A Checklist for Storing a Car for the Winter

A car is meant to be driven. However, there are sometimes reasons that a car needs to be taken off of the road and stored for the winter months. Sometimes the car owner lives in a warmer climate during the winter or maybe the car is too fancy to subject to the cold winter elements. Whatever the reason, there are certain precautions that should be taken when storing a vehicle to minimize the effect it can have. Follow these steps when storing a car for the winter months:

Cover It
Preferably, store the car inside a garage while it isn’t being used during the winter. If possible, the car should be kept away from rain, snow, wind, sun, and other elements. If the winter is bad and there is lots of snow, it can quickly pile up on the car, which isn’t good for it. Even if it’s in a garage it’s still worthwhile to invest in a car cover to protect the car from dust. If a garage isn’t available, at least cover it with a car cover.

Protect the Tires
If a car is sitting idle for long periods of time it can really take a toll on the tires. If they aren’t moving and are left in the same position for months it can potentially cause damage or ruin the tires. Remove the tires and store the car on jack stands. If that’s not possible, park the car on wooden boards which are better for the tires to sit on for months than the cold cement floor of a garage. In addition, let some air out of the tires to reduce the strain on them.

Take Care of the Liquids
As liquids sit idle in a car over time it can prevent damage. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, fully drain the cooling system, and change the oil before leaving a car for an extended period of time.

Keep Animals Out
Animals and other small critters seek shelter during the cold winter months and an unused vehicle is a prime place to hide out. To keep animals out of the car put mothballs inside the vehicle and cover the tailpipe.

Lock It Up

This seems obvious, but is worth mentioning. When storing a car the car and the garage should be locked. A car that isn’t being watched over is more likely to be stolen so it’s important to be as cautious as possible.