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Whether you own a classic sports car, a high-performance sports car, or a motorcycle, you must know how to winterize your vehicle for storage. When you won’t drive your car for several months, it’s important to properly store it away to ensure it will be ready for you when the spring thaw arrives.

Some people have room for their winterized vehicles in the garage, while others keep their prized rides in a storage unit to be brought out on special occasions. Either way, you’ll want to use these tips from Store Space to successfully winterize your vehicle for storage.

Car Oil Change, this is part of the process of winterizing your vehile for storage.
Car Oil Change | iStock images/Petr Smagin

1. Give your vehicle a good washing before storing

Before putting your hot rod away for the winter, thoroughly wash, wax, and clean it. Be sure to clean the undercarriage, wheels, and interior to ensure your special vehicle is ready when you take it back out of storage in the spring. This winter hibernation requires one final bath before tucking your prized ride away for the winter.

2. Keep the rodents away

Mice and squirrels are known for getting into parked vehicles during winter. These rodents are searching for shelter from the elements; your vehicle could provide that. When you winterize your vehicle for storage, you need to take a few steps to keep rodents away, including:

  • Remove any trace of food
  • Use dryer sheets or mothballs in the cabin area
  • Plug air inlets, exhaust pipes, and other holes with steel wool
  • Place mouse traps around the vehicle
  • Check for damage from rodents during the storage period

3. Check the fluid levels

Discuss the storage of your vehicle with the storage company you’ll use before checking all the fluids. Some companies expect stored vehicles to be empty of gasoline when stored. Use a fuel additive if you top off the gasoline to keep the gas stable during the winter. It’s also good to check, flush, and top off other fluids, including the coolant and oil.

4. Protect the battery and spark plugs

When storing a classic car or motorcycle, you can simply remove the battery and spark plugs and store them in a protected location. Plug the spark plug holes with a lint-free towel to keep debris from entering the engine. If you have a modern vehicle with a computer, you’ll need to hook up the battery to a trickle charger to protect the battery during winter.

5. Use a vehicle cover during the winter

You might cover your special car or motorcycle while it’s parked in your driveway during other seasons, but when you winterize your vehicle for storage, you must cover it. A cover helps protect your ride from dust entering it. This also acts as another barrier to protect against rodents or other animals that might try to enter the vehicle while looking for shelter.

Use these five tips to winterize your vehicle for storage, and your classic car, sports car, or motorcycle will be ready to enjoy when spring thaws the winter freeze.