Hibernation Time! 10 Steps to Prep your Car for Winter Storage

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Winter weather means the start of holiday season, but for anyone who owns a sporty car, it often means the end of the road (until spring at least).  The Mustangs, Camaros, and Chargers are locked up to spend the long winter in quiet isolation.  These titans of the road willfully go into a forced hibernation until they can announce the arrival of spring with their high octane roars.

Follow our step by step guide to be sure you are doing everything possible to keep your summer cars in perfect condition over the winter, and are fully prepared for that first, long awaited, spring drive.

Step One:

Drive your car around for an hour or so to get it warmed up.  Once you drive for this long, the car will reach temperature and remove any condensation from the engine and gearbox. You don’t want condensation sitting in your engine all winter because it can freeze up.  While you are at it, this is also a good time to put in a new air and oil filter.

Step Two:

Fill up your tank.  Any empty space in your gas tank can create condensation which can contaminate your gas tank and potentially your fuel system.

Step Three:

Make sure your gas stays fresh over the winter.  A lot of people don’t know

Add Sta-Bil to keep your gasoline from going bad

gasoline can go bad overtime.  Add a product like sta-bil to keep your gas and gas tank safe over the winter.  If you are only storing your car for 3-4 months this usually isn’t a problem, but it is good to be prepared.


Step Four (optional or perform if needed):

If your car is carbureted, make sure there is no fuel in the carburetor.  This can be done by either disconnecting running the engine and disconnecting the fuel line, or cutting power off to the fuel pump.  If you need help with this step, be sure to ask an experienced mechanic or technician.

Step Five:

Spray your engine’s intake valves with WD-40, and then crank the engine.  This will help give your cylinders and intake valves some protection against corrosion.

Step Six:

An example of a trickle charger

If you are not storing your car in a heated garage, be sure to remove your battery and keep it somewhere warm.  You can hook it up to a trickle charger (available for as low as 18$) to keep it charged up as well.


Step Seven:

Flush your coolants.  Old coolant can corrode your car’s engines and heating/cooling systems.

Step Eight:

Put some mothballs in your car, and some tape over your exhaust pipe.  This will stop animals from nesting in your exhaust, or getting in your car and making themselves at home.

Step Nine:

Jack up your car and put it on jack stands to avoid “flat-spotting”

A “flat-spotting” block

the tires.  Flat spotting is when an area of your tire flattens out from sitting to long and not having any air to it.  Usually this corrects itself after a few miles of driving, but it can lead to permanent tire damage.    You can also increase your tire pressure to help prevent “flat-spotting”.  Special
blocks are also available for purchase.


Step Ten:

Now that everything has been cleaned, flushed, and taken care of, be sure

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Be sure to cover your car while it is in storage!

to cover up your car with a nice car cover to keep it clean and dust free.  This also protects your vehicle in case something falls or there is a leak in your storage area.


How did we do?  Anything we missed?  Any additional tips you can think of, or anything you do differently with your vehicle?  Let us know in the comments!

Court Street Ford, located at 558 William Latham Drive, is a multi-year president’s award winning dealership. We have been serving the Kankakee, Bradley, Bourbonnais area for 30 years and counting! We are committed to exceptional customer service. Stop by or give us a call at (815) 939-9600, our knowledgeable sales team and service department will be happy to help and are dedicated to providing the best experience!


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