There are actually a ton of steps that need doing to make sure your car is in top shape come spring. Some of these may seem like a hassle, but trust us, they're all worth it.
We wrote an in-depth step-by-step guide on how to keep your gas from going bad this winter, but here's a reminder. Fuel only lasts around 30 days before it goes bad, so it's essential to use fuel stabilizer if you're thinking about long-term storage.
It can't hurt to have fresh oil in your engine just before you store it away. This way, once you fire up your car for the first time come spring, it's using clean, untouched lubrication.
If you stop using a car for an extended period of time, parts that are supposed to flex and move will become brittle and start to crumble or crack, especially in the cold. It's important to keep these pieces fresh until the next time you hit the road.
If you don't store your car in a climate-controlled garage, be mindful of how much coolant-to-water mixture is currently in your car. Without the right amount, the water can freeze and expand, causing catastrophic damage to your engine.
You have three choices when it comes to battery preservation in the winter. Leave it connected, disconnect it, or install battery tenders. Read our in-depth guide here to learn how to care for your battery properly during long-term storage.
Small, cozy places like exhausts and intake boxes are prime real estate for rodents and other sorts of small creatures to thrive during the winter. Save yourself the headache and make sure there's nowhere for the little critters to enter your car.
It's never good to leave a car dirty for an extended period of time. Acidic material could be eating away at your paint, while any car covers could rub dirt around the clearcoat and make scratches.
No one likes seeing an oil stain on their garage floor or driveway after a car's been sitting. Putting something under the engine (or any other leaky component) will save you the stress of having to scrub out some dark spots once spring comes around.
Nothing sucks more than getting hit with a musty, moldy smell every time you open your car door. Fix it this winter with a dehumidifier product that sucks moisture out of the air.
Parking brakes are known to give out at any time given enough wear, so it's smart to keep your car secure to it doesn't roll away. The simplest way to do that is jack it up in the air, or place a chock in front of the wheel so it can't move.
This one should be obvious, but we're going to mention it anyway. A car cover prevents dust and all sorts of other material from accumulating on your car. If you really want to make sure a car's exterior is protected, use a cover.
If you have a newer car, chances are it uses at least some soy-based wiring, which is something rodents love to munch on. Keep your car from becoming food this winter by using repellent near the exterior.