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Tips for storing your vehicle during winter

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Posted at 7:15 AM, Dec 10, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-10 09:15:20-05

Those going away for the winter or who live in an area where there isn’t much need to use a vehicle much in the colder season may consider storing it.

The automotive experts at the website iSeeCars have compiled a list of 10 tips for storing a vehicle in the winter. Writer Suzanne Kane cautions, “This isn’t as simple as just parking it in the garage, however.”

Decide on a location

Ideally, the location you park your vehicle will have a concrete floor, electrical service and be easy to access. Kane also writes that the location need to be clean and dry.

Change fluids and fill tank

It may seem like a waste of resources but automotive experts recommend changing all your car’s fluids before storing it. Refill engine coolant, oil, windshield washer fluid and gas. That last step is especially important because it will prevent fuel system oxidation.

Keep critters out of the tailpipe

Kane recommends stuffing steel wool into your vehicle’s tailpipe to ensure rodents don’t crawl into the car.

Remove the battery

Before storing your vehicle for the winter, avoid a dead battery by removing it first. Nothing will bum you out in the springtime like your car not starting.

Place the car on jack stands

Prevent flat spots from developing on your tires and also relieve strain from the vehicle’s suspension by following this “essential step,” according to Kane.

Clean the car

Once again, it may sound like a waste of time but Kane writes that you should give your car a complete wash before storing it because of the damage winter weather can potentially do to the paint and other aesthetics. “Take the time to tend to chrome. Don’t forget to apply a good wax as well,” she recommended.

Disconnect fuel pump wiring harness

This step is best left to someone who knows what they’re doing — or at least by someone who has checked the owner’s manual first.

See the full list of tips at iSeeCars.com.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.