Don’t park your car outside in freezing winter

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
January 7, 2017Latest
Don’t park your car outside in freezing winter

I’ve read in The Globe and elsewhere that the proper way to store a vehicle is inside, away from the ravages of Mother Nature. But what if you don’t have a garage or space to store a vehicle. What steps do you take to prepare for storing outside?

With winter almost on us, folks will be storing everything from motorcycles and ATVs to motor homes and prized old cars. Inside beats outside, but it is the preparation that will make the biggest difference come spring.

The gamut of storage and care runs from simply parking them and hoping they start in the spring to using a sealed temperature-and humidity-controlled storage space and vacuum-sealing the vehicle, having changed the oil, removed the tires and battery and used fuel stabilizer.

But the most popular, likely and affordable method lies between the two.

First things first. If it is powered by an internal combustion engine, buy fuel stabilizer and use according to directions. Fill the tank, change the oil and filter and drive or use the engine for at least 15 minutes to ensure moisture is burned off and the fuel stabilizer is in place throughout the system.

This would be a good time to go through a thorough cleanup -getting bugs, tar, etc., off the paint. Check crevices and cracks where dirt, leaves or something else might provide a home for moisture and place for rust to start.

Pump up the tires to the maximum suggested pressure – it’s on the sidewalls – and, if storing outside, shield them from direct sunlight.

The biggest decision is about the battery. If you are storing inside or have access to a power outlet, a battery tender plugged in for the duration will ensure the battery stays charged and healthy and all electronic devices active. Otherwise, remove the battery and take it inside to a cool, dry and ventilated space where it can be hooked to a battery tender. Do not place it on a concrete floor.

Try to avoid using a tarp or other cover not specifically shaped to the vehicle – it will not breathe, trapping moisture inside and will flap in the wind, causing paint damage. Custom-fitted car covers are okay as they are constructed from breathable material, but they should still be tightly secured to avoid paint-damaging movement in the wind.

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