East Coast winters can be brutal on vehicles, especially when they sit unused for extended periods of time. The last thing you want to find after storing a car all winter is a flat tire, a dead battery, or a leaking radiator. Here are five key steps you should take to prepare your vehicle for storage this winter.
Clean your car thoroughly.
Wash and wax your car before storing it, and be sure to tackle any bits of tar or tree sap that have stuck to the surface. It's also a good idea to vacuum and clean the interior, taking care to remove any forgotten drinks or food wrappers.
Prep your car battery.
Your car battery will slowly lose its charge over time, and could even freeze or crack in cold weather. In many cases, it’s best to disconnect the battery and store it separately.
Top up fluids.
Before storing your car, you should change the oil filter and oil, and then top up all other fluids. You'll also want to add a fuel stabilizer after you fill the gas tank. Finally, drive your car a short distance to circulate the new fluids before putting it into storage.
Inflate and protect your tires.
Tires slowly leak air over time, leading to flat spots or flat tires. Avoid this by inflating all four tires to the maximum recommended tire pressure. You can also park on curved ramps known as flat stoppers or tire cradles that help to evenly distribute weight across the surface of the tires. If you prefer to put your car on jack stands, make sure you're familiar with the proper procedure for your car or consult a car care professional. Finally, do not engage the parking brake as it may lock or become damaged over time.
Some final car storage tips.
In addition to the extreme cold, humidity is one of the worst things that can affect a car. If you have to store your vehicle outdoors, avoid parking on grass or dirt since these surfaces trap moisture. The ideal solution is to park your car in a sheltered environment such as a garage or self-storage facility. After all your preparations are done, remember to cover your vehicle with a car cover or heavy tarp to keep it looking beautiful after the winter.
To learn more about our vehicle storage options, contact us today. Our friendly storage specialists will help you prepare for your winter storage needs.