The colder season has officially set in, meaning it’s time to put away any cars that we want to spare from the winter season. Whether you’re leaving your car to sit for a few weeks or a few months, it’s important to take the necessary steps and smartly stow your vehicle.
1) You should top off your vehicle’s fluids, such as its coolant, antifreeze, and even get a fresh oil change, before leaving your vehicle to sit for an extended period of time. The condition of your antifreeze, in particular, is critical to safe storage in low temperatures. Make sure its topped off and fresh.
2) Fill your gas tank. Particularly in cooler months, a gas tank left lower than half or a quarter has the potential to allow condensation to gather and find its way into your vehicle’s fuel line where it will freeze and cause damage.
3) Batteries left connected with steadily lose their charge to your vehicle’s idle electronic systems. If you’re leaving your vehicle for several months, there are two things you can do. First, disconnect your battery and bring it inside for the winter. The other, as suggested by Roberts Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (Meriden, CT), is to leave it in place and attach a trickle charger across the terminals. This will keep the battery charged.
4) Make sure your tires are properly inflated. The car’s weight will naturally cause the tires to leak air when sitting for long periods of time. Filling your car’s tires to the recommended maximum accounts for future pressure lost. Note: You do not need to engage the parking brake.
5) Giving your vehicle a car wash and vacuuming out its interior keeps your car protected from corrosive stuff that may be adhered to its surface, and minimizes chance of pests from setting up camp in your car. invading your car.
6) Keep your vehicle protected with a car cover. This not only keeps things off your car’s paint but it provies a measure of protection from malicious individuals. Note that it is a good idea to keep your vehicle out of sight if you can. Out of sight storage keeps others from noting that your vehicle has been abandoned for a period of time.
7) Its a common belief is that you should periodically start your car to allow the engine to run and circulate oil, While this is a good idea, its not absolutely necessary. Of course, if you do have someone start your car while its stored, don’t do so in a closed garage where carbon monoxide can build up.
Properly storing your seasonal vehicle will leave you with a peace of mind knowing that it’s well taken care of while you’re away. While some of these steps may seem tedious, they’ll guarantee your car is well protected and will start up reliably and run exactly like the day you stowed it away.