Winterizing your Car

Unfortunately summer is over and with that, the end of muster season for most of us. I found this article from the Hagerty Newsletter to assist you in storing your vehicle safely for the winter. This should help making it easier come spring time to get back on the road again and enjoying Family, Fun and Firetrucks!

Step-by-step guide to winterizing your car
by Donald W. LeGoullon / Hagerty Newsletter – Nov. 1, 2011

  1. Select a dry, dark location for storage, preferably with limited access. Concrete flooring is best at keeping away moisture. If you must store your car on a dirt floor, place a plastic barrier under the vehicle, and place carpet pieces or plywood under the tires.
  2. Give the vehicle a good wash/wax. Putting on and removing a vehicle cover will lead to unwanted scratches if the car is dirty.
  3. Fill the fuel tank (preferably with premium) and add fuel stabilizer. Be sure to run the vehicle to move fuel stabilizer into the carburetor, fuel rails, injectors, etc. The fuller the tank, the less room there will be for air, which carries moisture that can lead to fuel contamination and possibly rust within the tank.
  4. Change the oil and filter right before putting away the vehicle. The clean oil will reduce the risk of harmful contaminants working away at your engine during hibernation β€” and you’ll be ready to go in spring.
  5. Check the antifreeze.
  6. Add air to the tires.
  7. If you’re storing your car offsite, some insurance companies require you to report the address of the offsite location. Check with your insurer to determine your policy’s requirements.

When storing:

  1. Place baking soda refrigerator packages in the interior and trunk areas.
  2. To keep insects and vermin out of the car, put a plastic bag over the air cleaner/air inlet and exhaust pipe(s). You also can cover these with aluminum foil and tape securely. Place mothballs in the tailpipe and around the outside of the car, or insert steel wool in the tailpipe.
  3. Place the vehicle on jack stands. This step avoids tire flat spots and adds longevity to the suspension because it is not supporting the vehicle’s weight during storage.
  4. For your battery, take one of the following actions: Unhook the battery by removing the negative cable first and store it separately β€” never on a concrete floor and preferably where it will not freeze; or leave the battery in the car and put a battery tender on it, if there is power available. That way if you want to start it a few times in the winter you don’t have to put the battery in and out.
  5. Close all of the windows.
  6. If the vehicle will be exposed to freezing temperatures, be certain no personal items that may freeze or burst are left in the vehicle.
  7. There are varying theories about periodically starting the vehicle. This writer feels unless you get the engine up to operating temperature for a good 10-plus minutes to burn off the water vapors that initially develop at startup-cold operation, starting is not a good idea. Anything less will leave water in the combustion chamber and all exhaust components.

Silver Trumpet – 2018 Vol. 4