Winter car storage


#1

I need to store a car and a pickup truck outside for the winter in coastal Maine, i.e cold, snowy and icy. Both are about 10 years old. Should I tarp the vehicles and/or remove the batteries?


#2

If the vehicles are going to sit outside, the first thing to do is protect the undersides from moisture. This done by placing a vapor barrier, such as a 3 mil plastic sold at most building centers, flat on the ground under the vehicles. But be warned, if this is a grassy area, this will kill the grass.

Purchase a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL, and add this to the gas tanks and fill the tanks before the vehicles are parked.

Remove the batteries. Now you have a choice. You can either let the batteries just sit and sulfate where they won’t be any good in the spring, or you can put them on a battery maintainer where the batteries are fully charged come spring. Make this decission based on the age of the batteries.

Purchase some coarse stainless steel wool. Stuff this up the tailpipes, and in the intakes before the air filters. This will keep critters out of the engine.

Open a couple of windows just a crack to allow air into the interior. And lay some drier sheets throughout the interiors to keep critters out.

As far as car covers? Unless you purchase quality car covers that fit correctly, they can do damage to the car finish more than protect it.

This is more short-term storage. If it were a long-term storage situation, then a lot more would have to be done.

Tester


#3

Remove the batteries. Now you have a choice. You can either let the batteries just sit and sulfate where they won’t be any good in the spring, or you can put them on a battery maintainer where the batteries are fully charged come spring. Make this decission based on the age of the batteries.

I would add a couple of things on the battery.

I strongly agree with removing the battery. Take it inside. With out a battery they will be a lot less likely for someone to steal them. The batteries will also do better inside and they will not be drained by the usual small current a shut down car uses. The battery maintainer is a very good idea. However, before you remove the battery, make sure you have any security codes necessary to reset your radio or other security device for the car and truck.

I also agree with the rest of Tester’s list.