When you own a car, motorbike, van or even a boat, it is likely to be your pride and joy; something that you enjoy taking out for a spin in the good weather and spend time polishing up and showing off on social media.
However, what do you do in the winter months? How do you keep your vehicle safe and secure, and protect it from the harsh winter elements? Let’s take a look.
Why is it important to store your vehicle properly in the winter?
It is important to look at proper storage for your vehicle in the winter for several reasons including:
- Extending the lifespan of the vehicle
- Avoiding expensive repairs
- Enabling it to be ready to drive without any hassle in the spring
There are many classic car restoration experts who claim that inadequate winter car storage can be worse for the vehicle than driving it all winter on salt-covered roads. The same will go for your boats – not storing it properly is worse than using it through the winter.
Before you put your vehicle into boat and vehicle storage for the winter, here are some things that you will need to do.
Give it a good wash
Before storing your car for the winter, make sure it is properly cleaned. Use a hand wash instead of a drive-through car wash. Also, give the car’s undercarriage a decent spray wash.
Give the car a thorough waxing after it has air-dried to preserve the finish. It s also a good idea to shine the chrome on the vehicle. That way, it will be pretty much ready to go when you next get it out.
Clean the inside
Before storing your vehicle, make sure the interior is clean. Anything relating to food, including food wrappers, must be thrown out. This reduces the likelihood of rodents attempting to enter your vehicle, and you will not have to deal with any unpleasant smells or mouldy food after months of winter car storage.
Seat covers are a great way to give your upholstery some extra protection. It is also a smart idea to keep some desiccant packets inside the vehicle. They can be found at your nearest dollar store and will help to trap any excess moisture in the vehicle.
Change your oil and filter
Before storing your vehicle for the winter, it is a good idea to change the oil and filter. It’s a good proactive strategy to take even if it is not due to be done just yet.
An oil change protects against oxidation, which is particularly important because an idle car is more prone to it. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the new fluids, just as you would for the fuel stabiliser or any other additional car fluids.
Use a trickle charger or disconnect the battery
It’s a good idea to remove the battery from your stored vehicle unless you intend on periodically starting it during the winter. When a car battery loses its power, it can freeze, rendering it useless.
You may also use a trickle charger or a battery maintainer to keep your car battery charged. To avoid overcharging, make certain the model you buy has an auto shut-off option.