE CONTACT FORM to book your appointment TODAY!
Step 5: Fill the Tires
Adding extra air to the tires before storing your vehicle can save you a lot of trouble when it’s time to drive again in the spring. Slightly overfilling the tires before putting your car away is a smart idea to make sure they don’t go flat from fluctuations in temperature. Just be sure not to exceed the maximum PSI.
Step 6: Top Off the Gas
Filling up on gas before you put a vehicle into storage is a smart idea because it prevents condensation from building up in your fuel tank. If you’re going to be storing your vehicle long-term, for the entire winter for example, adding a fuel stabilizer to your gas can help protect your car. This is because gas can break down over time and a fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening, which can be detrimental for your engine when it comes time to start it again.
Step 7: Protect Your Battery
There are two main options to choose from when deciding how to store a car battery for the winter. Disconnecting a car battery for storage is a great idea as long as it’s somewhere dry, has a stable temperature, and is kept off of the floor. If you don’t want to deal with removing and reinstalling a battery, you could invest in a battery trickle charger. A trickle charger will keep enough power running to the battery so it doesn’t die completely.
Step 8: Chock Your Wheels
If you are storing your vehicle outdoors or if your garage or driveway are built on an incline, wheel chocks can be a good idea that will offer you peace of mind without putting unnecessary strain on your parking break. These pyramid-shaped blocks wedge under your front tires to ensure it won’t roll anywhere.
Step 9: Get a Vehicle Cover
A winter car cover is a wonderful idea because your vehicle will stay dry, clean, and free of dust, especially when stored indoors. However, if your vehicle is sitting outside during the winter, a car cover can sometimes be bad as it can actually trap in moisture and accelerate rust and erosion. In this case, it’s a good idea to clear snow and ice from your vehicle as often as you can.
Step 10: Take Steps to Prevent Pests
Air intake boxes, exhaust pipes, and other openings around your vehicle can invite unwanted pests like rodents and insects. Block off these openings while storing your vehicle to keep pests out. Fabric sheets inside your car and moth balls on the outside are great ways to deter pests from making a home in your vehicle. Just make sure to remove any covers before you start your car!
Step 11: Run the Engine Occasionally
How long can a car sit without being driven? That depends on the make and model of your car, as well as if it’s being stored indoors or outdoors. Ideally, you should start your car every few weeks and allow the engine to run until the engine heats up fully to ensure everything is in working order.
Step 12: Check Everything Before Driving Again
Thoroughly inspect your vehicle for rot or damage before you take it out of storage for the season. Check your breaks and begin driving slowly. Depending on the length your car has been sitting without being driven, give it an ample amount of time to idle before you head back out on the open road!
(NOTE: Information gathered from ExtraStorageSpace.com and GarageLiving.com)