Northeast Ohio is synonymous with snow and cold temperatures from December through March each year, and sometimes even into the spring months. When you own a seasonal or classic car, the harsh winter conditions can be detrimental to your car, thus requiring car owners to consider storage options when the car is not in use. In a previous post, we reviewed important considerations when selecting a vehicle storage provider.
Prior to storing your car for the winter, there are specific steps owners should take to ensure their cars are safe while not in use for an extended period of time. We always recommend that car owners storing a car during the winter months discuss storage best practices with the dealership where the car was purchased. To help get you started, we have a compiled the following long-term and winter car storage tips from resources across the web:
- Wash and wax.
Remnants of dirt, salt, tree sap and more can cause damage to the paint if left on the exterior of the car while in storage. To ensure the exterior of the car stays looking fresh, be sure to thoroughly wash the car, and apply a coat of wax for added protection. This includes any chrome areas of the car.
It is also important to vacuum and clean out the interior of the car to prevent odors from developing.
- Keep it covered.
Car covers are not just for outdoor storage. Use a breathable, clean cloth cover to prevent dust from collecting on the outside of the car during storage.
- Change the oil and filter. Used oil can contain contaminants that can break down the engine if left to sit for an extended period of time. Keep your engine in top condition by taking the time to change the oil and filter prior to storage.
- Use a fuel stabilizer.
While there are differing opinions on whether or not to fill up the fuel tank before storing a car, be sure to use a fuel stabilizer if you elect to keep any amount of fuel in the tank. Fuel stabilizers, such as STA-BIL, can help to prevent the fuel from breaking down over time.
- Prep the battery.
Like fuel, there are differing opinions on how to treat your car battery during storage. Many sources suggest hooking up a battery tender, sometimes known as a trickle charger. A battery tender delivers just enough charge to keep the battery from discharging.
On the flip side, some experts recommend removing the battery entirely. Check with your car dealer to determine the best solution for your vehicle.
The Importance of Car Insurance
In addition to the steps taken to physically protect your car during the winter months, it is important to remember to keep your car insured. While you may not be driving your car during the winter months, a car is always susceptible to damage and theft, no matter what the situation.
Because self storage companies do not insurance your belongings for you, be sure to speak with your personal insurance representative about insurance for your car while it is in storage. Further, speak with your storage facility about the security features offered to ensure that your car is in the best possible position to remain safe while not in use.
Do you have a winter car storage tip to add? Share with us below!
Sources and additional car storage tips:
- How to Prep Your Car for Long-Term Storage
- 12 Tips for Storing Vehicles
- Winter Storage Hints
- Ten Steps to Properly Storing Your Vehicle Long-Term
- Winter Car Storage Tips
Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker