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. Some people just use a different car in the wintertime. However you choose to get around, storing your car away all winter can do a real number on it and can make it impossible to start once the spring thaw has arrived.
Winter Car Storage Tips
Have a Mechanic Check it Over
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.
Clean Your Car
Wash and wax the exterior, 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 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.
Give Your Brakes a Break
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 your snow lasts a bit longer, and your car storage will take place for more than a couple months, it’s also important 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, inflate them to the maximum recommended limit. Under inflated tires tend to get flat spots much easier.