Storing Your Car For Winter Explained

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In the scope of things that are a little miserable about winter, making sure your car is well-cared for is high up there. Shoveling your car out of snow, warming it up for twenty minutes before actually driving it, and scraping ice off your windshield- there’s got to be a better way, right?

Instead of dealing with the annoyances of driving your car in the winter, consider storing it for the season. Putting your car in will help ward off the damage that your car could suffer from during the winter, but even when it’s not parked outside, your car’s engine, interior, and body could be harmed. Here’s how to store your car for winter so that once the snow melts, your car will be ready to drive, windows down, without any issues.

First, . Ask your mechanic to spray the cylinders with fogging oil so that the spark plugs don’t rust and seize; if you’re a good mechanic, you can do this yourself. Fill your gas tank with premium, non-alcohol fuel and add fuel stabilizer to prevent oxidation, which clogs up the gas lines. Change and top off all your fluid levels (coolant, clutch, brake, and windshield fluids) to prevent condensation, and also change your oil and filters, since old oil can become acidic and cause engine damage. Park your car on a plastic drop sheet in case of fluid leaks from condensation, so that your garage or storage unit doesn’t get stained. In older vehicles, disconnect your battery, but for new cars, keep the battery connected and use a trickle charger to power the onboard computers.

Next, make sure your exterior and interior can tackle the winter. Store your car indoors to prevent sun damage (which can crack vinyl, fade leather, or even cause your speakers to blow), or cover your entire vehicle with a cloth. Close your vents and roll up windows to deter small animals from nesting in your car (leave one window slightly cracked if stored indoors); also, stuff a rag inside your exhaust and cover it with a metal screen. Store your wipers in the “out” position or wrap them in plastic so that they don’t stick to the windshield, and before you store your car, wash and wax it beforehand, taking care to get rid of any dirt in wheel wells. Corrosion and paint damage can cause major damage to cars in coastal areas and during winter.

Your tires can break down from exposure and changes in temperature, so inflate your tires to the proper pressure level and check to see if over-inflation is recommended for your car. If you leave your parking brake on, the brake pads can stick to the rotors; instead, disengage the parking brake and use wheel chocks. Finally, you might have seen others store their cars on blocks to prevent them from setting; however, this leaves your shock absorbers extended, and exposure to the elements can cause them to rust. Therefore, unless you use bias ply tires, do not store your car on blocks.

Your car is one of the most valuable things you own, and by storing it in winter, you can avoid the hassle of caring for it in cold, snowy weather. However, unless you store it carefully, your car could reemerge from hibernation is worse shape than when it went into storage. Use these simple, preventative steps from so that your car survives the winter intact, and before you know it, warm weather will be here and your car will be ready to drive.

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