The temperatures are dropping and the unpredictable West Coast weather is at its most challenging. As the seasons change, our vehicles become one of our top concerns. Now that we are not driving it, how do we keep it in good condition? What do we have to do to prepare to store it for a long winter? What precautions should we take while storing?
Cars are meant to be driven, to take you where you need to go and guide you through life’s adventures. During the harsh winter months, however, you may want to choose to store your vehicle, protecting it from the elements until the nice weather returns.
When not being driven, cars can develop serious issues that could affect the future longevity of your vehicle as well as your safety. For many, choosing to store their vehicle each winter is a yearly practice, that keeps their vehicle working in top shape.
Winter storage is more than just putting the car away for a season, it must be stored properly by following very important steps. In this Lotus FAQ we explore the importance behind the routine as well as answer some of the most common questions about seasonal storage of your classic vehicles.
Why should I store my Lotus?
Storing your vehicle over the winter reduces the chances of it getting damaged by weather-related risks such as wind, snow, ice and hail. Even slush is a concern, as it forms a thick, slippery coating on the road and can hide the ice below.
What is short term storage? Long term storage?
Short term storage is considered up to one month of a vehicle not being driven, medium term storage is above 1 month to 3 months and long-term storage is 3 months or more of storage.
What should I do to prepare my Lotus for storage?
Here are some steps and considerations prior to storing your vehicle:
– Wash and clean the vehicle
– Check oil and fluid levels
– Fill up on gas. Add a fuel stabilizer to help prevent moisture buildup and protect fuel lines and engine from corrosion
– Once it is full, take it for a quick spin
– Inflate tires
– Take care of the battery
– Clean the interior of the vehicle
– Protect your car from rodents and insects by closing all air vents and blocking your exhaust pipe with steel wool
– Place mothballs near your vehicle to ward off unwanted animals. Dried lavender, in particular, works best as rodents dislike the pungent smell
– Prop up your wiper blades or wrap them with cloth to keep them in good condition and protect your windshield.
– Put a cover over your vehicle
– Pick a safe storage location
Should my stored vehicle still be insured?
A storage policy with ICBC protects your vehicle when it’s not being used. Even when stored, a vehicle can still be damaged. A Vehicle in Storage policy can include both Third Party Liability and vehicle coverages like Collision, Comprehensive and Specified Perils. Changing your insurance policy to a storage policy is highly recommended rather than cancelling your car’s insurance, even if you are not driving it.
What should I not do when storing my Lotus?
To prevent your vehicle from being exposed to extra moisture and other contaminants, do not store it on gravel or bare earth. If left for an extended period of time in these conditions, the vehicle could sink into the ground.
If you are storing your vehicle for a long period of time, enabling your parking brake is not a good idea. Keeping the parking brake under tension for a long period of time can cause it to seize up and cause you future problems when you are ready to drive it again. If the brake pads make contact with the rotors for too long, there is a chance that they might fuse. Instead, purchase a tire stopper, to prevent the car from moving. If you are driving a manual transmission car, it is recommended to keep the car in gear or in neutral with the wheels secured by a stopper.
Where should I store my lotus?
Store your vehicle in a garage, on a level concrete or asphalt surface. This will prevent external environmental factors such as moisture from entering that could damage your vehicle. Many prefer designed long-term storage, which offers spaces, car amenities like climate control, easy drive up spaces, and other potential perks.
What should I do to prepare my car for the road again?
When the nice weather returns and you are ready to hit the road again, it is important to go through every step you took while securing your vehicle, double-checking over all the aspects of the car.
– Check the windshield wipers for cracked or bitter rubber
– Check under the hood for evidence of rodents such as chewed belts, hoses, wires or even nests.
– If you covered the muffler or air intake, be sure to remove the blockage.
– Check the tire pressure and inflate the tires if needed.
– Check the brakes for rust that may have accumulated on the rotors.
– Check fluids to ensure there have been no leaks
– Wash your vehicle to remove any dirt that may have accumulated
– Visit your nearest insurance broker to adjust your policy plan to be road ready.
If you have any questions or would like a full inspection when putting your Lotus into or pulling it out of storage call us at 604 736 1001.