5 Tips for Storing Your Car in Winter
Long winters are common in Canada, and for drivers, the start of these seasons are signs to put their cars away. However, tucking a car away in a dry garage is not all it takes to ensure the car is road-worthy come the spring. On the contrary, there are a variety of precautions to take to ensure that no damage comes to your car during those long cold seasons. Here are five steps you should always take when storing your car during winter.
Complete a Fluid Change
Changing the fluids that keep your car running is important to winter storage. Without a proper fluid change, the vital components of your car could become a home to contaminants. To avoid this, try a complete overhaul – replace everything from the filter to the engine oil, coolant and down to the gas. You could also replace the brake fluid, but this might not be necessary because this particular fluid lasts longer than others. Finally, add fuel stabilizer and take your car for a short drive to ensure that the stabilize spreads throughout the system.
Take Care of the Battery
Batteries don’t come cheap. Therefore, before storing your car, ensure you take some measures to prolong the life of your automobile’s battery. There are three ways to go about this. The first is to leave the battery connected. Option number two is to disconnect the battery and store it in a cool, climate-controlled shelf until spring. The third and recommended of the three is to leave the battery in and install battery tenders. A tender goes for about $25.
Give the Vehicle some TLC
Hand-washing, buffing, waxing. Those are the kind of words you should familiarize yourself with before storing a car. Cleaning your ‘chariot’ inside and out serves a number of purposes. For one, it ensures the car components do not deteriorate under the harsh conditions of winter. Additionally, cleaning your car is a great way to ensure that your car is –ready-to-drive when it leaves the garage in spring. After cleaning the car, pour some baking soda in the cabin and cargo to absorb moisture.
Care for your Tires
Without proper care, tires may have cracks and bulges after long-term storage, not to mention flat spots. There are two ways you can prevent this from happening to your tires. The first is that you could fill your tires up to above-normal pressure, put wheel locks on them and leave the vehicle standing. Alternatively, you could put the car up on Jack Stands and leave it in storage.
Mind the Critters
Insects and others critters love warm spots during winter. Avoid making your car a safe haven for these creatures by taking steps to prevent them from damaging the car. Lock all the windows of your car. After that, ensure the air intakes and exhaust are taken care of – you can block off the exhaust using mothballs or steel wool. Finally, fit a car cover over your automobile.
With that done, you should be able to drive your car comfortably come spring – after the proper fluids, tire, battery and visual checks, of course.