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Car Storage

My wife and I spend four months a year in Massachusetts. e spend the other eight in California. I have been trying to figure out what the problems are with storing a car for the winter in Ma. What things should be done to the car and is this a good idea?

What type of car/year/mileage etc?

Yeah. What Dave G. asked. Will the vehicle be garaged or left out in the cold, damp, Taxachusetts weather?

Winter storage is an advantage. The cold is good for storing food and cars. Wet, maybe not so good, but then if you were living there and using the car, it would still be getting wet. Parked it would not be getting salt.

I would suggest adding a little gas stabilizer before storing it. Park it in a safe location (safe from tree limbs kids animals and theft. I would also remove the battery, as that would make it a lot harder to steal. Store the battery some place cool and if possible have it kept charged with a battery tender. (a battery charger designed for this kind of use)

Remember to contact your insurance company. You likely will want to cancel all your insurance (on that car) except for comprehensive.

Update: WhaWho got my attention. don’t park the car with the parking brake on in this case, especially if it has been damp for a while, the brakes can rust on and it can be a bit of a pain t get them loose.

I would put fuel stabilizer in the tank, hook up a trickle charger that is designed for long term storage, and cover up the car and the tires to protect from them from the sun if it is being stored outside. Then I would not worry about it.

Your owner’s manual will have service intervals based on mileage and on time periods, whichever come first. You will probably have to service your car based on the time periods becuase of the lack of miles being put on the car.

For only 4 months I’d just fill the tank and park it, preferably in a dry garage. Anything more is just extra work with little to no benefit.

Keep it in a well ventilated or dry garage or the brakes will rust; may lock up but a little throttle application will overcome that and if the brakes are noisy, a few applications will soon fix that. Remove the battery if you live in a bad neighborhood or keep a battery tender; not a charger on the battery; otherwise disconnect the battery. Fill the gas tank and park the car well warmed and dry. Other than that, 4 months is nothing to be concerned about. I parked my carbureted Harley from Nov to April w/o a stabilizer for example. It started about 4 seconds later than normal. With fuel injection, your car will start instantly on your return. Tire flat spotting since steel belted radials took over is history. Bias belted nylon tires flat spotted but it was harmless and quickly evened out anyhow.