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how to store a car for winter
Nov 1, 2023
3 min
Guide on How to Store a Car for Winter

There's no shortage of things to do in Canada during the winter season. You can spend your time snowmobiling, snowboarding, or participating in other seasonal activities.

However, before the fun begins, you need to take care of a handful of essential tasks; one of the most crucial is prepping your car for winter storage. Many seasonal and luxury vehicle owners store their vehicles inside over the winter to protect them from the elements and keep things in working order.

If you're a new driver, you may not know how to store a car for winter yet — if you're in this position, don't worry! Our team put together an outstanding and thorough guide to teach you how to store your vehicle like an expert.

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Why should you learn how to properly store a car for the winter?

Taking the time to store your vehicle properly is beneficial in several ways. Firstly, storing your vehicle inside over the winter helps keep the exterior in tip-top shape. Maintaining the body makes the car look more appealing and helps retain the resale value.

Additionally, storing your vehicle inside over the winter reduces the chances of it getting damaged by seasonal risks like:

  • Wind
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Hail
  • Slush
  • Road Salt/Sand

If your car gets damaged you'll need to submit a claim through your comprehensive car insurance (if you have it).

Are you having a hard time finding comprehensive car insurance quotes in Canada? If so, look no further than the Surex team! At Surex, we work closely with the most reputable car insurance carriers in the country. We use our specialized connections to find you competitive, personalized quotes that simply can't be beaten. Contact one of our licensed insurance advisors today to learn how you can save upwards of 25% on car insurance in just a few minutes!

How to store a car inside during the winter

Here's an in-depth guide for storing your car over the winter months. The following paragraphs will focus on storing vehicles inside; you can still utilize a significant amount of this information if you're trying to learn how to store a car outside for winter.

Find a safe location

First things first — you need to find a location to store your precious ride. We suggest keeping your vehicle in a garage or storage facility over the winter months. Garages and storage facilities are generally dry, clean, and free of pests, making them a fantastic option for those who have access to them.

Unfortunately, not everyone has room in their budget (or garage) for vehicle storage space. If a garage or storage facility isn’t a feasible option, you should consider finding a location with partial coverage, like a carport or similar protective structure. Although these options aren't as ideal, they will help minimize the chances of potential damage occurring.

Bonus tip — How to store a car battery for winter

If you need to store a car battery temporarily, we recommend that you keep it in a warm, dry place, like a basement. Doing this will ensure that the battery remains in good condition.

Check the fluids

Before stowing your car away for the winter, we suggest that you take a moment to double-check the fluids.

Leaving empty space in a fluid tank can cause condensation to form, which, if unaddressed, can lead to corrosion. Replacing a corroded fluid tank can cost a pretty penny, so you can see why we suggest that you double-check your fluid levels before storing your car.

Filling up the fluid tanks drastically reduces the chances of internal issues from taking place (or getting worse). We suggest that you double-check the following:

Similarly, changing the oil in your vehicle can also help keep things in proper working order.

Discourage pests

Although most storage facilities are pest-free, you can never be too careful. Pest damage ranges from a collection of unwanted cobwebs to large scratches and dents.

If you want to proactively protect your car from pesky pests, you should consider using the following tactics:

  • Close the air vents to prevent spiders and other small insects from entering
  • Insert steel wool into the exhaust pipe to prevent critters from tampering with it
  • Place mothballs near your vehicle to ward off unwanted animals (for a better scent, try using dried lavender)
  • Remove leftover food debris and take-out containers (coffee cups, food wrappers, used cutlery, etc.) allows you to assess your vehicle for problems and can help prevent scratches from occurring.

Thoroughly clean your vehicle

Before saying goodbye for the winter, we urge you to clean the interior and exterior of your vehicle thoroughly.

Cleaning your vehicle's interior will help reduce unwanted odours, prevent unwanted pests, and make the car feel fresh.

Cleaning the exterior also allows you to assess your vehicle for problems and can help prevent scratches from occurring. Covering a dusty or dirty car can scratch the paint, which can negatively influence its resale value. 

If you're low on time, you can get your car professionally washed and detailed. Taking this step will ensure that your vehicle is spotless and ready to be stored.

After you've cleaned and stored your vehicle, it's time to get in contact with your car insurance provider.

As you may know, your vehicle usage and road time heavily influence the price of your car insurance premium. If you're not planning on using your car over the winter, you should notify your provider and ask about temporarily altering your policy.

Temporarily pausing your policy, is a fantastic way to save on car insurance over the winter, especially if you own a luxury vehicle or have particularly high rates.

TIP - Put a reminder in your calendar for the spring to call your provider when you want to use your vehicle again. 

Store your car like a pro this winter

After reading this guide, you should be able to navigate the winter car storage process with ease. Just remember — keep your vehicle dry, warm, clean, and topped up on all the necessary fluids. 

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