Storing car outdoors for the winter. Any tips?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 20th, 2015 6:35 am
Deal Fanatic
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May 1, 2003
6562 posts
put some fuel stabalizer in it if you are going to leave it sit there
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2005
1668 posts
i dont suggest starting the car at all... just leave it as is.
why not leave the car without car cover. If the ground is concrete, there shouldn't be any problem.

that's what i did last winter and the car started right away in spring.

remove the battery terminal, put alot of air into your tires. like 40psi.
Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2014
2446 posts
If you're storing a car outside, does anyone put anything in the tailpipe to prevent curious rodents from turning your exhaust system into teh Holiday Inn?

Bumped because...
Oct 16, 2015
394 posts
BobyYoo wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 2:47 pm
(...)put alot of air into your tires. like 40psi.
+1 - this is really important, otherwise you can ruin your tires with flat spots as they slowly deflate. You need to overinflate them and check them regularly. The other option is to take the weight off the tires.

But otherwise why don't you just drive it occasionally? Use it once a week or so to do local errands when the roads are clear, make sure you get it warmed up and you'll avoid a lot of problems.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
41076 posts
T.O. Lotto Captain
-Don't idle your car while its in storage. Either drive it around full speed for at least 30 minutes or nothing. Idling won't get it hot enough to burn off vapors that could lead to rust.

-Find a breathable car cover.

-Leave your windows opened a cm so air circulates and moisture doesnt build up.

-get fuel stabilizer. Fill up your tank at least half way. Drive your car around for about 10-15 minu after putting int hr stabilizer. It'l make sure it gets into all the fuel lines.

-fill the tires up to maz psi

-leave handbrake unlocked. They can sieze.

-put moth balls and anti-mice/critter stuff in and around your car. They love sleeping in cars.

-wash and wax before storage.

-cancel insurance to save money... But leave fire and theft. Its only $10/month for me (east york toronto) in one of the most expensive insurance cities... So it can't be too bad for anyone else.
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May 29, 2007
450 posts
What about disconnecting the battery?
Feb 10, 2014
287 posts
I'd take it for a spin once a week or so. Car cover is a waste of money imo.
Deal Addict
Jan 20, 2014
2446 posts
CraigLee wrote:
Oct 19th, 2015 9:46 pm
What about disconnecting the battery?
Disconnect it.
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Jan 5, 2006
4926 posts
I wouldn't recommend running the car when it stored. You change the oil before you store the car and then dump it in the spring after the first run. You also need to put fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank (and make sure the fuel tank is full) and place something inside the car to control moisture. A disconnected battery left outside in winter is still likely going to die. A battery is a cheap repair so I wouldn't worry about it, but if you are concerned, take it out of the car and/or have it hooked up to a trickle charger. Also make sure the tire are over inflated (check the max PSI on your tirewalls and fill close to that) and keep an eye on it during the winter. I wouldn't bother with a car cover if the car is stored outdoor; any debris that gets trapped under the car cover will just scratch the car and the wind will cause the car cover to constantly be moving. Its a 94 Camry so I don't even think paint protection should be a leading concern. I would definately get the underbody treated with some sort of rust protection.