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Chemical Degradation in Unheated Garage in Winter

This is probably a stupid question, but I haven’t been able to find an answer elsewhere. As such, you fine folks are subject to my stupid question.

I store all of my automotive fluids and cleaners in an unattached, unheated garage in Northern Illinois. Should I move any of these chemicals and cleaners to my basement to protect them from the extreme cold? I also store lawn care chemicals in a nearby shed. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on either. I want to make sure that my Renault Le Car continues to run smoothly and that my grass stays greener than my neighbor’s grass.*

Thank you for your .02.


*Just kidding, I don’t actually one a Le Car. I also don’t care about my grass.

Open your owners manual for your car, read it for the recommended storage requirements. The car is designed to actually START at -40 degrees and storage to -50. High temps to 130 F plus 'cause that’s the range of temperatures found round the inhabited world where people buy cars. The auto chemicals at least match that.

As for the other chemicals, look on product label for storage requirements. If you find nothing written there, then there ARE no storage requirements.

No problem with the automotive chemicals UNLESS you use “summer mix” windshield wash fluid. That’ll freeze solid. Won’t harm anything, but it won’t help keep your windshield clean either.

Lawn chemicals… what do ya’ have?

Oil based products should be ok. Latex or water based products you might have, paint etc. should be kept from freezing.

As soon as the temps start to drop, I move all water-based products to my basement, so that they don’t freeze.
As to very low temperatures degrading chemicals, I seem to recall that lowering the temperature slows-down chemical reactions, so it is just possible that low temps might prolong the life of certain chemicals.
Just a theory…

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And now the requisite ten letters… :scream:

A Renault Le Car will deteriorate over the winter as it sits in an unheated garage. However, the Le Car was quite an improvement over the Renault Dauphine that deteriorated in the dealer’s showroom.

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I don’t know about the chemicals you are concerned about, but I do know that I deteriorate under any conditions. In warm weather I’m happier about it.

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Read the directions for storage. All chemicals are not alike. Generally, fluids used in cars are designed to be stored at temps the car is used in. Keep milk and animal biproducts inside.

The Taveling Wilburys always suggest you store items when in doubt, in a “cool dry place”. So I I would not worry too much. It is imparative you keep golf balls warm for maximum distance though.

Automotive should store just fine.
Lawn chemicals ? read the labels.
I have a bug spray ( pro type you put in a pump spray canister ) that clearly states to NOT allow to freeze, it’s stored inside the house.