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How To Winterize A Sports Car For Storage

It’d be heartbreaking to find that when winter has passed, and you’re ready to use your sports car again, your battery’s flat, its paint is peeling off, critters nibbled and messed up its interior upholstery, and the tires are deflated. To add to the heartbreak, you’d have to spend a lot to restore your prized possession to its earlier state.

The condition of your car storage facility will play a crucial role in protecting your car from the effects of extremely low temperatures during winter.

To protect your car from damage and keep it in its best condition during winter before it hits the road again, take the following proactive steps:

Fill Your Tank And Change Oil

Leaving the fuel tank empty or low on gas for the number of months you’ll store your sports car for winter can encourage internal rust due to condensation and moisture. You should therefore fill your tank and add the required amount of fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from oxidizing because fuel on its own can only stay for about 30 days before going bad.

Then change the engine oil and replace the filter to ensure that it’s free from contaminants that can be present in used oil and can eventually build up and corrode your engine. After that, drive your car for 10-15 minutes to allow the gas and stabilizer to mix and distribute around the engine parts and enable the oil to lubricate it.

Top Up Your Coolant

Don’t forget to top up the car’s coolant so that it can circulate in your engine’s water jackets before winter storage. Thus, to keep the car’s cylinder head and engine safe from cracking due to low temperatures, use a coolant with lower water concentration levels.

Remove The Battery Or Use A Trickle Charger

If your garage is not climate controlled, the winter weather can freeze your car battery and render it useless. Therefore, you should remove the battery and store it in a warm place until the car is ready for use again. Use a trickle charger to keep the battery alive for cars with advanced engine features that do not allow the battery to be removed.

Clean The Car’s Exterior and Interior

As you plan to store your sports car for winter, you should give its exterior a thorough hand wash to remove dirt, grime, and deposits. Doing so will ensure that your car has been properly cleaned and will also enable you to see any scratches, scuffs, or blemishes on your vehicle that you may not have seen before. Don’t forget to give its underside a thorough spray wash as well.

You should also deeply clean the interior. Clean off any grime from the car’s interior surfaces, take out any food particles and trash and thoroughly clean the seats and carpets. Deep cleaning will hinder pests and protect any unpleasant odors from forming in the car for the period it’ll not be in use. When the interior of the vehicle and its accessories are dry, you can cover the car seats for extra protection, spray the whole interior with a stainless-steel moth repellant like dichloride and throw in some desiccants to keep it dry.

Lubricate And Seal The Exterior Parts From Corrosion

Seal the painted exterior of your car using wax to protect its barrier from corrosion and spray lubricant on all the exposed metal parts in the engine to prevent rust. You should also check your car for drips or leaks from any fluids and repair them before storage.

Take Care Of The Tires

Before storing your sports car for winter, inflate the tires to the recommended pressure level to avoid tire damage. To take off the weight from the tires and prevent the tires from developing flat spots, which occur when the tire rubber sits compressed continually, you can elevate the car using either a car lift or jack stands. But, if you’re parking on concrete, put flat boards under each tire to insulate the tire’s rubber.

Keep Critters At Bay

Rats, mice, and squirrels can easily make their way into your car through openings. So, to keep them or any other critters away, make sure the car doors, trunk, and boot are securely locked. Also, seal the tailpipes using steel wool stuffed in a zip lock bag, a rag, or aluminum foil. Just remember to remove whatever you use before starting the car.

Cover Your Car

Covering your car throughout the time that it will be stored can protect its exterior from accumulating dirt and dust. A lightweight, permeable, and custom-made cover will be better than a tarp cover which can trap moisture and cause corrosion.

Conclusion

The winter season can have a great impact on your car's overall condition. So, it's good to prepare for the coming of the season by following the above steps to winterize your sports car. And when the time comes to spring season, you can hit the road as if you never left.

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