Clean Your Car’s Interior
If you’re going to the trouble of following the proper procedures for winter car storage, it’s clear you love your classic car or sports car. Therefore, it’s unlikely you’ve left your beloved car’s interior filled with garbage.
Even still, it bears mentioning that you should ensure your car’s interior is clean before storing it. Anything food-related (including food wrappers) definitely needs to be removed. This lowers the chance of any pests trying to get inside your car and you also won’t have any unpleasant odors to face after months of winter car storage.
Seat covers are a smart idea for providing extra protection for your upholstery. And it’s also a good idea to add some packs of desiccant (like the silica gel that comes in boxes of new shoes) inside the vehicle. They can be bought at your local dollar store and will absorb extra cabin moisture.
Keep the critters away – Critters like mice will be drawn to your stored vehicle, which can provide a comfortable winter home for them if you’re not careful.
If you’re aware of issues with mice in your garage, try and resolve the problem before winter arrives. And if they continue to be a persistent problem, take a few steps to protect your vehicle.
Use mouse traps outside the vehicle (never inside) or wherever you notice critter activity in your garage. Mouse traps are reusable and provide visual proof that you’ve caught one of the pests. The effects of mouse and rat poisons, on the other hand, don’t leave evidence as readily. You also won’t want to use them if you have pets.
Be sure that all air inlets are closed in the car and put steel wool in the air filter box’s intake duct. Check under your hood periodically during the winter to make sure it’s critter-free. Also, plug up your exhaust pipe with steel wool to prevent critter access.
Fill ’er up before winter car storage – When it comes to winter car storage advice, you’ll find plenty of conflicting opinions online on a few different issues. One of those is whether or not to empty your gas tank or fill it up before winter car storage.
Those in favor of emptying the fuel believe this prevents varnish and gum buildup. Unfortunately, it’s tricky to drain a gas tank without leaving behind moisture that can cause rust.
There’s a stronger consensus for filling up your tank (which prevents moisture buildup) and adding a fuel stabilizer. Gasoline stabilizers prevent the fuel from deteriorating, which causes oxidation and deposits to form that could damage your fuel system.
Just add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer and let it mix thoroughly with the gas by driving the car for approximately 10-15 minutes. Another reason to keep gas in your vehicle while it’s stored is so you can run it every few weeks (more on that below).