Effective protection of the car during winter is crucial for its efficiency. Exposing the vehicle to the weather, snow, thaw and frosts leads to a series of faults with time, which every car owner would try to avoid. After all, it’s not just about damages affecting aesthetics, but also about those affecting road safety, the ultimate priority. Even if we avoid all adversities, the aging process will take its toll on the car. Just imagine the bill for those defective items being repaired in the garage.
Vintage cars need to be protected from the destructive effects of salt, convertible cars are seasonal cars, especially when the roof has not been treated with an insulating layer, and some people simply do not like driving in winter, fearing slippery roads. Parking a car in a garage tent does not solve all problems, it’s only the first step.
It’s worth preparing for long-term parking, to be sure that the vehicle will be fully operational in spring. That its value will not drop and – most importantly – that it will not fail when we need it most.
How to prepare a car for winter in a garage tent?
Fueling to the top
Before parking for winter, you need to get to the petrol station. The tank needs to be filled to the top, because it protects it against moisture and the development of corrosion. If the car is to stand for several months, it is worth adding a stabilizing agent to the fuel. This will contribute to avoid degradation of fuel and its oxidation. While there, check the tire pressure, and if there is any imbalance, refine them to the optimal level.
- General body cleaning
Many people associate this activity with spring cleaning. Removal of dirt, dust, tar stains, bird droppings and all traces of corrosion from prolonged parking will protect the bodywork from damage. Moreover, thorough washing of wheels and rims will remove dirt caused by abrasion of brake . These stains are easy to remove as long as they are “fresh”, each subsequent layer gets more difficult to deal with.
- Thoroughly washing the chassis
General car washing should be carried out by ourselves. Ensuring that it has been carefully performed. Even in hard-to-reach places, such as wheels, suspension elements, ridges and inner parts of bumpers. Mud and stratified dust stick to the vehicle, collect moisture and are often a factor that leads to corrosion. If you cannot perform a car wash yourself, you can always use the automatic one.
- Wax protection
Although a waxing procedure seems simple, the applying method , the type of wax and the way to use it is really a broad topic. Waxing is worth using for two main reasons: it protects the bodywork from UV rays, and this slows down color fading and peeling of the paint. The second reason is very pragmatic – a waxed car is much easier to clean.
Protection of tires and rims against distortion
When storing a car inside a garage tent for a long period of time, set the car on devices called vehicle trestles. Tires over time deform in places where in contact with the ground. Even if the tires are not old, it is safer. Otherwise the driver will have to get ready for another spending. If, however, we do not avail of trestles or cannot use them for some reason, changing the tire position by 90 degrees every two weeks should be enough.
- Avoiding bad seals
Usually, silicone preparations are used to protect seals and bonded elements . After careful washing and wiping, the preparation is applied. Remember to take care of the joints in the boot, on the hood, sunroof and other elements. Such treatment will enable opening of these elements without fear, avoiding squeaking, damage or other types of problems.
Replacing the engine oil
A lot of motorcycle and car users change oil in spring. Well, it is more and more often advised to do this at the end of the calendar year, rather than the beginning . Used and old oil causes engine damage. Therefore, if the car is to be parked for a long time, car manufacturers recommend the second option. Besides, the oil loses its properties after a year only. So changing it in autumn does not alter its performance in spring. Knowing that the vehicle will be kept in one place for a long time, choose oil without additives. However, in order to get it right, contact a professional or check whether your type of engine accept this particular oil.
At the same time, the oil change should be combined with a periodic service. During which all operating fluids will be replaced.
Systematic starting of the engine
When leaving the car for a few months, it is worth having a trusted person to run the engine regularly, once every two weeks, and if possible even once a week. Lubricating components avoids corrosion and stagnation. To avoid such depreciation , the engine has to reach the correct temperature. It does not make sense to turn it on for a short while, that can rather create more damage. Let’s also remember that before starting up, the entrance curtain of the garage tent should be raised to ensure adequate ventilation. The garage tent is equipped with a rolled curtain, so to avoid smoke inhalation, secure it with hooks.
- Turning on the air conditioning
Any damage to the air-conditioning system is very expensive to repair. Compressor damage or mold occur when it has not been used for a long time. Therefore, every time you start the car, remember to turn it on.
- Taking care of the battery
An unused battery exposed to low temperatures will discharge over time. Therefore, as with air conditioning, it is essential that the alternator recharges the battery. Even at idling speed, part of the generated energy goes to the battery. Older cars equipped with an idle generator do not produce electricity. If you do not intend to drive outside the garage tent. All you have to do is equip yourself with a charger.
Using the parking brake while parking
Avoid situations where the parking brake is applied for too long. The brakes could stick to the drum. If you have to secure the car from rolling, put wedges under the wheels.
Maintenance of brake discs.
The disc is not protected by any agent, the corrosive coating should get removed thanks to several braking operations. The extensive damage occurs when visible corrosion develops on them. But this happens after several years, when the vehicle is affected by various weather factors leading to corrosion.
- Windows and interior of the car
The final step is to take care of the interior of the car. Windows and sunroof should be slightly opened, but not enough to prevent any rodents from getting inside. The air circulation inside the vehicle will drive the moisture out. A high concentration leads to the growth of mold and fungi inside. Put the windscreen wipers up or remove them completely, but remember to check the windscreen washing fluid. It’s better to replace it for winter or completely get rid of it.
A garage tent
As the car was meticulously prepared for parking, it’s time to put it in a garage tent. Clean, dry and secured , it can finally reach the tent and wait until the next journey. If possible, spread the steel structure over a compact surface. A lot of moisture comes from the ground, and this factor should be minimized as much as possible. A waterproof mobile garage, thanks to a breathable tarpaulin, will contribute to a continuous air circulation inside the structure. Thus, the car will not overheat or get too cold, it will be protected from rain, hail, UV rays and hidden from unwanted viewers.
A solid cover, adapted to the shape of the body. Will be useful if the car is stored in the open (in a guarded parking lot) or under a simple roof. The cover must be waterproof to protect against rain and snow in the first place. A tight seal will prevent any rodent from entering the car , and all parts will remain undamaged. Disconnect the battery or take it home, and close the windows. All other recommendations are similar to parking in a dry and warm place.