How to Store Your Car Outside

As winter once again begins to rear its ugly head, many of us will begin to think about the best way to store our favorite vehicles for this season. Having garage space, or an indoor storage option is without a doubt the preferred and optimal setting to store a vehicle for a season. However, if indoor storage for your vehicle is not an option there are some steps you can take to make sure your vehicle survives its off-season.

Give it a Scrub:

Thoroughly wash your vehicle, taking special care to clean the wheel wells and fenders. Waxing after a wash is a great way to add an additional layer of protection to your vehicle’s paint job and will help safeguard against harsh weather. If you’re in need of some cleaning supplies make sure to check out our TechCare Exterior Wash & Wax Kit, this contains everything you’ll need to give your vehicle one last deep clean before wrapping it up for the off-season.
Pay special attention when cleaning the interior. Any left over food crumbs or beverage spills that are not properly cleaned will attract all kinds of unwanted guests. TechCare Interior Detailing Kit has everything you’ll need to thoroughly clean your vehicle’s interior. Also, make sure to leave some kind of drying agent, or dessicant in the vehicle when storing outside. This will help absorb any excess moisture or humidity accumulated in the vehicle during the season.

Fresh Oil:

Make sure to get an oil change as close as possible to when you’re going to store the car away. Contaminants in used oil could potentially cause damage to the engine if sitting for an extended period of time.

Fill it Up:

Topping the tank off will prevent moisture from building up inside the fuel tank causing damage to components. Add a fuel stabilizer to your fresh tank to prevent the gas from deteriorating.

Remove the Battery:

Cold weather can wreak havoc on a car’s battery. Especially one that has to sit outside for long periods of time. Remove the battery and connect it to a "smart" charger, such as the WeatherTech Battery Charger, to keep it in peak condition.

Top Off Coolant:

Make sure your coolant levels are filled to the recommended point. Not enough can cause important components to freeze causing damage to the engine.

Raise the Wheels:

Or remove them entirely and put the vehicle on cinder blocks or jack stands. Outdoor winter storage is not kind to tires, and there’s a list of other issues that can arise outside of just flats. If it’s not possible to remove wheels completely, at the very least over inflate the tires and place a chock in front of the wheels to keep the vehicle stationary. Do not engage the parking brake.

Keep On Flexing:

Cold weather can cause components designed to flex and move to become brittle. Parts such as steering fittings, suspension fittings and the front and back wheel bearings should receive some fresh grease or lubrication before going into storage.

Varmint Troubles:

Use steel screen and tape or a clamp to secure the vehicle’s intake and exhaust. These are prime locations for rodents and other small creatures to hide out during the harsh winter weather.

A Good Cover Goes a Long Way:

Avoid using tarps or other covers that are not specifically shaped for your vehicle. These generic solutions can sometimes do just as much harm as good by damaging the paint, keeping moisture locked in and allowing easy access for unwanted vehicle guests. Sunbrella Outdoor Car Covers are custom sewn and made to order specifically for your vehicle. So you can be sure it will fit perfectly. Designed specifically to tackle outdoor storage these covers will keep your vehicle safe from exterior damage during the weeks and months it’s in storage.
Looking for some additional tips to keep your car safe? Be sure to check out our article "How to Store a Car Indoors" for even more information!