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Best Practices: Car storage in the winter. People in northern Canada know about winter. We are pleased to share these best practices for winter car storage. Keep your vintage or exotic car safe and prepared for these Winston-Salem winters.
Winter Car Storage Tips
- CLEAN – clean your car inside and out and dry it thoroughly before putting it in long-term storage. Dirt and residue could damage your car’s finish if left on the surface for long periods. Auto Obsessed has a series of video guides to help you do this work.
- FUEL – Gasoline can go bad if it’s stored for months. Among other things, it can oxidize and form deposits which could ultimately clog your fuel system. Two tips for your fuel: 1) add a fuel stabilizer to your gas to prevent chemical change and 2) keep the fuel tank as close to full as possible to avoid condensation.
- OIL– As oil gets used, corrosive materials get suspended in it, and they can corrode your engine if they sit there for long periods. Change your oil before storing your car for a long duration.
- ENGINE– Start your car and run the engine regularly (every two or three weeks) while it is stored to keep the cylinders lubricated. Run it for 20 minutes, or until it gets to optimal operating temperature.
- BATTERY– Maintain charge in your battery with a battery tender or smart charger. Keep it plugged in all winter. Disconnecting the battery is a bad idea if you have a newer vehicle with computers (ECU, ABS controller, power distribution, transmission controller, etc). If they lose power, stored settings and programs could be lost, and you could face performance problems down the road.
- TIRES – Tires tend to get a flat spot if they aren’t rotating all winter. Flat spots cause excess driving noise and poor performance. Flat spots can work themselves out but could become permanent depending on conditions. Permanent flat spots cannot be fixed, and you will need to replace your tires. Park your car on TireCradles to prevent flat spots from forming.
- VENTS – Another recommended tip is to close the AC air vents in the car before storage. This prevents moist air from moving through the ventilation system, and it also stops insects or rodents from traveling through the system.
Need a place to store your winter car prep tools? Custom Self Storage in Winston-Salem offers great rates on all our storage units.