There are actually a ton of steps that need doing to make sure your car is in top shape come spring. Some of these tips may help you.
1. Prepare Your Battery
You have three choices when it comes to battery preservation in the winter. Leave it connected, disconnect it, or install battery tenders. Read our in-depth guide here to learn how to care for your battery properly during long-term storage.
2. Lubricate Important Chassis Points
If you stop using a car for an extended period of time, parts that are supposed to flex and move will become brittle and start to crumble or crack, especially in the cold. It’s important to keep these pieces fresh until the next time you hit the road.
3. Do an Oil Change
It can’t hurt to have fresh oil in your engine just before you store it away. This way, once you fire up your car for the first time come spring, it’s using clean, untouched lubrication.
4. Check your Coolant Protection Level
If you don’t store your car in a climate-controlled garage, be mindful of how much coolant-to-water mixture is currently in your car. Without the right amount, the water can freeze and expand, causing catastrophic damage to your engine.
5. Block off your Exhaust and Intake
Small, cozy places like exhausts and intake boxes are prime real estate for rodents and other sorts of small creatures to thrive during the winter. Save yourself the headache and make sure there’s nowhere for the little critters to enter your car.
6. Wahs and Was your Car
It’s never good to leave a car dirty for an extended period of time. Acidic material could be eating away at your paint, while any car covers could rub dirt around the clearcoat and make scratches.
7. Park Your Car on a Tarp
No one likes seeing an oil stain on their garage floor or driveway after a car’s been sitting. Putting something under the engine (or any other leaky component) will save you the stress of having to scrub out some dark spots once spring comes around.
8. Use a Car Cover
This one should be obvious, but we’re going to mention it anyway. A car cover prevents dust and all sorts of other material from accumulating on your car. If you really want to make sure a car’s exterior is protected, use a cover.