Winterizing Your Vehicle
Putting away your treasured vehicle is one of the most difficult parts of being a car enthusiast. Only one part can be more difficult and that's getting your machine running next spring if you don't prepare it for storage properly. Of course, there is a right way and a wrong way to do the job. Eastwood will walk you through the correct procedures.
First, fill the gas tank up with clean gas and add some Fuel stabilizer. By filling the tank up, you are reducing the chance of condensation forming in the bottom of the tank. Condensation in the bottom of the tank causes rust - auto enthusiast's worst enemy.
Second, get your engine up to operating temperatures, then drain and change the oil. If you own a pre-1989 vehicle it would be a good idea to use a ZDDP additive. Change the filter at the same time, using a name brand filter and only fill the engine with quality oil. Don't shortchange yourself on oils and filters, they are the lifeblood of your engine.
If you haven't changed your antifreeze in the past two years, do it now. Be sure to use a 50/50 mix for best freeze and boilover protection. Always check your owner's manual for manufacturer's recommendations.
Now, give the car a good washing inside and out. Start by washing with a quality car wash. Be sure to use a good wash brush to get the surface clean without scratching it. Follow up the wash with a good coat of wax. Use a quality rubber dressing, such as Eastwood Rubber Conditioner on the trim, and weatherstrip. Remember, the cleaner you put the car away, the easier it will be to clean it up and get it back on the road in the spring.
Before putting the vehicle in the garage, put a clear plastic sheet over the entire garage floor. This prevents moisture from coming up through the concrete and causing rust on the underbody of the car. It also allows you to see any leaks that your vehicle may have, by allowing you to see the color of the fluid that has leaked out. On a cooled exhaust, plug the exhaust pipe to prevent air from going through
the engine and rusting valves in place. You can also place a pan of mothballs in the car to pest-proof it.
To maxmize your garage space, it is a good idea to use wheel dollies. Wheel dollies allow you to easily move your vehicle throughout the garage.
Once you have your vehicle in the garage, remove the battery and store it in a clean, warm, dry place, and hook it up to a Eastwood Battery Sustainer to maintain the charge. Do not set it on a concrete floor, as the concrete will drain the battery. If you have rust on the battery tray, now is a good time to clean and refinish that tray using Eastwood Fast Etch, and Rust Encapsulator.
Lastly, you should cover your vehicle during storage. This will help to keep your vehicle protected while it hibernates in your garage. Choose a quality, durable, breathable cover that fits your car.
Now all you have to do is wait for spring and the nice weather!