As much fun as they are, sports and classic cars don’t often do too well during the harsh winter months, as they’re easily soiled by snow, ice, and salt and are less capable of handling the slick roads. As such, auto enthusiasts know the importance of having indoor storage readily available for their cars. However, many neglect some minor maintenance practices that are vital for protecting your car in winter storage and increasing its lifespan.
Wash the Exterior
The first and most important step before putting your car into storage is to give it a thorough hand washing. Notice that we emphasized hand washing, as drive-through car washes will not give your vehicle a thorough clean and may even damage your car’s paint. With proper car soaps and equipment such as a good wash mitt, you’ll clear your car of any lingering contaminants that may cause corrosion.
After cleansing your vehicle, apply a coat of wax as a protective layer for the car’s finish and clean out the undercarriage of any debris or grime that has latched itself to the bottom of your car. Once you have finished sanitizing and have finished with other maintenance, cover your vehicle with a tarp or other cover.
Prevent Possible Intruders
By intruders, we mean rodents and critters. Your vehicle will make the perfect winter home for mice, rats, and other rodents seeking shelter from the cold. Inspect your storage space for any potential compromises or damages that would let rodents or other unwanted visitors worm their way into your garage.
Top Off the Fluids
We need to address the different fluids needed for protecting your car in winter storage. First, let’s address your gasoline. You might see some debate about whether to empty or completely fill your tank before putting your car into winter storage, but it’s generally a better idea to top off your gas tank to prevent moisture buildup. Next, to stop the fuel from deteriorating, make use of a fuel stabilizer to prevent oxidization and deposits that could cause damage.
Second, you should replace the oil and filter within your car. Even if these components are not due for a change, replacing them will be beneficial toward preventing corrosion. Remember that an idle car is far more susceptible to corrosion, and your car is about to do a lot of idling. Lastly, top off your coolant, as it’s the same as antifreeze and will help your engine manage better during the cold weather.