Now that winter’s approaching, some of us are considering storing that convertible or classic car until the return of nicer weather. Or, maybe you’re a snow-bird who wants to leave the vehicle behind when you migrate to warmer climes. Whatever your reason for storing your auto, there are some steps to take before you can tuck it in safely for its long winter nap.
- Clean it – inside and out. Any dirt or debris left to sit for an extended period of time can erode the paint or stain the interior. Give your vehicle a thorough wash and wax before putting it away.
- Top off all fluids – including gasoline and coolant. Full reservoirs combat condensation which can occur over time. As for fuel, consider adding a stabilizer to prevent the gas from getting “gummy”.
- Change the oil and filter
- Disconnect the battery (older vehicles) or connect it to a trickle charger (newer vehicles)
- Cover any gaps an animal could get into (exhaust pipe, etc.) to keep mice, rats, cats, etc. from taking up residence in, or chewing on, the interior. If you leave a window down slightly, make sure the space is too small for a critter to crawl through.
- Make sure tires are inflated to proper level.
- Make sure parking brake is OFF. You don’t want the brake pads to fuse with the rotors.
- Remove wiper blades, or put a piece of plastic wrap between wipers and windshield to prevent the rubber from sticking to the glass.
- Lock the doors.
- Cover it. Ideally you’ll be storing your auto indoors. If not, a weatherproof cover is a must.
Lastly, if you’re thinking about letting insurance on the vehicle lapse, call your insurance company to find out whether it will cost you the same or more to reinstate your policy later. Some companies will charge you more after a gap in coverage.