6 Tips for Storing Your Vehicle for WinterDec 1th, 2021
As we move deeper into the colder weather, some of you will be storing your vehicles for the winter. But things have changed a lot as vehicles have become more technologically advanced and more complicated. So here are some of the best practices and tips for winter storage.
Pro tip #1: Put a lot of air in your tires. If you leave your tires at the manufacturer's recommended pressure, your tires will lose 1 pound of pressure for every 5 ° F the temperature around the vehicle drops. If you are using a heated storage area, the temperature drop is not a concern.
If you leave your tires at their normal pressure, the tires will develop what we call a "flat spot" as the vehicle sits on the same spot. Essentially, this means the tire will lose its round shape, and depending on the tire and length of time it sits in the same spot, the flat spot may remain there. This will cause your vehicle to shake when you start driving again. I’d recommend inflating the tire to at least 45-50 PSI. This amount of pressure will greatly reduce the chance of flat spotting the tires. But don’t forget to adjust the pressure back when you’re taking the car out of storage!
Pro tip #2: Make sure the tank is full of fuel. Moisture is your vehicle's worst enemy. The more empty space in the fuel tank, the more space for condensation and moisture to accumulate.
Pro tip #3: Clean and wax the vehicle. This will help protect the painted surfaces over the winter.
Pro tip #4: Put moth balls around the areas under and beside the vehicle. Rodents are a huge problem when storing a vehicle (and they hate moth balls). Another tip I use on my own vehicles is placing sliced up "Irish Spring" bar soap under the hood, in the trunk and throughout the interior. This keeps mice away and your vehicle smells great when you start driving it again!
Pro tip #5: Get the right cover for your vehicle. If you're storing the vehicle outside, get a weather proof, breathable cover to stop moisture from accumulating on the paint surfaces. If you're storing your vehicle inside a garage or underground parking, use a soft non-scratching cover.
One reason for covering your vehicle is people like to write on dust or dirt on the vehicle's paint, and this can leave very deep scratches that may not come out when the vehicle is washed.
Pro tip #6: Buy a "battery minder". In the "old days", we would just disconnect the negative battery terminal so the battery wouldn’t be dead come spring. This can be problematic with newer vehicles, as the battery runs a lot of the computers that stay active even when the vehicle is not "active". Disconnecting the battery can lead to systems in the vehicle not retaining their memory, engine lights, and other important functions. For this reason, the best thing to do is buy a "battery minder" that will keep the battery fully charged all winter.
Following these simple tips will make sure your vehicle is ready to go when spring finally comes around! If you have any questions or would like to chat about these tips, you’re always welcome to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.