How to Winterize Your Car for Self Storage


With cold weather quickly approaching, car owners looking to use self storage during the winter months to free up garage space for snow blowers and bags of salt need to begin making preparations for storage.

Whether you’re storing a sedan, a classic car you’ve rebuilt, or a pickup truck, every type of car needs proper winterization before being moved to self storage. This ensures your car is protected from costly damages during its time in storage.

When going through the necessary winterization steps for auto storage, be sure to find a climate-controlled storage unit, thoroughly clean your car, maintain the battery, stabilize the fuel tank, check tire pressure, and prevent rodents from getting to electrical components.

Invest in Climate-Controlled Vehicle Storage

To ensure the best possible protection for your vehicle, car owners should invest in a climate controlled storage until. Not every auto storage facility will offer a completely indoor, climate-controlled storage option; however, if the facility does provide climate-controlled units for vehicles, it’s worth the extra cost.

By keeping your vehicle in a storage environment with a consistent temperature (usually between 55-85°F) and humidity level, there’s less risk of damage caused by excessive moisture and extreme temperatures, both of which lead to rust, paint damage, and corroded parts.

Clean and Cover Your Car

“Vehicles should be washed and waxed to remove the road grit from the driving season,” says Kyle Smith with Hagerty Insurance, a leading insurance provider for classic vehicles and host to the largest network of classic car owners. Smith adds that cleaning your car prevents damage to its paint and parts.

A clean car should also be covered in storage with a “breathable cloth cover to prevent moisture buildup and paint scratching,” according to Smith, who says plastic covers should be avoided, as they trap moisture that can cause rust and paint damage.

Brad Barnes, Director of Corporate Service and Parts at #1 Cochran in Pittsburgh, Pa., says old bed sheets will do the trick, too, if you can’t find a cover for your car. “Any material that’s breathable to keep the exterior covered is always a good idea even when being stored,” Barnes explains.

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