Tips for Winter Car Storage

Car covered in snow with winter written on the windshield.

Now that Halloween is over, it’s time to really embrace the fact that winter is on its way to Michigan. It’s technically still autumn for a few more weeks, but the reality is that the snowflakes will start falling (and accumulating!) any time now.  Many of our locations offer winter car storage, and there’s no time like the present to get those vehicles you only drive during the warmer months tucked safely away for the cold season.

By now you should have your home organized inside and out so it’s ready for winter, but maybe you still need more room in your garage for your cars.  Renting a self storage unit for your vehicle from National Storage is a perfect option! Keep your classic cars and other vehicles like motorcycles and ATVs safe for the winter in a self storage unit.

Before you decide to put your vehicles in storage for the winter, there are few tips you should keep in mind. Taking these extra steps will help protect the car from damage during storage and will allow you to use the vehicle for many years to come.

  1. Make sure that the insurance, title and license plates are up-to-date for the vehicle. Check your insurance to make sure that it covers cars that are in storage.
  2. Wash and wax the exterior of the car, including the rims and tires. The wax will help prevent corrosion on the car during storage.
  3. Thoroughly clean the interior of the car. Remove all garbage and any perishable items from the inside of the car. Vacuum the seats and the floors. If you have leather seats, condition the seats before storing. Also, don’t forget to remove items from the trunk and vacuum the trunk.
  4. Change the oil & filter at least 2 days before putting the car into storage. Not changing the oil and filter can create engine damage in cars stored over a long period of time.
  5. Leave the gas tank filled at about a quarter of a tank before storage to prevent air and moisture from getting in the gas tank. Add a fuel stabilizer, which will help prevent the fuel that is in the gas tank from breaking down over time. Also, many facilities will not allow vehicles to be towed into a storage unit.
  6. Remove the battery from your vehicle and store it in a warm environment. Not only will your vehicle start easy in the springtime (even when turned off, modern vehicles draw a small amount of current), but your battery fluids will not freeze, which could cause cracked cells and leaking battery acid.
  7. Cover the vehicle even if you are storing it inside of a storage unit. Use a breathable clean cloth or tarp to prevent dust and dirt from collecting on the vehicle during storage.
  8. Park the car on a plastic sheet or up on a jack to protect the tired from wear and deflation. Close all windows and vents.
  9. If possible, visit your stored car at least once a month while in storage. Let the car run for a few minutes to let the fuel and oil run through the engine.
  10. If you removing the car after long term storage, open all the windows and air out the car, check the fluids, reinstall the battery, let it recharge and then drive off!

Here’s an extra article from the folks at Bumper. They have advice on keeping your vehicle in tip top shape during storage

If you have any questions about winter car storage with National Storage, stop by any of our convenient locations today!

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