How to properly prepare the car for the winter?
Some motorists sometimes, for certain reasons, leave their car parked in the garage for an extended period of time. It can be seasonal parking, for example, in winter, a long business trip, vacation, etc. The reasons may actually be many. But such idle time not always positively affects the condition of a car.
Therefore, to avoid later problems with starting and to save a vehicle from negative consequences, it is very important to carry out special preparation.
What points should be paid attention to and what to do to prepare the machine? The approaching cold weather is a pressing problem for many drivers. So what should be done to properly prepare your car for the long term? Almost all elements of the car may be exposed to negative impacts during long-term parking. Therefore, preparation shall be obligatory of a complex character. It is very important. Let’s consider what you should pay attention to.
Before you send the car for preservation, it should be very well washed, remove all the dirt and dust from the body. It is best to order a complete wash at a car wash, although you can do it yourself.
Do not forget about the wheels, they also need to be thoroughly washed. Remember that dirt from the brake pads is easy to remove only in the first few days. Therefore, if the dirt from the brake pads remains on the wheels for a long time, it may cause difficulty in cleaning it.
The same applies to dirt on the outside of the body. For example, if bird droppings got on the hood, you should get rid of them as soon as possible. It can corrode the paint and should not be left for a long time.
It is also important to wash the underside of the vehicle, the suspension elements, and the wheel arches as thoroughly as possible. This is where a lot of dirt always accumulates and is hardly visible from the outside. It is important to completely remove all dirt, including in hard-to-reach places. If this is not done, metal corrosion may begin.
Waxing the bodywork
After the body has been thoroughly washed and dried, it is recommended that a wax coating be applied to the surface. The main advantage of this treatment is that the wax protects the body from the sun’s rays. That is, the paint coating does not fade and lasts longer. In addition, then it is easier to remove any dirt from the body that has been treated with wax.
Pay Attention to the Gas Tank
To protect the gas tank of the car from the appearance of rust, you can use 2 ways:
- Option 1. If you are using quality fuel and the car will still start occasionally while parked, it is recommended to fill a full tank.
- Option 2. If you are going to be parked for very long periods of time or there is no way to fill up with high quality fuel, then it may split. It often leads to the fact that there are sediment and even small particles of debris, water. Therefore, this method assumes on the contrary to drain the fuel and leave a minimum amount of it, and additionally use special anti-corrosion additives.
Removing the car battery
A very important point not to forget is the removal of the battery. If everything is left as it is, then you risk not starting the car after a long period of parking. It is recommended to store the car battery in a cool, dry place. It is recommended that you have a full recharge and rebuild the battery before storing it. It is best if you can periodically recharge the power source during storage, then it will retain its performance for a very long time.
If you do not have a suitable place to store the battery, in the most extreme case, you can leave the battery and in the car, just be sure to remove the terminals and disconnect the battery from the onboard network.
Preparation of the wheels
Before parking be sure to check the pressure in tires, if it is below normal, the tires need to be inflated with a compressor. To ensure that the tires in the process of long-term parking of the car are not deformed, then they must be stored properly.
There are three possible options:
- Turn the wheels from time to time, such as driving the car around a bit.
- Raise the car above the ground, which will help reduce pressure on the tires from the weight of the vehicle.
- Remove the wheels from the car altogether and store them separately.
Tires should be stored in a relatively warm place. After all, everyone knows that rubber at sub-zero temperatures can crack. And this can lead to the fact that they will fall into disrepair, and you will have to buy a new set of tires to replace them.
Car interior preparation
The interior of the car should be given special attention. First, clean the upholstery, no crumbs should be left on the seats, as this can provoke the appearance of mold. It is also recommended to clean well and then remove the mats from the interior.
If there is high humidity in the room where the car will be parked, you can put baking soda in packs on the seats. Not many people know this, but it is able to absorb excess moisture and then gives it away after it dries.
Also, if the car will be parked in a closed garage, it is recommended that you don’t close the doors and hood tightly, but leave them ajar. This will minimize pressure on the rubber seals. In addition, all rubber elements must be thoroughly washed and then apply a special protective agent based on silicone, it will prolong their life, as it will not let the rubber dry out and crack.
If you can not open the car, you should at least open the windows to allow air circulation in the cabin.
Preparing the garage
In addition to preparing the vehicle itself, attention should be paid to the preparation of the room, most often it is a normal garage. Check that there are no rodents, which can chew through the wiring and cause serious damage to the interior.
Make sure that the garage has good ventilation, it should not be damp. It is not recommended exceeding a humidity rating of 50%. If the room will be damp, corrosive processes may begin.
And this can affect all elements of the body without exception. Therefore, be sure to check the humidity level and, if necessary, take timely measures, for example, you can buy a special device that will dehumidify the air.
What should you do if your car is parked in an open parking lot for a long time?
Sometimes a car has to stand for a long time in an outdoor parking lot. In this case, a simple accessory is required – a protective tent. A modern awning provides reliable protection from rain, snow, hail, dirt, birds, etc. In addition, the cover perfectly protects the paint coating of the car body from burning and thermal effects.
If you do not have an awning and there is no possibility to buy it, you can make a protective cover yourself from a durable air-permeable material. But the efficiency, in this case, will be much lower.
As you can see, there are no special difficulties, the main thing is to approach this issue comprehensively and thoroughly.
This will help you to save the car, and then it will be easier to put it back into operation. You will not have to spend additional time and money to solve problems that may arise from improper parking.