Some car-owners, however, prefer to give their trusty rides a rest for the winter.
But storing your car involves a little more than simply leaving it in the garage all winter! Follow our Winter Car Storage guide to make sure your car is spared from roughing out the harsh Canadian winter to come, and ready to roll come springtime.
Choose the Right Location
When it comes to storing your car over the chilly season, it’s best to choose a location with limited access that’s dry, dark, and blocked from the elements. A concrete floor is preferable, as these help keep away moisture better. Your own home garage is the ideal car storage location.
Give it a Good Clean
Although you’ll be protecting your vehicle from snow, sleet, and road salt, it’s still a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning before storing it for the winter. Give your car a good wash and wax before putting it away for the winter so it will be fresh and ready to go come springtime.
Change Your Oil
If you’ll be storing your car for more than 30 days, consider getting your oil changed or changing it yourself, as used engine oil contains contaminants that can actually work their way through your engine components and harm your vehicle if it’s left in storage for an extended period of time.
Take Care of your Tires
Before putting away your vehicle for the winter, you’ll want to make sure your tires have the proper pressure – while this is important whether or not your car is in storage, it’s even more vital that your tires are at the right pressure if your car will be parked for a longer period of time. This is because it’s much easier to develop flat tires when the rubber tires are being continually compressed – especially in colder temperatures.
Cover Your Investment
When storing your vehicle, invest in a good quality car cover to keep it protected from getting scratched, dirty or rusty. If you will be storing your car in a garage, then a basic, lightweight car cover made from woven polyester or from a poly-cotton blend – this will be enough protection against dirty, dust, and scratches.
If storing your vehicle outside, choose a high-quality, heavy-duty cover made from WeatherShield fabric – this will help protect your car against snowfall throughout the winter, keeping it clean and dry.
Fill the Gas Tank
If you plan on storing your car for more than 30 days, fill the gas tank (preferably with a premium fuel) in order to keep moisture from accumulating in the fuel tank and to keep seals from drying out. A full gas tank means no room for air in your tank, which could end up contaminating the fuel and creating rust in the tank. Afterwards, add a fuel stabilizer, then run the vehicle to make sure the stabilizer moves into the carburetor, fuel rails, and injectors.
Check Up On Your Insurance
If you’ll be storing your vehicle outside of your property, be sure to check in with your insurance company to let them know – some insurers require that you report if your vehicle will be stored off your property in case of theft or damage. It’s not wise to cancel your car insurance when storing your vehicle for the winter – you should always maintain your car’s comprehensive coverage, including fire and theft.
Keep Critters Away
To keep critters from making a cozy home in your car during the cold winter months, place a ball of steel wool in the and air inlet and exhaust pipe opening. Put laundry fabric sheets inside the trunk and cabin, and sprinkle moth balls around the outside perimeter of your vehicle.
Tend To Your Battery
When it comes to your car battery, you can either connect it to a trickle charger or battery tender, or remove your battery entirely and store it for the winter. Be sure to store it in a warm place, as cold batteries may freeze and crack, and never keep it on a concrete floor.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.