As temperatures dip and inclement weather approaches, many Utahns — especially those living along the Wasatch Front — are thinking of putting their summertime cars away for a few months.
There are many reasons for doing this, including adverse weather conditions, corrosive materials on the roadways and performance tires that are not optimal for snowy travel. Convertibles, classic cars and sports cars will soon be finding their way into a wintertime slumber, and there are some precautions to keep in mind as part of a car winterization process.
1. Run it
Ideally, if possible, start and drive the vehicle once every couple of weeks. This keeps things like fluids, tires and mechanical components in the most optimal condition.
2. Park it
Pick a good storage spot — whether inside or outside. Avoid parking underneath trees or in areas where weather is likely to cause wear and tear. Sun and water exposure can cause damage.
3. Clean it
Prepare the inside and outside surfaces to prevent paint etching. Leather upholstery should be treated with a moisturizing conditioner, and paint surfaces should be waxed.
4. Cover it
A quality weatherproof cover is critical. Some less expensive covers are not breathable and can promote mold. Others are abrasive to paint finishes and can scratch when the wind kicks up.
5. Top it
Top off fluids and change the oil, filter and coolant. Having a full tank prevents moisture from accumulating. You can also add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gasoline from going bad prematurely. Gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months before it starts breaking down.
6. Charge it
Use a battery tender and/or disconnect the negative battery terminal.
7. Release it
Disengage the parking brake, as corrosion can eventually cause brake pads to stick to the rotors. Use wheel chocks or pieces of wood to keep the vehicle in place.
8. Inflate it
Inflate tires to proper pressure. If storing the vehicle for more than a month or so, consider elevating it on jack stands to avoid getting flat spots on the tires.
9. Seal it
Keep animals and insects out by closing doors and windows. You may even want to seal the tailpipe with a rag to prevent entry by uninvited rodents.
By observing these measures, you will have an efficient process for properly putting your specialty car away in winter storage. Print this list and save it as a point of reference. Next spring, reverse the process and get back out on the open road seamlessly.
With the end of the summer season, find a reliable winter daily driver. Check out the listings on KSL Cars for the region’s most comprehensive selection of vehicles for sale.
KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com or its employees.