If you have a beautiful classic, an overpowered muscle car, or a vehicle you regularly show, it’s just about time to put it away for winter. There are a few options on storing your vehicle, each with their own pros and cons. This quick overview will offer a look at what is involved in paying for storage, or doing it yourself.
Storage units are mainly known for making it easy to hold onto the country’s junk, but are also a popular way to store a car over the long winter. Paying a storage company to hold on to your stuff may feel like throwing money away at first, but put it into perspective. This option gets the vehicle out of your garage, so you have space to work on rebuilding cylinder heads, wood crafting, laundry, or whatever you do in there. It also makes room to bring in the daily driver, minimizing its winter wear and tear.
Unless you are storing a classic Mini or Honda Z600, you will want to rent at least a 10’ by 15’ storage unit. Prices vary by city, but expect to pay at least $150 a month. That might seem high for what is essentially a long term parking space, but the above perks, plus 24 hour security, mean your ride is safer in here than at home. Put some fuel stabilizer in the tank before driving over to the unit. Disconnect the battery, and consider setting the car on jack stands if the storage will be longer than 3 months.
Self-storage at facilities like www.storagewest.com is a cheap option for owners with a garage. Ideally, your garage is climate controlled to keep the bitter chill away. If not, a $30 oil filled electric heater can be found at any “big box” retailer, and while it won’t make the garage feel like Miami, it will keep the car from freezing. Sure, it can’t feel the cold, but brutal winter temps, like those found in New England, the Midwest, Canada, and Alaska, can cause damage from freezing fluids, making rubber hoses and wiring covers brittle. Not to mention how much a car battery hates cold temperatures.
If you self-store, make sure the vehicle is clean before it is parked for the season. Put fuel stabilizer in the tank if storage will be longer than 90 days. Run the engine for a few minutes to make sure it gets through the fuel lines. Disconnect the battery and take it inside, or put it on a battery tender. Raise the vehicle and set on jack stands to prevent flat spots forming on the tires. A cheap car cover will keep dust off your ride, and prevent paint damage from accidental contact when you are working in there.
Do you have a preferred storage method? Any winter storage tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments.