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May 14, 2014

Taking your car out of winter storage? Here are some tips!

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If you are one of the lucky ones that own a sweet little sports car that hibernates for the winter months and comes out to play in the sunshine, here are some great tips to help get your sleeping beauty from zero to sixty in no time at all!

Checking  Your Car

First, do a visual inspection and walk around the exterior and interior of your car. Look at the working condition of all headlights, taillights, and indicators and be sure to inspect the tires. Check for flats developed while sitting all winter and ensure the pressure is corrected to its suggested PSI. Look closely for any cracks or bulges in the rubber that may indicate a problem. Open the hood and trunk and look for any signs of small animals (like rodents) who like to make winter homes under the hood, and wiring their personal chew toy! Check for loose connections, battery corrosion, and signs of leaks.

Next, check the life of your battery! Hopefully you have it on a maintainer and will help it maintain a charge while sitting dormant over long period of time. The maintainer will let you know the status of your battery’s charge, if it is low—make sure to charge it to full capacity before taking the car out for a spin! Check out your battery, terminal, and cables for any corrosion and/or oxidation and make sure to clean thoroughly when necessary!

Then, check your fluid levels. Your oil has been sitting stagnant so even if full, should be changed immediately. New oil will prolong the life of your engine, don’t cheap out here and pay for it later! Look at the levels of your coolant, brakes, power steering, fuel, and washer fluid. Be sure to top up low levels! If you didn’t add fuel stabilizer to your gas tank prior to storage, you can add an octane booster and use high-octane fuel in your tank for a smoother run the first time out. Make the addition of fuel stabilizer an important step of winterizing your vehicle!

Next, do an exterior and interior clean. Do a quick vacuum, wipe down all surfaces, clean the windows and mirrors, and give it a necessary wash (and even wax) to shake away all of the storage dust! Make sure it is road ready and then…

Take it for a spin! Your first trip should be short and should test out all functions to make sure it is in proper working order. Maybe take it to the gas station or back, or for an oil change but stay close to the house in case of car trouble!


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