How to Prepare Your Car for Storage
When the weather changes to winter it is also time to put your nice car away for winter. If you have a classic car or have had a nice car for a few years you know how damaging salt can be on your vehicle. Before you put your car into storage for the winter it is important to do a little work. Take the time to prepare your car for storage right to keep it running in tip-top shape when you want to drive it next spring.
Change Oil to Prepare Your Car for Storage
Old engine oil is filled with contaminants that when left sitting idle can breakdown. Leaving car oil unchanged increases the risk of buildup and gunk in your engine. Before you put your car in storage you want to leave the freshest oil possible in your engine. Taking the time to replace your engine oil now you will be able to start driving right away next spring.
Gaps of air in your fluids create condensation build-up that can cause major damage to your car. If you have lived in a winter climate for a while you have heard about the need to keep your fuel filled to prevent your gas lines from freezing. The same goes for other fluids like coolant, brake fluid, and windshield wipers. You want to limit the amount of metal in your lines being exposed to the open air. By filling up your fluids you minimize how much open space in the lines is exposed to air. If storing in a colder climate, remember to make sure your car has enough antifreeze too!
Stabilize Fuel and Fill Up
Stagnant fuel can go bad in as little as 90 days. However, unlikely to think about how difficult it would be to deal with an engine and fuel tank full of bad gasoline. That is why it is recommended to put a fuel stabilizer in your tank then fill your tank up and let your engine run a little. Letting your engine run will fill fuel lines and your engine with fresh stabilized fuel. This will help prepare your car for winter and ready to drive next spring. Once you’ve topped off all fluids take your vehicle out for one last rid to circulate those new fluids!
Wash Your Car to Prepare for Storage
After spending summer out on the open road your car can get a buildup of bugs, road tar, and other debris. Cleaning your car well before putting it into storage prevents any debris from causing long term damage to your car. Along with a good wash and wax of the body, remember to polish up the chrome too. You want to make sure your car is as clean as possible when putting it into storage because even the slightest dirt can have acidic properties that can breakdown paint. Bird poop, bugs, tree sap, road tar, and salt can dissolve paint and other protectants.
When the paint is removed it leaves bare metal exposed and rust buildup can happen quickly. If there are unpainted metal places under your car that are prone to rust, buy a can of rubberized undercoating and spray on a protective coat, keeping in mind that it needs to be reapplied yearly. Be careful not to spray this coating near any exhaust components that can get hot because products like this can be very flammable. For collectors, if you’re worried about keeping your vehicle in original condition, a coat of WD-40 will also work.
Clean Out the Inside of Your Car
When preparing your car into storage it is really important to clean out the inside of your car. If you have any food crumbs or edible items it can attract rodents. You don’t want to find that next spring your car smells of mice. Not cleaning out your car properly will make your car the ideal home for rodents. Rodents and insects try to find ways to get into warm locations with edible material. Not preparing your car for storage properly puts your car at risk of rodent infestation. For more information on what we do to prevent pests and how you can as well read our Prevent Pests During Storage Blog