Not all cars are made for the winter weather. Unless your car is prepared for the winter, it might be better off hibernating in the garage for a few months.
If you are lucky enough to own a collector’s or vintage car, scooter or a motorcycle, you might want to hide your ride for the winter. Old school cars and pricey restoration cars will not be able to handle the harsh temperatures and the paint killing salt on the roads. And ice and wet roads only spell disaster for scooter or motorcycle riders.
But you can’t store your car for a few months and expect it to run perfectly in the spring. To ensure that your ride stays fresh throughout the winter, follow these simple steps with inspiration from Car and Driver magazine.
1: Give the car one last spin for old time’s sake.
While you are reminiscing about your summer nights together, you will also be burning off any condensation from your engine by warming up the car.
2: Change your oil and the oil filter.
Old oil will not sit well for months, so think of it like changing a baby’s diaper before a nap. You want it good and clean before it rests.
3: Do not empty out your gas tank.
Any empty gas tank obviously contains air. This air will contain moisture. And we all know that moisture contains water. Water and gas in a gas tank do NOT play nice. The water will actually eat away at your fuel system, making it inefficient. Top off your tank at the gas station to minimize any extra air pockets.
4: Add fuel conditioners to your gas.
While this step is not super critical for a shorter storage time period, it will actual keep the gas from corroding and ensures that it will be fresh in a few months.
5: Invest in some WD-40; it is not just for greasing up a squeaky door hinge.
Use WD-40 on the intake in on your engine. This step must be completed while you are turning over the engine. This simple step is a big fighter against engine corosion.
6: Find your battery a home.
If you have a heated garage, your battery can stay safely in its original home under the hood of your car. But if you are like most of America with an unheated, boring garage, your battery needs a new home for the winter. The battery should be kept somewhere dry and warm.
7: Think like Dracula and drain the fluids (other than gasoline).
One of the most important fluids to drain is coolant. Coolant left in a car will actually corrode your engine and cooling mechanisms. Yikes.
8: Eliminate critters with moth balls.
Sure the smell might drive you crazy, but moth balls are a great way to keep bugs and critters at bay from nesting in your car all winter. Tape shut any outside entry points like an exhaust pipe so animals (cats, rodents, etc.) don’t crawl up in there.