Some people are so frightened by the idea of driving in winter that they simply don’t do it, instead opting for public transportation or snowmobile. Just kidding about the snowmobile part – but the public transportation part isn’t a bad idea, if you can swing it. However you choose to get around, leaving your car parked all winter can do a real number on it and can make it impossible to start once the spring thaw has arrived.
Here are a few winter storage tips to ensure your car emerges from winter no worse for the wear, both inside and out.
- Before you hang up your keys, have your car serviced by a qualified auto mechanic. Keeping your fluid levels topped off will help you car deal better with the freezing conditions that can often occur even in enclosed garage spaces.
- Fill your gas tank. There are numerous schools of thought that say the best scenario is to keep your tank nearly empty, but due to the problem of condensation that can occur, it’s suggested that you fill your tank with premium gas. Since gas can thicken in your tank over time, it’s also recommended that you add gas stabilizer to your tank. You can find this at your local auto supplies store.
- Wash and wax the exterior of your car, and also flush out the undercarriage. Removing all dirt, gunk and contaminants from your car’s body will improve the longevity of your car’s paint job as well as the exposed mechanics.
- Connect your car battery to a float charger. Float chargers only engage when the charge in your battery has begun to drop, and turn off again once the battery is fully charged. This will keep your battery from dying during the winter, giving it enough juice to be able to fire back up again when you’re ready to drive it home.
- Release the parking brake and put blocks under your tires to prevent the car from rolling. This keeps your brake pads from sticking to the rotors of your car.
If you’re going to be storing your car for more than a couple of months at a time, it’s also important to take measures to roll the tires at least a few inches each month. When you let your car sit for extended periods of time without moving, your tires can develop flat spots. These flat spots can damage the integrity of your tire and you may have to have them replaced in order to drive your car safely. If you can’t be around to roll your tires, make sure that they’re inflated to the maximum recommended limit. Under inflated tires tend to get flat spots much easier.