How to Take Care of Your Car During Winter
December 14, 2022 | Lifestyle
Cars require constant maintenance to ensure they stay in tip top shape and keep you on the road for years to come. This is especially true when the weather gets colder and if you have an older model vehicle. If you plan to store your vehicle for the winter, you’ll have to take extra precautions to ensure that your car is still running like a dream when it’s time to take it out for a spin again. That’s why it’s always best to winterizing and prep your car for storage, especially if you plan to keep that vehicle in storage all season long. In just a few simple steps, the experts at Metro Self Storage will show you how to take care of your car during winter and keep your vehicle in good shape while it’s in storage.
Protect Your Car’s Exterior
The first step to storing your vehicle for the winter is tending to its exterior. Winter slush, ice, and snow often cover the roads during the cold months. As a combative effort, salt is often dispersed, which can make its way to your car’s undercarriage and cause rust to form. Routine washings can keep rust from collecting. After getting it washed, you may also want to cover your vehicle with a protective wax, which can create a shield that prevents grime and debris from collecting on the car’s exterior. It can also protect the car’s paint from scratches that may occur as cars whiz by and kick up slush and ice. As a final step, we recommend investing in a car cover, especially if your car is likely to be out in the elements for long periods of time.
Driving in wintry weather can be a bit stressful. Keeping your tires in safe and reliable condition is a key component of maintaining your car during the winter.
Winter Tires vs. All Season
Not all tires are created equal! If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or ice, it may be worth investing in winter tires. These tires are designed to grip icy roads and can be a safer alternative than all-season tires. If you rotate these tires out each season, they should last for five seasons. To maintain their durability, consider storing your tires in a storage unit when they’re not in use.
Maintain Tire Pressure
No matter what tires you have on your vehicle, when temperatures drop, tires deflate. Deflated tires can increase stopping time and even impact fuel economy, so it’s important to make sure that your car’s tires are properly inflated. Make sure to monitor the PSI of your tires by checking them weekly. You can purchase a portable inflator or use an air compressor to keep the tires at the right pressure. If you’re unsure of the correct tire pressure, you can always refer to your vehicle manual. Most vehicles also have the manufacturer recommended tire pressure printed on a sticker that can be found on the inside of the driver door.
Windshield Wipers and Fluids
No matter the season, windshield wipers need to be in good condition to ensure that a driver can safely drive during precipitation. However, in the winter months, clean blades are essential so that they can clear ice and debris that may hit the windshield. Some drivers prefer to pull the wipers away from the windshield when temperatures are predicted to be below freezing. Doing so can keep the blades from sticking to the window, preventing the rubber from breaking or tearing.
Additionally, check your window washer fluid often to make sure it doesn’t run low. Keeping washer fluid and other essential fluids like antifreeze in the trunk of your car could come in handy when you need a quick refill.
How to Protect Car Batteries in Winter
There’s nothing more frustrating than turning the key to find that your car battery is dead and your car won’t start. Car batteries are made to withstand freezing temperatures, but their effectiveness lowers with the temperature. Good thing there are several preventative measures you can take to avoid wintertime car trouble:
Test Your Battery
Before cold temperatures set in, test your battery’s strength and voltage. You can do this at home with a multimeter or head to a local auto shop or parts store to have an expert check it for you.
Keep the Battery Clean
Dirt and debris can collect on the car’s battery and terminals, inhibiting its ability to start and maintain a strong charge. You can clean it yourself with a cup of water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Be sure to turn the engine off first!
Start the Engine
When temperatures drop, you may not be leaving the house as often. However, it’s important to start the car at least once a week so that the battery receives a charge. This is especially important if you have a car that doesn’t see as much use in the winter months.
Turn Accessories Off
Before you turn off the engine, be sure to turn off the radio, lights, heated seats, etc. to prevent excess drainage from the battery. If you have a newer vehicle, these things will turn off on their own to reserve your battery’s charge, but it’s still a good idea to check that all accessories are off anyway.
Keep a Portable Charger or Pair of Jumper Cables Handy
Even if you take precautions to prep your battery for the winter, sometimes the temperatures get too low for your battery and it needs a quick charge. Always have a set of jumper cables nearby so you can charge it using another car’s battery. If you don’t have another vehicle around, consider a portable charger instead. You’ll just want to make sure that your portable charger is charged enough to give your battery a jump.
Store Your Car for Winter With Metro Self Storage
Lastly, before tucking your car away for the season, be sure to fill the gas tank at least half full and use a fuel stabilizer to ensure the gas remains useable. Following these tips to take care of your car for winter are essential to increasing the longevity of your vehicle but these tips can also come in handy for storing a car you don’t regularly drive during the winter.
Whether you’re running out of space in your garage or simply want to store your vehicle away from home, Metro Self Storage can help! We offer a variety of vehicle parking options whether you need to store a classic car or your student’s daily driver while they’re away at college or studying aboard. No matter your storge need, the friendly storage team at Metro can help you properly maintain your car for winter and storage. Don’t leave your car in the cold for another season, store it at a Metro Self Storage facility near you today!