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Winter Snow

Winter Prep and storage

1 keep them clean.

Remove all contaminates from your paint Bird poo is especially harsh on your paint, if your car is covered outside remember any form of dirt left on your paint and body will work like sandpaper etching its way into your paint and chrome between your body and the cover. 

2 Keep it dry inside and out.

It goes without saying that you’ll want to keep your car dry but don’t forget the inside.  Those little packs that come with shoes (silica gel) Moisture traps or moisture absorbing cat litter inside old socks or tights.  If stored indoors leave windows slightly open.  Soft top owners open your roof don’t leave it folded away as mould will grow faster than your gardens.  If you are storing indoors, you might also consider a dehumidifier to really help with the moisture.

Whilst any cover is better than no cover especially in our climate a breathable layers cover is advised, Storm force covers are highly recommend for outdoor use and are tailored to a wide range of classics while not always the cheapest several different types of cover from lightweight indoor to Storm force outdoor.

3 Stop Minnie, Mickey and Roland.

The last thing you want to find in the spring is that your carpets, insulation and worst-case wiring have been eaten and chewed up.  Make sure when cleaning your vehicle there is no food left to tempt them.  Exhausts need blocking with a purchased plug or wire wool. Air intakes the same. Closing and blocking as many vents as possible.

4 Tyres and brakes

Lack of use can cause tyres to flat spot.  In an ideal world you would jack up your vehicle and leave them on stands for the winter taking pressure off the tyres, bearings and rest of the suspension. This will also give you a chance to check your tyres and brakes if you remove them.  If you don’t have that option available pumping your tyres up to maximum recommended pressure will also help reduce flat spots, small movements throughout the winter will also help.

Not using your handbrake may sound mad but when leaving it on you risk your brakes getting stuck on, not a problem if your car is on stands, if its not and its safe to do so use wheel chocks to prevent your vehicle moving.

5 Fuel.

It’s one way or the other here, either fully fill your tank adding an additive if desired, this minimises the amount of fuel exposed to the air and reduces corrosion and condensation.  On the other hand it is suggested by others including the RAC that you should leave your tank as empty as possible, then put some fresh fuel in before spring fire up.

6 Oil.

As oil is used throughout the better weather it picks up the little contaminations from the engine and combustion.  If left through the winter this build up can be corrosive, so changing oil and filters is recommended then running the engine to pump the fresh oil through.

7. coolant and fluids

Remember as our winters get colder our fluids expanded, and the last thing you need is a pipe to burst come the spring.  Make sure your anti-freeze is topped and pumped through the engine. And your screen wash is either emptied or filled up with winter strength wash.


8. Wipers

Rubber and glass when left for long periods tend to join and the cold also won’t help your blades keep shape. You can either raise your wipers away from the screen and put some blocks between your wiper arms and screen or remove the blades and wrap the arms touching the glass in cloth.

9. Battery

Over time your battery will naturally lose power the low tech Disconnect the battery and the high tech, get yourself a trickle charger, this is the better option if you have trackers, alarms or central locking.

To fully charge a battery from a running engine in more modern cars its recommended to either run the engine at around 2000 rpm for around 30 minutes or take a driver for a similar sort of time.  This will of course vary with older vehicles. Modern charges now come with many options on them. Some smart chargers are fit and forget, once thy finish charging, they drop into maintenance mode allowing the battery to hold constant power.

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