Old Man Winter is back with a vengeance. He is set to hammer your morning and evening commute with blizzards, freezing temperatures, and unpleasant conditions for the next few months. Winter can wreak havoc upon your automobile, particularly if you drive regularly between November and March (or even April). Unfortunately, there is no other option for many people but to brave the roads, even when it is –10 degrees Celsius and the snow impedes your ability to clearly see the traffic ahead of you.
That said, if you have the option of storing your car, whether it is a vintage ride or a luxury automobile, you should take full advantage of it. Indeed, living in the Great White North has its benefits, but owning and driving a sedan or coupe during the winter season is not one of them. So, if you plan on storing your car for the winter, what should you do to ensure that it remains well preserved and protected?
Here are seven tips for properly storing your vehicle for winter:
1. Complete a Fresh Wash and Full Detail
Give your sweet ride a little TLC before you say goodbye for the season. It is always a good idea to give your vehicle a full-service wash and full detail to ensure that all the dirt, grime, and other harmful elements are washed away from the surface before it is stored away for the winter. If you choose not to, this dirt could eat away at your vehicle’s exterior over the months spent in storage.
Consider levelling up your pre-winter car care with a ceramic paint protection film. This makes the surface of your car better resistant to the accumulation of dirt and dust even while in storage and will help maintain the richness and shine of your car’s paint.
2. Overinflate Your Tires
When a vehicle is immobile for too long, the tires can endure some flat-spotting as they lose air over the winter and become semi-flat. The simple trick to remedying this common problem is to over-inflate your tires slightly over the winter.
You have two options: over-inflate right away or gradually inflate your tires over the winter. With either approach you’ll successfully avoid flat-spotting and prolong the life of your tires.
3. Perform Weekly Checks for Rodents in Engine Bay
Rodents are attracted to your vehicle because it is warm and cozy. Since it can be hard to find warmth and shelter during the winter, these pests will gravitate toward your car, especially the engine bay.
Just because you have put away your vehicle for the winter, it does not mean you can ignore it for the next few months. It is still important to perform weekly checks to see if rodents have taken shelter within your vehicle. Should you find any signs of rats, mice, and other pests, you need to remove them immediately to prevent damage to your vehicle or a quickly growing family of critters making themselves at home.
This can typically be achieved by turning on your car and revving up the engine; the noise alone is effective in vacating any rodent tenants.
4. Check Your Battery Tender or Trickle Charger
Can you keep your battery alive through a long, cold winter? To put it simply, yes. Investing in a good charger can in fact cost you less in the long term than replacing your battery every year after a long cold winter.
Known as tenders, the intelligent circuitry inside these chargers can cycle on and off and ensure the battery remains at the right level without overcharging. Battery tenders are the perfect solution for long-term automobile storage.
5. Roll Down the Window for Better Ventilation
You want your automobile to be well ventilated during the next few months in storage to avoid your upholstery and car interior from smelling musty. You do not want the windows to be completely closed. The trick is to roll down your window, even slightly, to achieve better ventilation. You may not feel confident doing this, especially if your vehicle is at an off-site storage facility where you do not have immediate access to your car. But you can always add a layer of security to your 4×4 or minivan, like installing a steering wheel lock.
Speaking of storage facilities…
6. Find the Right Storage Facility
If you are not using your garage to store your car for the winter, then you are likely using an external storage hub to safely shelve your automobile during the next few months. But how should you go about this? You need to consider three things:
- How close is the storage facility to your home?
- Is the building dry or climate controlled?
- Are all the vehicles safe, and does the company have the proper security measures in place?
Talk to other local car enthusiasts for recommendations of where or where not to consider storing your ride over the winter.
7. Use a High-Quality Car Cover
A great way to shield your car from the harsh elements of even indoor environments is to utilise a high-quality car cover. This does exactly what you think: covers your entire vehicle from the nose of your car to the exhaust pipe of your automobile. It is a worthwhile investment, and it is another layer for your storage objectives. There are a number of car covers on the market to choose from, varying in durability, weight, and the level of protection. Some light-weight covers can also be used in the summer months while your car is parked outside, offering UV protection to prevent your paint from fading in the intense summer sun.
For more top tips on how to keep your stored car in pristine condition all winter long, or to learn more about maintaining the inside and outside of your vehicle, reach out to the automotive detailing experts at Ceramic Pro.