Winter will be here before we know it and so will the frigid temperatures it brings. This means my Mustang will need to be garaged and winterized to protect it from the elements. There are special precautions that need to be taken to protect a car in the winter that goes beyond throwing a car cover over it. Below are the steps and actions I take to make sure my car is ready to roll next spring.
I make sure it gets a fresh oil change, air filters are good, and any other maintenance that I was putting off gets done. This includes flushing your coolant system and adding new antifreeze, most maintenance shops will flush your radiator for you if you are not familiar with the process. Also, make sure your battery is cleaned and the terminals are removed.
When cars set they will deteriorate faster than when you are driving them frequently, so get the maintenance taken care of before putting your baby to sleep for the winter.
Anyone that has a car set for very long knows that tires have a way of going flat, so make sure your pressures are correct before parking it. The most optimal route would be to put your car up on jack stands, but I never have. Routinely during the winter I will also check the tire pressures again so that I don’t come out in the spring and see 4 tires setting on rim. Obviously a car setting for long periods on a flat tire will rupture the tire itself. Furthermore, cold temperatures will lower the pressure in a tire, so adding air at intervals during the winter may be necessary.
Full Gas Tank
It’s also important to keep a full tank of gas in the car, this is to prevent your gas lines from getting moisture in them and freezing. There are fuel stabilization products you can buy if you are worried about the gas deteriorating and preventing the car from starting in the spring.
Clean And Wax The Vehicle
A nice thorough cleaning and wax will help prevent rust from forming or any other corrosion. Also, dust has the capability of actually scratching the paint if an unprotected car is touched with a layer of dust on top.
It’s also important to make sure your interior is ready to be stored as well. I always clean and add protectant to my leather seats, so I don’t have cracked seats in the spring. I’ll also do a quick once over to make sure all my weather stripping is up to snuff, replacing any that need to be.
Cover Your Car
Lastly I purchase a quality car cover to place over my vehicle for the winter. The more dust and possible debris I can keep off of my car the better. Make sure when purchasing a car cover that you find a quality one that will allow moisture to escape if you happen to be storing it in a damp garage. Trapped moisture can spell rust for any vehicle parked for long periods at a time.
The car cover is the one place where I will spare no expense when protecting my car for the winter storage. Simply throwing a cheap tarp over my Mustang is not enough to give me piece of mind and often times they dont’ fit properly and end up ripping anyways.
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Hopefully by following the above steps when preparing your car for winter storage you will have a fresh ready to roll car come the first warm day of spring. Taking the extra precautions now to protect your investment will give you ease of mind over winter and pay off in spades when you can jump in and drive worry free when your baby is ready to wake up.