Preparing Your Car for Winter Storage

When Mother Nature casts a sparkling spell, turning the landscape into a winter wonderland. It’s time to put your favorite ride away. Do you love your vehicle so much that we wouldn’t even think of driving it in the snow let alone in the rain? Many people are storing their dream cars, do you know the proper way to store your vehicle. Doing it right will save you expenses and aggravation later. These 8 steps will assist your auto to sleep better through the winter.

  1. Choose a garage or other storage facility that's dry. Damp air will cause rust over a long period of time.
  2. Fill the gas tank and add a fuel-stabilizing additive to prevent the gas from oxidizing and deteriorating. An empty or low gas tank will rust internally as moisture may accumulate inside the tank.
  3. Change your oil and repair and leaks or drips from the engine, transmission, brakes and rear end.
  4. Relieve the weight from the tires by putting the car up on jack stands (available for about $15 a pair - you'll need two pairs). Check with the owner's manual and/or your mechanic about the safest place to place the jack stands.
  5. Wash and wax the car well to prevent corrosion. It will make the car look great in the spring when you are ready to uncover it.
  6. Disconnect the battery, so the battery doesn't fail. A trickle charge can be purchased at a parts store and will protect the battery. If you remove the battery don't store it on a concrete floor, use a battery box and store it on wood blacks. It's not recommended to start the car every once in a while, because it will create moisture in the exhaust and just sit there until you run it again (this can cause rust and corrosion). If you do run a car in a garage without proper ventilation - carbon monoxide can kill you.
  7. Cover your car with a good quality car cover. Park your vehicle on a plastic sheet and place a piece of cardboard under the car to absorb any drips or moisture. Plug the tail pipe with aluminum foil to keep rodents out (just remember to remove it in the spring).
  8. Don't forget to leave fire and theft insurance coverage on your vehicle to protect your investment.

Now you can rest easy this winter knowing that your vehicle will be ready when the temperatures rise again. Then you and your favorite road will once more.