How to Store Your Car for Winter?
December 09, 2022

How to Store Your Car for Winter?

You have to do a lot to ensure that your car is in great shape by spring. Some of these tips may seem tough, but trust us, they're all worth it, especially if you have a garage queen you need to get ready for the spring pageant. Let’s see how to prepare a car for winter storage or use and get it all ready and done to unlock one extra bonus boss which will be your best bet if you want your car in its prime shape for next spring!

Check Your Tire Pressure

Before putting your car away for a long time, it's a good idea to pump up the tires to a higher air pressure. Tires lose pressure slowly over time and with changes in temperature. But don't put more air in the tire than what is written on the side of the tire, and when you take your car out of storage, make sure all four tires have the right amount of pressure in them. If you know one of your tires has a leak, you should replace it. If you don't, the tire will lose all of its air over time, and your car could end up on its rim.


Add Fuel Stabilizer

We wrote a detailed step-by-step guide on how to keep your gas from going bad this winter, but here's a reminder. Fuel only lasts about 30 days before it goes bad, especially gasoline with ethanol additives, so if you want to store it for a long time, you must use a fuel stabilizer. Nowadays, almost all fuels have a certain amount of ethanol mixed in. This is good for the environment, but not great for your car. Ethanol can absorb moisture from the air, which means by the time the winter ends, your car will have more water than fuel inside the tank if you don’t add a good fuel stabilizer. Emphasis is on the good, though, because most of the stabilizers are snake oil. 


How Much Gas Should be in Car for Winter Storage?

Since gasoline is a combination of components, it could never truly solidify. At –50 degrees Celsius, though, it may become "a touch syrupy." However, water will freeze much more rapidly. And condensation can allow water to enter your tank, just as it does your bedroom windows. If you have a modest amount of gas in your tank, there will be plenty of space for air above it. If the air is warmer than the walls of the gas tank, condensation can occur, resulting in water dripping down the walls and into the gas. So, fill it up. 


Change the Oil

Putting fresh oil in your engine right before you put it away can't hurt. So, when you start your car for the first time in the spring, it will use fresh, clean oil.

Lubricate Key Points on the Chassis

If you don't drive your car for a long time, parts that are meant to bend and move will become hard and start to break, especially if it's cold. Apply some rubber lube on your rubber parts to keep these pieces in good shape until the next time you go on the road.

Check Your Coolant

If you don't keep your car in a climate-controlled garage, pay attention to how much coolant-to-water mix is in it. Most coolants have anti-freeze, but not all mixes are equal. If there isn't enough anti-freeze, the water can freeze and swell up, which can and will do many bad things to your engine.

Get Ready to Charge

There are three ways to keep batteries from dying in the winter. Leave it hooked up, take it apart, or put it in battery tenders. Batteries need extra care, so here's another take especially for them.

Plug Your Intake and Exhaust

During the winter, rodents and other small creatures like to live in small, warm places like exhausts and intake boxes. Save yourself the trouble and ensure the little animals can't get into your car. This will be an important peace of mind. Just make sure to make a note of it somewhere visible.

Clean, Polish, and Wax Your Car

Don't use dish detergent if you’re not going to wax your paint. Some people say you shouldn't use the wash pad because it's easy to drop and could get dirt and yard flakes in it, which could scratch your car. Some people also say you should refrain from using the wash mitt because the fabric cuff can scratch. Don’t listen to them. Get yourself a wash mitt, use the trusty two-bucket method, and give your vehicle a good cleaning.
In the past, you might have used clay bars to get the sap, tar, and bug guts off that washing doesn't get. It is a good idea to do it again. Use another towel to dry, and then move on to the next step, paint protection. Just use wax or newer options. It's never the greatest idea to leave a dirty car for a long time. Your paint could be eaten away by something acidic, and any car cover could scratch the clearcoat by rubbing dirt against it.

Use a Tarp When Parked for Long

If you haven’t googled “winter car storage near me” yet, you’ll surely be parking your 4 wheels on your own property. No matter how well you prepare your vehicle, when a car sits for a while, it can leak. This is especially true if you have a project car. No one likes to see an oil stain on the garage floor or driveway. If you put something under the engine (or any other part that can leak), you won't have to worry about cleaning up some dark spots when spring comes.

Use Desiccant Inside Your Car

Storing car for winter means a long exposure to humidity as it will sit throughout the water crystals falling from the sky. Nothing is worse than opening your car door and getting hit with a musty, moldy smell. Use a dehumidifier, which pulls water out of the air, to fix it this winter.

Cover Your Car

This one should be pretty clear, but we'll say it anyway. A car cover keeps dust, dirt, and other things from building up on your car. If you really want to protect the outside of a car, use a cover.

Use Rodent Repellent Outside of Your Car

If your car is fairly new, it probably has at least some wiring made from soy, which rodents love to eat. Use repellent near the outside of your car so that it doesn't become food this winter.

Summer is Coming, Be Prepared!

When all things said and done, you’ll be set for winter. But the warm breeze is waiting for you and your car on the horizon, you should also be prepared for it! Discover Pedal Commander, your best bud when it comes to winter and summer both. You can use ECO mode for better traction on snow by accelerating slowly and choose from other 3 modes to accelerate quicker and optimize your throttle, your way!