Long-term parking for the winter can be a smart move for many car owners. Seasonal storage protects your car from extreme cold and harsh weather conditions. It protects your car from the sludge, slush and salt on the road that causes rust and corrosion.
However, prolonged vehicle storage can lead to another problem – rodents. These critters can see your car as an ideal place to stay warm and breed during the cold winter. Rodents and mice can cause a lot of trouble for car owners. Aside from hygiene concerns, these pests can gnaw on electrical wires and damage your vehicle’s interior materials. In this guide, you’ll learn tips to keep your vehicle vermin-free throughout the winter, including long-term parking and proper vehicle storage.
Practice Proper Seasonal Storage for the Winter
Winter car storage provides several crucial benefits:
- It prepares your vehicle for spring driving.
- You avoid costly repairs.
- It extends the service life of your vehicle.
- These practices keep vermin away.
Here are some winter storage tips that can keep your car safe and rodent-free:
Clean Your Car
Before you stow away your car for the winter, make sure to clean it using state-of-the-art cleaners and degreasers. Also, make sure to clean the undersides well. Not only will cleaning prepare your car for the cold months, but it also keeps rats and other vermin away.
Pay attention to the interiors since rodents can find ways to get there too. While polishing the leather and other inner surfaces, don’t forget to clean the wiring and other electricals using the best electronic cleaning solutions for cars. In addition, you will also want to do your part to care for the environment. Using eco-friendly car cleaning products is best to reduce the environmental impact.
Fill Up Your Gas Tank
Fill up before you bring your car to storage. The fuel will prevent moisture buildup in the tank. It is also best to use fuel additives and treatments to prevent moisture from accumulating and causing rust and corrosion. In addition, having gas in the tank means you can take your car out for a spin every few weeks in winter. Moving your car from time to time can scare away rodents and discourage them from taking residence in your vehicle.
Top Up Your Coolant, Change the Oil and Filter
Best practice dictates adding coolant and changing your car’s oil and oil filter before seasonal storage and long-term parking. Using change oil flush also removes deposits and sludge, keeping your car in tip-top shape. In addition, check the lines to see if rodents and other vermin have gnawed on them.
Proper Tire Care
Tires can get deflated, lose shape or go through flat-spotting during prolonged vehicle storage. It is best to keep your tires properly inflated and filled with tire sealant to keep them safe and in proper form for long-term parking. To keep your tires from going flat while in storage, you need to inflate them from time to time or put a jack on the stands, reducing the weight on the tires.
Occasionally Start Your Car
You can discourage vermin from staying in your car by starting it up occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow your car to reach its optimal operating temperature. This can be done every three to four weeks. If you have enough space in your garage, drive your vehicle back and forth for a few feet.
Cover Your Vehicle
Covering your car prevents dust and dirt from accumulating in your vehicle. Use breathable fabric to prevent moisture from accumulating. You can also opt for custom-fit covers if you have funds to spare. Before covering your car, you can spray cayenne oil, peppermint oil or other spray products under the hood. A cost-effective solution is to place mothballs underneath your car. Don’t put them inside your vehicle; your interiors will smell terrible after storage.
Clean Up and Organize Your Garage
Cleaning your garage, organizing it and keeping rubbish out will help prevent rodents and vermin from taking residence in your storage space. You can also place traps if necessary but keep your kids and pets away from the garage during winter, so they don’t get injured.
Use Quality Products to Keep Your Car Vermin Free
Proper winter storage practices keep your car and garage clean and vermin-free! Schedule routine cleaning and inspection at least once or twice a month to keep rodents away.
View our catalog for more information on the products mentioned in this guide.