Top ten tips for storing your car during winter
To avoid damage caused by inclement weather and poor road conditions, owners of luxury and performance vehicles often place their cars in storage during winter. As Old Man Winter readies his wicked machinations, drivers in Denver and along the Front Range who intend to store their Audi or Porsche should begin making their initial preparations now. Of course, if you store your vehicle improperly, you unintentionally may cause both long- and short-term problems. To this extent, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to ensure your vehicle’s well-being. What follows are ten tips for storing your car during winter.
1) Location. If possible, store your vehicle indoors, preferably in a dry, dark, and clean location with lots of space and limited access. Ideally, you’ll want to find a space with a concrete floor, which will reduce the amount of moisture to which your car is exposed. If you cannot find or afford a private storage facility, your home garage should work adequately. If your home garage does not have concrete floor, first place a tarp on the ground to help protect your car from excess moisture. Before deciding on a storage facility, you’ll want to check what the Denver area offers.
2) Battery. When preparing your battery for winter storage, you have several options, depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle. To determine the best method of battery maintenance, you’ll want to speak with an Audi or Porsche certified technician in Prestige Imports Service and Parts Department. But some options include: removing your battery and attaching it to a battery tender, disconnecting your battery and attaching it to a battery maintainer or trickle charger, or (in the case or newer Porsche models) plugging a battery maintenance and monitoring device into you vehicle. Since some of these methods might cause damage to your battery or vehicle’s internal monitoring systems, you’ll want to ensure you’ve selected the correct course of action for your vehicle.
3) Car Cover. Regardless of where you store your vehicle, you’ll want to use a car cover. Of course, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Manufacturers produce different covers, depending on whether or not you leave your car inside or outdoors. Likewise, most manufacturers produce specific covers for particular models. To ensure that you select the correct cover for your Audi or Porsche vehicle, speak with one of Prestige Imports Parts and Service representatives. A cover will protect your vehicle’s paint and finish from weather conditions, falling objects, or rambunctious children.
4) Detailing. You’ll want to make sure that both the interior and exterior of your vehicle have been detailed before storage. This will reduce the amount of surface contaminants that can damage your vehicle. Moreover, waxing your vehicle will protect it from moisture, oxidation, and scuffing from off-brand car covers. Interior detailing will reduce deterioration and prevent mold, which can permanently damage leather, vinyl, plastic, or fabric. Call Prestige Imports Parts and Service Department in order to schedule a full winter detail immediately before storing your vehicle.
5) Fluids. So as to reduce corrosion and the presence of contaminants in your vehicle’s internal systems, make sure that you top-off all of your fluids. It also helps to add a fuel stabilizer when filling up at the gas station before storage. Fuel stabilizers help to prevent the build-up of gums and solids that accumulate in gasoline when it sits for extended periods of time. If you do not add a stabilizer to a full tank of gas, you risk degrading your fuel tank, lines, and injection, as well as your carburetor. For a full-service oil change immediately before winter storage, contact Prestige Imports Parts and Service Department so that an Audi or Porsche certified technician can attend to your vehicle.
6) Tires. The main concern regarding winter storage and tire maintenance is flattening. Flattening occurs when one portion of the tire’s surface area remains in contact with the ground for an extend period of time, thus deforming it. Over-inflating your tires is a common method used to combat this naturally occurring phenomenon. Be sure to deflate your tires to the proper PSI when you take your vehicle out of storage at the beginning of spring.
8) Creatures. A common problem when storing your car during winter is the presence of rodents, vermin, and other small burrowing beasts. It’s not uncommon for them to nest inside of your vehicle. Finding a clean location and detailing the interior of your car will help reduce the possibility of infestation. But experienced car owners employ a few other preventative measures. Placing steel wool in the exhaust pipe and other openings make it more difficult for these animals to enter your vehicle. Likewise, some car owners drape fabric softener over the external vents and inside the vehicles; pest control professionals, though, harbor skepticism with regard to this practice.
9) Brakes. Do not engage the parking brake. Doing so increases the likelihood of the mechanism sticking or seizing. Parking your vehicle on a level surface, placing it in neutral, and then inserting chocks behind the wheels is the ideal practice.
10) Patience. Every winter, Denver and the Front Range will experience a few unseasonably warm days during the heart of winter. Your inclination, no doubt, will be to take your vehicle out of storage for a well-deserved joyride. If you can help yourself, it’s best to suppress this urge; in fact, it’s best to not start your engine for the entirety of your storage period. You risk negating the preparations you made for winter storage when taking your sweet ride out for a seemingly innocent drive.
If you follow these tips for storing your car during winter, you will ensure that your vehicle performs at the highest possible levels when you bring it out when the weather changes permanently. Ultimately, proper storage will also extend the lifespan of your car.
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Image by Nathan Forget, courtesy of Creative Commons.