Did you know that over 12 million cars are trashed in the USA each year? While these cars were once functioning models, over time, wear and tear drive them off the road.
A perfectly good car has to face the wrath of the sun, salt put out to melt ice, and freezing cold temperatures. This leads to premature aging and the end of many good cars.
If your car is your pride and joy, such as a convertible, what can you do to protect it and lengthen its life? Why not read on to learn more about how winter car storage can save you a lot of money.
Use a Car Cover
When preparing your convertible for long term storage, your first purchase should be a good quality car cover. You might have previously used an old bedsheet or a tarp, but these will not [rovide the best protection during a long winter.
Good quality car covers allow your car to breathe, that is for air to move through the fabric. Should moisture become trapped between a plastic tarp and the paintwork of the car, it can lead to discoloration and rusting. Avoid this by using a breathable membrane.
Park on a Plastic Sheet
When you are leaving a car in a static location for a long period of time, it is important that you cover the ground underneath it. All cars, especially old cars, will leak oil and other fluids from time to time. If the ground is not covered by a plastic sheet, it will become stained, possibly permanently.
In addition to this, should oil leak on to the floor, it could find its way to your tires. The last thing that you want is oily tires when you take your car for its first drive in the spring.
Clean the Interior
Before you say goodbye to your convertible for a number of months, you should give the inside a thorough clean. This will include vacuuming and cleaning upholstery and removing all trash.
Be aware that any items that give off an odor will be an attraction for bugs and vermin. At the very least, your car will smell strongly when you open it up in the spring. Avoid all of these eventualities by cleaning all internal areas.
Fill the Fuel Tank
There are a number of tasks to perform and basic questions to ask before you leave your car in storage. One of these tasks is to fill up your fuel tank. Why is this important?
When you park your car and leave it idle for a long time, moisture can form in the petrol tank. This may have entered with your fuel when you last filled the tank, or it could be moisture from heated water.
Over time this moisture can cause rust to occur in the tank. This could eventually lead to a hole in the tank and leaking fuel. This is dangerous and expensive to repair.
Avoid this by simply filling the tank as much as possible before putting it into storage. This will reduce the space available for moisture to build up. If you really want to prevent any corrosion, you could also add a corrosion inhibitor fuel stabilizer.
Like engine fuel, oil could also contain materials that can cause damage to internal engine parts. Fresh oil means that the oil has the longest lifespan possible when you put the car in storage.
Learning to replace engine oil is not difficult. When you do this, why not take the opportunity to apply lubricant to other sensitive areas of the engine in preparation for storage.
Raise the Car
If you are considering storing your car for a few months, you may want to consider raising your car onto blocks while storing it.
When a car is in storage and not moving regularly, it causes pressure on the same part of the tire for the duration of its time in storage. This can lead to the tire becoming misshaped. You may even need to replace them entirely.
Of course, you will need to research the safest way to do this for your model of car. However, lifting the car onto blocks before you leave it for the winter can save you a lot of money.
Protect the Paintwork
There are many advantages of a storage facility, including security and a controlled environment. However, it is difficult to ensure that no moisture will drip on your car, or that no creature will walk over the paintwork during the winter.
For this reason, it is best to give your car’s bodywork the best protection possible. Washing the exterior and waxing the paintwork will give it the best shielding possible. It adds a thin but strong layer of protection against any elements that the car comes into contact with while in storage.
Block Entry Points
While storage locations do offer controlled environments for storing your car, it is difficult to keep a determined rodent away from the perfect nesting ground. Ensure that they do not create a home in your car by blocking the entry points.
A simple walk around your car will help you to identify them. The exhaust pipe is a common entry point. If you have a large air intact vent, this is also a point of easy access.
This is especially important if you own a convertible. If your soft-top has holes or can easily be chewed, you may want to consider another layer of protection.
Car Storage Tips and Much More
If you want to take care of your pride and joy, have you thought about storing your car during the winter months? Car storage protects your car and saves you money. By applying the suggestions that we have made above, you can be sure that your vehicle and other items will be ready to use as soon as winter ends.
If you would like to know more about storage and protection options, why not contact us or check out our other blog articles?