Many owners baby their cars all year; this includes storing their vehicles when the winter rolls in. It is not uncommon to go overboard to make sure the auto does not break down while in hibernation. The following steps are some of the many things involved in maintaining an auto.
Do not leave a car outside to face the elements. If there is no space available at home to keep it safe search for a storage facility specifically designed to accommodate vehicles. The automobile must be secured in a place with no humidity and brick flooring in order to prevent parts degrading and rusting. If the only place available to keep the car is a dirt floor, put a tarp under it to prevent moisture.
Engine oil helps the moving parts of the car keep run smoothly, reduces friction, and keeps the motor from overheating. It accumulates contaminants like dirt, water, and fuel, and oxidization due to the heat of the engine. To avoid the oil turning to sludge over the winter replace the old batch with a new product. Also, this method saves time when the car is brought out of storage because it can be driven right away.
Putting a dirty vehicle into storage is not the end of the world, but it is satisfying to uncover it and marvel at its cleanliness in Spring. Wash the vehicle’s body and windows with soapy water. Rinse, dry, put a few coatings of wax over the body and polish the chrome. Remove debris from the interior and vacuum the seats and carpeting. Place boxes of baking soda inside to absorb musty odors over the winter.
It may seem counterproductive but drive to the gas station, so any water accumulation evaporates from the nooks and crannies after the car wash. Fill up the tank so no air or contaminants get inside of it and also to prevent rust from forming. Replace the antifreeze; add a stabilizer to the fuel so that oxidation is slowed done in the gasoline, which also helps to absorb any moisture that may get into the tank.
Replace tires with air leaks. Prevent the car from kneeling on its rims by inflating them to the maximum pounds per square inch (PSI) ratio allowed that is set by the manufacturer. If this is not done, the tires will lose air over time due to temperature changes. When the season changes and the car are out of storage to make sure to inflate or deflate all four tires, so they are at the right PSI.
5.Keep Pests Out
Car owners do not want any surprises when taking their vehicles out for in Spring so preparations must be made. In order to prevent families of critters from birthing their children in the tail pipes stuff the exhaust with steel wool but do not forget to remove it when getting the car ready to roll out of the garage. Also, place mothballs and rodent traps on the floor to discourage pests from destroying the property.
Disconnect the battery cables according to the manufacturer instructions and inspect the casing for damage. Clean the top of it and the terminals then check the electrolyte levels. If they are low, fill the chambers with distilled water but do not overfill them. Charge the battery, check the electrolyte levels again and disconnect the unit from the car. Store it inside the house and keep it connected to a battery charger which is designed for that model.
Covering a car, even if it is in the owner’s garage protects the body from anything damaging the paint job, and it also prevents leather seating from drying out if the area is not climate controlled. Many people use plastic tarps, but those let moisture build between it and the vehicle’s body. Choose a waterproof, breathable product with the ability not to scratch the car in case any contaminants are hidden on the auto’s surface.
Taking the car out every few weeks to run the motor is not advised because it may leave water in the combustion chamber and the exhaust. Also, disturbing it from its winter nap after the painstaking process of cleaning, replacing fluids, and disconnecting the battery, all efforts will be for naught. The time it took to prepare the vehicle for winter storage in the garage will have to be repeated so let the car rest.
Do not cancel the insurance while the car is stored for winter thinking it will save money. If a fire, theft, or an act of God occurs then, expenses will fall on the auto’s owner. If the automobile is on jacks and it falls off, the cost would again be not under the insurance umbrella. To be safe search for an affordable insurance company who folds in winter vehicle storage coverage into the annual premium.