If you're planning not to drive your car during the winter season, you must familiarize yourself with “how to store your car for winter?” Here are 11 tips:
- Clean the exterior
- Clean the interior
- Keep any living creatures away
- Fill the gas tank
- Replace the oil filter
- Add coolant
- Take care of the tires
- Use a trickle charger
- Start the vehicle occasionally
- Invest in a car cover
- Consider a lift winter car storage
Not every car owner can drive his vehicle during the winter season, especially in cold areas where snow is heavy. For example, drivers of sports or classic cars think twice about using their vehicles during this season.
That's why it's a very common convention that these owners will think about storing their vehicles during the winter season and using another car. However, the question always remains, “how to store your car for winter?” Storing the vehicle will not be as simple as leaving it sitting in your garage. You must implement some tips to prevent ruining this car, especially if it means a lot to you and you would like to keep it.
This article will walk you through tips to help you store your car during the winter season without causing any issues to the internal components, especially since you're not going to be moving the vehicle for an extended time.
Why do people need to store their vehicles in the winter season?
Before we dive into the details about “how to store your car for winter?” We must get a general understanding of why people store their cars in the winter in the first place.
Typically, most of the winter care and tips are focused on maintaining your car, fixing the tires, and others. However, it might be strange to some people to hear about storing the cars in winter.
However, many people have several reasons for storing cars in the winter season. For instance, if you're planning to leave your vehicle and go for a vacation for a couple of months, that's a strong reason for storing the car and leaving it undriven.
Similarly, some owners of classic cars are not suitable for driving in the winter season. They're designed from certain types of very old tires that are not very good to use on snowy or icy roads. Therefore, these people are most likely to store their cars and use another alternative to commute during the winter season.
How to store your car for winter? 11 tips
According to automotive experts, the worst thing you can do to your classic car is not to store it properly during the winter season. Therefore, you need to understand what goes into the car stores during winter and what you must implement to extend the vehicle's lifetime and avoid costly repairs down the road.
The great thing is that there are some tips and recommendations you can implement easily without needing any help from a professional. Let's say it also look at these eleven recommendations from automotive experts on the proper winter car storage:
1. Clean the exterior
The first and most important step to do is to wash your car. Typically, it's recommended that you don't rely on the quick commercial outside car wash, but instead, you should hand wash it. Use the proper so that it is suitable for your vehicle and does not ruin the paint.
Ignoring the car and leaving it dirty from one season to another is one of the worst ideas you could do. By leaving it dirty, you allow contaminants and debris to get from the paint cracks that can reach the sensitive metal components that might get damaged if you leave it like this for a long time.
2. Clean the interior
Yes, you're not going to be using your car for a long time, but it's still important to clean the interior. By performing add internal clean of your vehicle, you prevent any smells from sticking to the upholstery or the internal furniture of the vehicle.
This is extremely important because the last thing you want to deal with is getting inside the vehicle after the season is over and noticing some very strong smells that you cannot get rid of using simple cleanups or simple refreshers.
3. Keep any living creatures away
It is very simple and easy for us to leave food leftovers or other items that might get rotten during the winter season. Even if the temperature will be very cold, leaving foods leftover allows many wild animals or probably insects and rats to get inside the car and look for food.
Imagine what could happen if rats got to the vehicle and followed it to a nice home during the winter season?! Therefore, to prevent making this vehicle attractive to these creatures, you must spend some time cleaning the interior and not allowing any remaining elements inside it.
4. Fill the gas tank
There is a very common misconception that you must empty or drain your gas tank if you plan to leave your car stored in the winter season. However, automotive experts confirmed that it should be the other way around; you should fill up your gas tank to prevent moisture buildups and maintain a healthy vehicle.
However, you can add some gas stabilizer that prevents the fuel from deteriorating over time and keeps it fresh without any issues.
5. Replace the oil filter
The only thing you need to do is replace the oil filter right before you store it for the winter season. While you could have changed your oil filter very recently, doing it right before you store allows you to prevent major catastrophe outcomes in the oil system that might be related to corrosion and other issues.
6. Add coolant
Another great idea is to top off your vehicle’s coolant. While the cooling system is going to work only when you start your vehicle and with the engine temperature approaches a certain threshold, it is still essential to have the right water and antifreeze mixture to prevent any frozen water inside the pipes that could lead to damaging certain components like the cylinders or the cylinder heads.
7. Take care of the tires
Once you're ready to start your vehicle in the winter season, you must take a closer look at the tires and ensure that no debris or contaminants are sitting around the tire, the tires are inflated properly, and there are no signs of uneven damages hearing
Taking care of the tire is very important because when you leave the vehicle sitting in one place during the winter season, there is a very high chance that you'll deal with flat-spotted tires. After all, the car doesn't move, and the wheels do not rotate, so all the pressure will be towards 1 area in your tires.
Experts recommended using certain elements and putting them underneath the car to avoid dealing with flat-spotting. For example, you can use a small piece of wood that does not cause tire deflation. You can also look for other recommendations on maintaining the tires during the winter season when the car is not moving.
8. Use a trickle charger
Did you know that your battery might die as your vehicle sits even if you're not moving it or using the battery? Yes! A very simple component like the car Clock might drain the battery and require you to replace it if you want to use the car.
To avoid this situation, experts recommend using a trickle charger which is a very slow charger that takes care of recharging the battery at a slow pace to prevent damaging it. However, if you don't want to use this charger, you can always disconnect the battery and leave it without use, so you can't connect it back when you want to use the vehicle.
9. Start the vehicle occasionally
If you're not planning to leave the area for a vacation, it is recommended that you get your vehicle started and move it for a little bit to avoid internal issues. For example, some experts recommend moving the car at least once or twice every three weeks to avoid dealing with problems related to starting and other systems.
Remember, after moving your car, close it properly and prevent any critters from getting inside and damaging the internal components, especially the electrical system. When running your car, you must allow it to run at least 10 to 15 minutes, so the internal system works properly and reaches the operating point where most of the internal components are in use.
10. Invest in a car cover
If you're not planning to park your car inside, you must invest in a winter car cover. You don't have to purchase the most expensive one, but there are pretty good ones that allow you to protect the car and prevent snow or freezing water from getting inside the vehicle and approaching the interior.
The nice thing about the car covers is that you don't have to worry about damaging the paint job or removing the clearcoat, especially if you're driving a newer car. However, keep in mind that you should choose the right car cover properly because you want to make sure that it fits your car and it's not very small or very big.
Some car covers are designed specifically for winter, so make sure to read through the main characteristics of each car cover before making a final purchase decision. Also, keep in mind that not all covers will come with the same quality; therefore, allow yourself some time to research the main pros and cons of each car cover before purchasing.
11. Consider a lift winter car storage
In some instances, and if you can't afford it, you might want to consider the winter lift car storage where the vehicle is lifted above the ground during the whole season. The adventure of these lifters is that your car's pressure will not be pointed towards certain spots in your tires, and therefore, you don't have to worry about the inflated issues in the tires that could require you to replace them after the winter season.
While most winter care topics are focused on preventing better issues and how to drive safely on the icy roads, there is a very important topic about storing cars in winter, especially if you're driving a classic car.
This article provided you with a detailed list of old tips and tricks that you can implement to store your car and prevent its damage safely. We highlighted some elements related to the fuel system and others related to the electrical systems.
It's important to note that investing and certain elements to protect your car during the winter season is a great idea. However, suppose your car already has major mechanical or electrical problems. Then, it might not be worth your investment in keeping it stored during the winter season because you'll need to drive it at the end of the day, which will have these significant problems.
Instead, it might make the most sense for you to sell this car and buy a better one that could serve you during the winter season, so you don't have to worry about storing it. If you're looking for a potential buyer to buy your vehicle considering its major problems, we highly encourage you to reach out to cash cars buyer!
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