Every car enthusiast and collector will benefit from owning auto lifts, especially when it comes to storing your classic vehicle for the winter so it's out of the elements and away from danger. You may perform some auto lift repair and maintenance, but there are also a few things you should do to ensure storing your vehicle correctly, especially if you don't have a lift. The following procedures for long-term storage will help to eliminate worry so your first ride in the spring after winter storage is awesome.
Where To Store Your Vehicle
The best place is a heated garage because it prevents the extreme cold from taking a toll on your vehicle. However, most people don't have the luxury of a heated garage, so the next best option is purchasing a car cover that fits snugly around the body of the vehicle, keeping it safe and warm. Auto lifts work great for ensuring a stored vehicle is out of the way of danger. The first step is automotive lift repair and maintenance to make sure the lift is in perfect form before loading the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle lifts you use are rated for long-term storage and that you have a car cover of the appropriate size to go over the vehicle once on the lift. Before performing automotive lift repair and storing your vehicle, there are a few additional steps to take.
The Fluids In Your Vehicle
Check the fluids in your vehicle before storing it on auto lifts, in a garage, or outside. Most people believe you should empty the gas tank, and other fluids, as much as possible before storing vehicles, but this isn't true. You should always make sure the gas tank is full because it prevents water and condensation buildup. It also prevents rust and corrosion from getting in the fuel lines. Additionally, experts recommend adding a fuel stabilizer when storing a vehicle for a longer period.
Next, check the antifreeze before storing. Make sure you use antifreeze appropriate for the coldest temperatures and fill to the top. Drain the windshield washer fluid and rinse out any excess if possible. Replace it fully with a winter formula windshield washer fluid rated temperature safe for your area. If you neglect emptying and refilling the windshield washer fluid to the top, you run the risk of having your fine hoses burst when freezing in cold weather.
Protecting The Outside Of Your Vehicle
It is extremely important to also protect the outside of your vehicle, regardless of whether you store your vehicle in a heated garage, outdoors, or on auto lifts. Wash and clean the outside of your vehicle thoroughly before storing it so it is ready to go when winter is over. This also protects the finish from any existing bug guts, bird droppings, or other substances that may degrade the paint. Dry it thoroughly and add a coat of protective wax so your car is not only safe and protected, but also looks great when stored on auto lifts, in a garage, or outdoors.
When stored outside in the elements and weather conditions, moisture and condensation can collect on vehicles. When combined with dirt, this can quickly lead to body damage and the formation of rust. Before covering your vehicle, make sure there are no harsh materials touching it, such as rope or the rough edge of a cover. As the cover blows in the wind, harsh materials will rub against the vehicle, ruining the paint. This is not usually an issue when stored in a garage on auto lifts. Lastly, make sure to provide ventilation to your vehicle to discourage mold and moisture.
The best way to store a vehicle successfully is with auto lifts in a heated garage after doing a little automotive lift repair and maintenance. Since this is not possible for everyone who owns a classic vehicle, taking the steps provided in this article will also ensure a safe and worry free winter storage.
Christine O'Kelly is a writer for SVI International, the automotive lift repair experts. They service a variety of auto lifts and storage equipment and accessories, including power post and heavy-duty lifts.