We’re nearing the season every car owner dreads. Winter is great for a lot of other things: cozying up to a fire with cocoa, sledding, and snowball fights. Unfortunately, it signals the end of classic car cruising weather. Before the first flakes fall, you should have all the necessary materials and means to store your beloved ride at the ready.
Extreme cold can cause metal to contract which is why you need to lubricate vital chassis points to protect them from becoming brittle. This is most important when you’re storing a vehicle for extended periods of time, so depending on how long your winter lasts, it may or may not be necessary.
Stabilize Your Powerhouse
Fuel only lasts about 30 days before it goes bad, and letting it sit in your tank for the winter is a bad idea. A fuel stabilizer is widely accessible, affordable, and easy to use. This product prolongs the life of your gas so your vehicle is fueled and ready to go when the ground thaws. Another common storage tip is to replace the oil prior to storage so the vehicle’s oil is fresh and clean before your first outing.
Battery preservation depends on several factors. You can determine which option is best for your needs, but you can choose to leave it as is, disconnect it from your vehicle, or install battery tenders. A battery tender device attaches to your battery and plugs into an outlet to transfer power which keeps the battery operational during long periods of stagnation.
Protection from Rodents
The last thing anyone wants is for a critter to make its home in their car. By taking a few precautions, you can help protect your vehicle when it’s stored away. Simply stuff a sock in the exhaust to keep it covered from small rodents but be sure to take it out before you start up the engine again. Rid the inside of your car from food wrappers, trash, and cans which can be a critter beacon. The less desirable your car is to rodents, the better. If you store it away from the reach of children, you can place a few mousetraps around the outside but never place them inside your car.
Prepare Your Storage Space
To be safe, place a tarp under your car to protect the floor from any leaks that may occur during your time away. A thick piece of cardboard can work well as an absorbent layer beneath the engine or other leaky components. Placing your vehicle on jacks can help protect from rodents getting in, and it keeps your vehicle from rolling if the parking brake gives out. A chock or wood wedge can work, too.
Prepare the Exterior
We’ve compiled our tips to work from the inside out so the last thing you want to do before storing your vehicle for the winter is to give it a good cleaning. Handwashing is preferred but in a pinch, you can head to a car wash, but be sure to rinse the undercarriage and finish with a nice polish and wax. Putting a cover on a dirty car can cover up spots that need attention so before securing your cover, give your car a good check to ensure its ready for hibernation.
Wrecktify Collision and Restoration offers several auto detailing service packages to ensure your ride is in the best shape to be stored away. Our services are offered year-round as well and we also perform collision repairs and complete restorations for classic cars, hot rods, and street rods. Contact us today with any questions or to get your car in for detailing before winter.