Winter car storage

6 minute read Published on Nov 28, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

An open garage view to a snowy weather outside

Not only is it convenient to store your car for the winter, but it's also a necessary precaution to protect your car. In this article, we'll go over the most essential tips and measures you should take to properly store and take your vehicle for the winter and have it ready to drive again in the spring. To learn more, keep reading!

Winter car maintenance tips

Regardless of what type of car you drive, if you’re looking to store your vehicle throughout the winter, it’s absolutely essential that you follow these maintenance tips to ensure it remains in pristine condition. Here’s a closer look:

Wash your car’s exterior

Give your car a good cleaning at a car wash and apply a protective wax coating before storing it. This procedure gets rid of dirt, salt from roads, and grime that can lead to the corrosion of your car's paint job.

Wash and clean your car’s interior

To avoid mould, smells, and upholstery damage, keep the inside of your vehicle clean. In order to protect against moisture, apply interior protection solutions, vacuum the inside, and clean the carpets to remove dust, dirt, hair, and other debris.

Check engine oil

Before storing your car, remember to get an oil change and oil filter. When an engine is left idle for an extended period of time, clean oil following an oil change helps lower the chance of corrosion and engine damage when you start the car months later.

Fill up your car’s gas tank

Moisture accumulation in the fuel system is reduced when the tank is full. To stop gasoline from degrading over time, add a fuel stabilizer and keep your tank full during the wintertime.

Remove the battery if storing the car outside during winter

It is best to take the car's battery out in really cold weather to keep it from freezing, especially if you're thinking about storing your car outdoors. Put it on a battery charger and keep it somewhere dry and cool indoors.

Check and change fluids

The coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washing fluid should all be inspected and replaced as needed. It takes these fluids to drive safely and effectively in the winter, regardless of whether you're storing your automobile or not.

Check your parking brake

When storing your car, make sure the parking brake is not applied. If you keep it engaged for a long time, the brake shoes may bind against the rotors or drums and cause damage.

Get a car cover

Invest in a ventilated, high-quality car cover to shield your automobile from the weather, dust, and other harm. Car covers come in various materials and price ranges, so choose one that fits your needs and budget.

Protect your engine from animal damage

Rodents looking for a place to live can do a lot of harm. To keep pests away, place repellent under the car's hood.

Place the car on jack stands

To reduce the strain on your tires and suspension when storing your car for a long time, think about mounting it on jack stands. This reduces the likelihood of flat patches and preserves tire structure.

Pick a safe storage location

Pick a place to store that is safe, dry, and protected from inclement weather. A storage facility or garage is the best place to keep your car safe.

Use proper tire care

In order to account for decreases in pressure over time, fill your tires to the appropriate level and think about slightly over inflating them. This preserves tire structure and assists in preventing flat patches.

You can make sure that your car stays in excellent condition throughout the winter storage season by adhering to these winter car maintenance tips. You'll be able to drive confidently come springtime, knowing that your car is prepared to give its best performance.

Get the right car insurance

Beyond conducting the above-noted car maintenance tips for your seasonal car storage, it's also essential to make sure you have the right car insurance so you can confidently drive reliable cars once temperatures begin to increase later in the year. Here is a closer look at the different types of auto insurance plans you may want to consider:

Comprehensive car insurance

In the event that something unfortunate occurs while your automobile is being stored, comprehensive car coverage protects it. This includes dealing with animals and incidents, including theft, fires, vandalism, severe weather, and natural disasters.

Accident forgiveness

If you're caught in a winter storm and are involved in an accident, accident forgiveness car insurance coverage helps drivers avoid paying higher auto insurance premiums for their first collision.

Third-party liability insurance

Liability car insurance is mandatory in Canada. Third-party liability car insurance is an essential safety precaution that protects you against any financial obligations arising immediately from an accident in which you are found to be at fault. Property damage, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs are all covered by this policy. The minimum coverage mandated by each province and territory differs.

Accident benefits coverage

Another obligatory insurance plan that is required for all drivers in Canada is accident benefits coverage. The purpose of this policy is to pay you for any damages or injuries that you and any other occupants in your car may sustain, regardless of who caused them. This pays for a wide range of ailments and healthcare costs. It can potentially be expanded to include other expenses like funerals and caregiving.

Uninsured automobile insurance

Uninsured automobile insurance is required in the event of a collision involving an uninsured, underinsured, or unknown motorist. In the event that a driver lacks enough insurance, it assumes responsibility and covers medical expenses, property damage, and other related expenses.

Contact BrokerLink

Whether you’re looking for multiple auto insurance policies or want to learn more about vehicle storage insurance, the team at BrokerLink is here to help. Reach out to us over the phone, over email, or use our free quote tool for a competitive estimate! You can also speak with us in person if you're looking for car insurance in Toronto or any of our other office locations across Canada.

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Storing car FAQs

How should a car be stored for winter?

The first step in storing an automobile for the winter is to give it a thorough cleaning on the inside and outside to prevent rust and odours. Replace the oil and check all important fluids, such as the brake and coolant. To avoid problems with the fuel system, add a fuel stabilizer and keep the gas tank full. Remove the battery and place it in a cool, dry location that is linked to a maintainer in extremely cold climates.

Inflate your tires correctly—you might even want to go a little overboard with this as a precaution. Further, to protect your engine, pick a safe, dry place to store it, cover it with a sturdy cover, and use rodent repellents.

Should I store my car for winter with a full or empty tank?

It is recommended to store your car with its gas tank full for the winter. A full tank has less air space within, which lowers the possibility of moisture accumulation, which can cause corrosion and problems with the fuel system. Furthermore, having a full tank guarantees that the fuel will maintain its quality and be in better shape throughout storage.

When you pull your car out of storage in the spring, it's a good idea to use a gasoline stabilizer in addition to a full tank to maintain the quality of the fuel and avoid any potential issues.

Should you start your car during winter storage?

Generally speaking, unless your automobile is being stored for an unusually lengthy time, you don't need to start it during your winter storage period. While running the engine for a short while without driving could help circulate oil and avoid some problems, using a battery maintainer is the best way to keep the car battery charged and preserve your engine health.

What is the best temperature to store a car?

Generally speaking, a car should be stored between 10 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius. This range reduces the possibility of severe fluctuations in cold temperatures that could damage the car's parts. An automobile will last longer in long-term storage if it is kept in this temperature range, which helps avoid problems like tire flat spots, fluid deterioration, and damage to the battery.

How much is car insurance per month in Ontario?

How much is car insurance per month in Ontario? is a common question many motorists have. In short, the average monthly insurance premium for citizens of Ontario is about $300. That said, what you pay will be dependent on your unique circumstances and driving history.

Does the winter impact how long cars last in Canada?

Yes, winter can have a significant impact on how long cars last in Canada. The severe, frigid winter weather, along with ice, snow, road salt, and dramatic temperature fluctuations, may speed up a car's deterioration. To lessen the consequences, periodic maintenance and preventative measures like rustproofing and winter tires are crucial.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.