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Hey everyone, winter is here suddenly (60° one day and 4 inches of snow the next). I was able to rush my car to my grandma’s garage the night before the storm, but didn’t really have much time to prep it or anything.
I’m only going to be storing it for about 2 months in an insulated (not climate-controlled) garage. I’ve filled up the gas tank and am going to put stabilizer in, but I’m not sure how much of the advice online I have to follow.

- I couldn’t really clean it because I was rushed. There’s no salt or anything on it. How bad will it be to just leave it for a couple months instead of trying to wash it in 19° weather?

- What’s more important to invest in - wheel chocks or an indoor cover? I’m budget-limited but if I really need both I can do both.

- I’m due for an oil change, and a lot of sites say to have fresh oil, but I don’t want to drive in the salt and am planning to just get an oil change when I take it out. Is that stupid?

Sorry for all the dumb questions, I’m just trying to figure out how to be careful enough without being over-cautious and wasting money.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Canadian guy here... Our winters are baaad!

I would take a damp cloth and just go over the car to remove any dirt. You don't need to do a big hose job but dirt does contain minerals which can hurt your clearcoat over time. In fact, depending on the dirt you could even have little rust spots on the surface. This happened with one of my dirtbikes!

The only other thing is take the battery out. Our batteries are small and will die quick in cold weather. They never charge up fully after being dead for extended periods of time.

Put the battery in your house, and if you really wanna make sure it stays mint put it on a trickle charger (15 bucks at Walmart)

Other than that, nothing else to worry about. In fact, if you run ethenol free gas you probably don't even need stabilizer in it.
 

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Do some research on using a 'waterless' or 'rinseless' wash. I saturate with Wolfgang Uber Rinseless and a clean cloth for each body panel. I would inflate to ~ 50 lbs and make an effort to roll tires (jack and spin 90 degrees) every couple weeks.
 

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Check the maximum air fill rating on your tires, and keep it a few pounds beneath that rating. For two month storage, don‘t worry about rolling your tires. Modern tire technology makes flat spotting virtually a thing of the past.
Do at least remove the negative lead from your battery, and get an inexpensive battery maintenance to keep it fully charged. Make sure the tank is topped off to combat condensation issues, no additives needed for a two month length of storage. Clean the car to the extent that you feel the need, until you can get to it later. Leave the windows open a bit, to allow circulation.
What phattires said regarding the oil change.
 

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2 months is nothing. Don't bother with stabiliser, give the car a good wipe down and plug it in with a trickle charger. I leave cars 6 months every year inside (some just above freezing others get very cold -25C or colder) just plugged in, full gas tanks and an extra 15-20 psi in the tires.

Ideally you would change the oil before storage but that ship has sailed - for 2 months really no big deal at all.
 

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Canadian guy here... Our winters are baaad!

I would take a damp cloth and just go over the car to remove any dirt. You don't need to do a big hose job but dirt does contain minerals which can hurt your clearcoat over time. In fact, depending on the dirt you could even have little rust spots on the surface. This happened with one of my dirtbikes!

The only other thing is take the battery out. Our batteries are small and will die quick in cold weather. They never charge up fully after being dead for extended periods of time.

Put the battery in your house, and if you really wanna make sure it stays mint put it on a trickle charger (15 bucks at Walmart)

Other than that, nothing else to worry about. In fact, if you run ethenol free gas you probably don't even need stabilizer in it.
When you say damp cloth I hope you mean a damp micro-fiber, please don't scratch your paint with any old rag laying around, PLEASE!
 

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I would echo @phattires & @Funkycheeze...2 months isn't even storage, its like you took a summer to go to Europe. Trickle charging the battery is prudent to prolong its lifespan but even that would probably be fine tbh. I had my Spyder "stored" during winter months with NYC street parking for longer than that....it'll be just fine. Change the oil, check the air pressure in the tires, & wash it when you take it out.

FWIW you don't need to budget for wheel chocks, any brick, piece of wood, or broken tree branch will do the job & harbor freight has rubber chocks that are ~$7 if those options are too rustic for your tastes. I wouldn't wash the car with anything short of a full wash. If you're really worried when you are ready to drive again take a day to wash, rinse, clay bar, rinse, dry, then use a paint protecting agent such as wax or synthetic (I prefer synthetic because it lasts much longer).
 

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I've left cars at airports for longer. It's not going to be an issue parked for 2 months.
Agreed! Especially in a garage!

I would still trickle the battery though just because of the temperatures... But that's just me!
 

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I agree with all suggested measures above.

I don't know if it makes much of a difference but I have been also driving my car up on rubber stall mats for winter storage. The mats are available in various sizes and are used in livestock barns as well as exterior concrete stairs to avoid slippage. They are made from old recycled tires and are about 3/4" thick. I put a piece, roughly 1 ft square under each wheel. IMO this helps reduce the transfer of the cold to the tires from the concrete floor of an unheated garage. I've also heard some people drive their vehicles onto 1-2" high density styrofoam pads to achieve the same results and to minimize/avoid flat spotting. Just another thought and preventive measure in addition to over-inflating tires.
 

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... IMO this helps reduce the transfer of the cold to the tires from the concrete floor of an unheated garage...
After a few hours, everything will be in thermal equilibrium, no matter what the materials are. That is assuming that your car does not have the heater on. If there was a heater in the car, then insulation would keep it warmer.

Preventing flat spotting is probably a good idea.
 

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If you Google search for "auto storage ramps", you can find a number of different storage ramps with curved areas for the tires. We pump the tires up to just below the max allowed and use similar curved ramps, and never had a flat spot problem in the spring after 3+ months of storage.

Batteries can be keep on a charger for months if the are designed as "maintainer" chargers like Battery Tender that taper off or even shut off when the battery is fully charged. We have batteries that lasted over 10 years when regularly put on a Battery Tender charger. We normally hook up the chargers if the vehicle sits for more than 2 weeks.
 

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I would disconnect the battery negative terminal because the security light will drain the battery even in just 2 months. I've used two different Battery Tenders with mixed results, but in your case a trickle charger would help. Do other maintenance after storage.
 
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