Tips for taking your Audi or Porsche out of winter car storage
Is it time to remove your Audi or Porsche from winter car storage?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article warning against the premature removal of your performance or luxury vehicle from winter car storage. The argument against bringing out your car, at that time, centered on the fact that Denver and the Front Range would, most likely, receive another cold spell or snowstorm before the winter season ended (we did). Thus, you would’ve risked negating the measures you took in the autumn when you initially prepared your car for its four to five month hibernation.
Now that we’ve turned another page on the calendar and entered the month of March, though, it’s time to start thinking about waking up your mighty, road behemoth from its winter slumber. While March is still the snowiest month here in Colorado, it is punctuated with beautiful springlike weather that will have you itching for the open road. But do not you succumb to your natural impulse to tear off your car cover and haul a** down Denver’s gorgeous thoroughfares. Instead, follow the below tips in order to ensure that your performance or luxury vehicle is in peak, roadworthy condition.
1. Schedule a Service Appointment: The first thing you’ll want to do before taking your vehicle out of storage is to schedule a service appointment with the Service Department here at Prestige Imports. You can do this by calling (888) 466-4994. Between your phone call and your appointment, you’ll want to take the following measures so as to prepare your vehicle.
2. Visual Inspection: Before you do anything with your vehicle, conduct a cursory visual examination. To begin with, check underneath your car to make sure no stains or puddles appear on the ground; their presence indicates that, perhaps, your car suffers from a fluid leak. You’ll also want to check the engine bay in order to make sure that no wires have frayed or hoses have cracked. Additionally, cars often serve as makeshift nests for various critters during the winter months. Make sure none of these foul beasts have made themselves comfortable inside your ride.
3. Air Out Vehicle: While you, hopefully, detailed and cleaned the interior of your vehicle before placing it in storage, you’ll still want to air out your vehicle. If it’s been covered up and closed for the past four months or so, there’s a chance it might smell a bit musty. Cracking the windows will allow for adequate ventilation, allowing fresh air to circulate throughout the cabin.
4. Battery Check: If your battery has been hooked up to a battery tender, maintainer, or trickle charger, it, most likely, will not be dead. But you’ll still want to test it to determine how much of a charge it’s holding. Do not attempt to start your vehicle if your battery is only holding a half-charge. If you did not attach your battery to maintainer, then it is most likely dead (since the electronics in your vehicle continue to drain power from your battery even when turned doff). Even if you simply disconnected your battery (without using a maintainer), it will probably be close to empty after several months of non-use.
5. Tire Check: I suggested over-inflating your tires when placing your car into winter storage in order to avoid flattening (i.e. tire deformation) while your vehicle remains unused. To this extent, you might need to deflate your tires a bit so that they’re inflated to the proper PSI. Over-inflated tires are more susceptible to damage and create a harsher ride. While your TPMS should inform you of whether or not your tires are properly inflated once you turn your car on; it’s best to just test them manually with a tire gauge before engaging the ignition.
6. Fluid Check: While sitting in storage, the fluids in your vehicle can accrue condensed water and other contaminates that negatively affect your car’s internal systems. Likewise, evaporation or hose leaks may deplete their levels. As such, you’ll want to check the levels of all your fluids (e.g. brake, coolant, transmission, windshield, etc.) to make sure they’re at the appropriate levels. Top off any fluids that appear low and have a certified-technician at Prestige Import replace the fluids during your service appointment. Remember, winter car storage can be hard on all fluids and, thus, should be replaced more frequently than on your daily driver.
7. Light Check: Once you’ve completed your visual inspection, charged your battery, aired out the cabin, checked your tires, and topped-off the fluids, you’ll want to inspect your vehicle’s lights. Turn on your car and, with an assistant, ensure that the headlights, fog lights, brake lights, and turn signals are all working properly. If any of them are out, make a note of this and inform your certified service advisor at Prestige Imports or, if you’re capable, change them yourself.
8. Service at Prestige Imports: Now that all your cursory inspections are complete, you can safely drive your vehicle to Prestige Imports for your scheduled appointment. We’re located at 9201 West Colfax Avenue between Wadsworth and Kipling. It’s important that you do not drive your performance vehicle for any length of time before a technician inspects it (outside of driving it to Prestige Imports, of course). In addition to cleaning or flushing your vehicles internal systems and replacing their fluids, there are many other tasks that we will provide. For example, your brakes should be bled, all filters should be changed, cylinders should be lubricated, spark plugs should be replaced, and, if necessary, a de-icer can be added to the fuel tank in order to burn off any bad gas or water that have built up in it. Additionally, our certified-technicians will provide a full inspection of your vehicle in order to ensure your vehicle is operating at peak performance.
9. Enjoy: This final tip is, well, rather self-explanatory. Once you’ve completed steps on this checklist, get in your performance vehicle and cruise in Denver and the Front Range’s summer-like spring weather!