Not everyone drives as much over the winter period. Whether it is because you find navigating the icy roads too treacherous or simply have a second car that is a convertible, which will not be used until spring, it still needs looking after during its months of hibernation. You do not want to find it will not start, has a funny smell, or the paint has rusted and you have to finance a new vehicle through AA Cars to replace it. Instead, follow these tips to store your car safely over winter:
Choose a Good Location
Firstly, you need to work out where you can store your car. Keeping it outside on the street is a bad idea as it will be exposed to all sorts of harsh weather conditions. For most people their garage or a friend’s is best, as it should be secure, has a roof over your car and is not too damp. You could even find a local car storage facility, as long as it is dry, airy, and not close to the sea (as salt can damage it).
Before you drive it off into storage, give your car a good clean inside and out. The exterior needs a proper wash and wax, to get rid of any potential contaminants, which may affect the paintwork over a few months of neglect. A good vacuum and brush down inside should help it stay as fresh as possible and leaving the windows slightly open will improve ventilation and prevent moisture building up.
Top Up Fluids
Go for one last drive and fill up your fuel to about halfway. Adding a fuel stabiliser is good preparation, allowing your car to run for at least five minutes so it flows through the fuel system. Check the engine oil is at a good level too, with enough windscreen wash too, so it does not freeze up over winter even though it is not being used.
Remove the Battery
Depending on the age of your car, this might not be necessary. Many new cars require the battery remains connected at all times, so this is not possible. However, removing the battery and taking inside should prevent it from getting too cold and dying. Connecting to a maintainer can prolong its life and ensure it survives the hibernation period.
Pump Up Tires
Even though you will not be driving anywhere, pumping up your tires to the maximum PSI rating is essential. This will stop the tires from developing flat spots when left unmoved for a long time. Then simply park your car at its winter storage location, leave it in neutral, and hopefully when you return in a few months it will look and drive as good as new.