Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter Storage

Car with Ontario license plate covered in snow.

If your car is one of your prized possessions, you’re probably aware that winter with its snowy, salty roads can be extremely damaging to vehicles. Road salt can accelerate rusting and cause damage to the undercarriage, so if you want the car to be in great condition come springtime, you might be considering winter car storage for these cold months ahead.

The good news is that National Storage are here to help! Many of our locations offer winter vehicle storage to keep your car safe through the harsh Michigan winter.

Vehicle Storage Prep

However, before you leave your car in storage until the springtime, there’s some prep work that needs to get done to ensure the vehicle doesn’t degrade while in storage. Not taking these steps can lead to your car not starting when you go to retrieve it for the first spring joyride, so make sure you take the time to prepare it properly.

Here’s what you should do to get your car ready for storage through the winter:

  • Find a secure storage location. As we mentioned, many National Storage locations offer winter vehicle storage, with enclosed 10×20 drive up units. Plus, we have some discounts going on right now so check our website for more information. Having a clean, dry, secure space for your vehicle will help protect it from any outside elements this winter.
  • Clean the interior thoroughly. Before placing your vehicle in storage, remove any trash from the inside, vacuum and wipe down the surfaces. This helps prevent mold, mildew and unwanted critters from using your car as a home over the winter.
  • Wash and wax the exterior. You’ll want to wash the car from top to bottom and give it a good coat of wax. Make sure you get every painted surface waxed, including areas like the door jambs.
  • Get some protective covers. Use plastic sheeting on the floor where you’ll be parking the car to help prevent moisture from damaging the tires, and it’s also recommended to cover it with a breathable car cover- don’t use a tarp.
  • Close up any openings. Set your air conditioning to recirculate to close off the vents to the outside. You can also insert steel wool into the tail pipe and any other orifices that might look welcoming to bugs over the winter.
  • Refresh all the fluids. Change out fluids like the engine coolant and oil, power steering, transmission and brake fluids and add some fresh, quality gas with a stabilizer.
  • Disconnect the battery. Keep the battery working by disconnecting it, removing it from the vehicle altogether, or hooking it up to a battery maintainer. This helps prevent premature aging of the battery and corrosive battery acid from leaking and damaging the car.
  • Take it on one last spin. Get in one last joyride after you’ve changed out all those fluids to get them moving through the system.

Don’t overlook any of these details as you’re preparing your car for winter storage. This way, it’ll be ready to go as soon as that snow starts melting!

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