3 Tips For Winter Car Storage

7 October 2014
 Categories: , Articles


If you have several cars but not enough space in your garage to keep them stored for the winter months, you may need to rent garage space or take your vehicle to a car storage facility. To help ensure that your automobile remains safe and dry over the winter, there are a few things to consider to make sure that your automobile will be in good condition when you pick it up in the spring. Here are three tips for winter car storage:

Fill Up The Tank

Before storing your car for the winter, fill it up with gas and add a good-quality fuel stabilizer to the tank.  This will help prevent the buildup of condensation inside the reservoir. If moisture develops inside the tank, you'll need to have it removed before starting your car.

Condensation that gets into your gas tank can prevent the engine from starting, and may even lead to the development of internal rust. If this occurs, the parts of your engine might stop moving, causing it to seize up. When cars are not started for months at a time, temperature changes lead to condensation due to the humidity inside the fuel tank.

If the car sits idle for long periods of time, more water will build up inside the tank. During cold weather, even a couple drops of water in the fuel line can freeze and prevent gas from traveling to your engine. The only way gas will reach the engine is when the temperature rises to above freezing so that the water droplets thaw out.

If you suspect that you have water in your gas tank, do not start your engine. Instead, drain the fuel tank and replace it with new fuel before trying to turn over the engine. If you believe that there are only a few drops of water in the fuel tank, you can try adding a can of a commercial gas dryer, which is available at auto parts stores during the fall and winter months.

Gas drying agents are comprised mostly of alcohol, and if you prefer not to use one of these products, you can simply fill up your tank at a gas station that incorporates ethanol to their gasoline. While some gas stations offer ethanol fuel year-round, others only offer it during the winter.

Take Pressure Off Tires

Before storing your car, place it on jack stands. This will keep weight off the tires, and is recommended when storing cars for long periods of time. When the automobile is placed on stands, the tires do not receive pressure or wear and tear, even when the vehicle is stored for years. Before having the car placed on the jack stands, make sure that the tires are properly inflated, as this will also help keep them in good condition.

Wash And Wax

Prior to storing your car for the winter, give it a good cleaning. Washing and waxing your vehicle before storing it helps ensure that no corrosive or harmful substances might cause damage or rust over time. For example, if your car has salt residue or bird droppings on it, the paint job may be ruined during storage. Other damaging substances that need to be removed from your car before storage include tar, insects and tree sap.

Whether you choose to store your car for the winter in a garage or at a self storage facility, consider the above suggestions. If you don't properly winterize your vehicle prior to storing it, the following may occur:

  • The motor may not start
  • Your tires may flatten
  • The paint job may blemish

To learn more about how to ready your car for the winter months, go to sites or talk to an experienced mechanic or the manager of a self-storage auto facility.