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How to Store Your Car for the Winter

The saying "Take care of your car and your car will take care of you" is useful advice when you have to store it over the winter. Save yourself time and money with these tips.


  • Step 1: Place the car on jack stands to prevent wear on the car's suspension components.
  • TIP: Place plywood beneath jack stands on dirt floors to prevent sinking.
  • Step 2: Remove the battery and connect it to a battery tender. Then put the cover over the car and count the days until you can get your baby back outside.
  • FACT: Americans scrapped more vehicles than they bought in 2009, a historical first.
  • Step 3: Remove the spark plugs and oil the cylinders with engine oil. Then turn the crankshaft a few times with a socket wrench and reinstall the spark plugs.
  • TIP: Leave a manual transmission in neutral.
  • Step 4: Fill the gas tank, and then add fuel stabilizer to preserve the fuel system.
  • Step 5: Clean the car's exterior and interior before you store it, making sure you remove food crumbs that may attract rodents.
  • TIP: Place mothballs or dryer sheets throughout the car to keep rodents away.
  • Step 6: Lay a tarp or plastic sheet over the ground where the vehicle will be parked to provide a vapor barrier.
  • Step 7: Locate a clean, dry, indoor storage area to stow your car for the winter.

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