4 essential steps to properly storing your car in the winter

Our online vehicle auctions cater to a huge range of customers here at RAW2K. This includes not just drivers, but also mechanics and professionals looking to fix up auction cars and sell them on for profit. If you’ve bought an auction car from us with that purpose in mind, now’s the time you’re probably thinking about how best to properly store it for the winter. Obviously a major concern is going to be that it’s not damaged or corroded by the elements during the winter, so we’ve highlighted each of these key steps to help you avoid just that! (If you’ve already stored your auction car for the winter, of course, you can always take these steps retroactively.)

Make sure it’s properly clean

The very first thing you should do before storing your auction car away for the winter is to make sure that it’s properly clean. If you’re midway through a quick fix-up or a full-on restoration, you might be surprised at the amount of damage that can be done over time by even a relatively small bit of dirt. Carefully scrub off any dust, mud or road salt, as these can harbour moisture which can ultimately cause damage to the paint job or mechanisms of your car. This is especially true for certain types of grime like bird faecal matter or dead bugs, both of which can be highly acidic and eat into the finish.


Treat the fuel and fluids

Next up on your list should be to give the fuel tank a quick top-up, and make sure that the antifreeze is of a sufficient level while you’re at it. Freezing itself may or may not be a tangible risk at this time of year - British weather is notoriously unpredictable - but silt certainly can be. This basically is a soil-like or sandlike material which can build up within your radiator and waterways, and ultimately cause the car to overheat when you come to start it back up again. Most commercial antifreeze solutions contain coolant corrosion inhibitors, which can cut down on the chances of this happening. 

Similarly, filling the fuel tank can reduce the chances of condensation building up. If you’re planning to store your car until well into the New Year, you might want to think about a fuel preservative too, so that the fuel lines don’t get clogged.

Keep things ticking over

One of the quirks about cars is that most are designed for regular use, so there can be unfortunate consequences to leaving them immobile for long periods of time. For starters, modern on-board computers can experience adverse effects if the battery is disconnected for too long, and the battery itself can sometimes lose charge. To avoid this, you might want to think about a smart charger or trickle charger to keep it topped up.

You’ll also need to inflate your tyres to the correct pressures before you put it away, or you could find significant flat spots when you take the car out of the garage again. By the same token, don’t leave the handbrake on if you can avoid it, as this can fuse the brake pads to the discs. A better alternative would be to use chocks instead, or if you’ve got the facilities an even better one is to jack up your auction car, and put it on axle stands so that the wheels are off the ground entirely. (This has the added bonus of taking the pressure off the bearings.)

Quick tip: counter to what you might expect, it’s better not to run the engine unless you’re taking it out for a proper drive every now and again. Simply running the engine for short periods of time won’t give it time to get properly up to speed, which could mean you end up causing more harm than good. 

winter tyres

Cover up!

You’ve probably guessed this one already, but a decent car cover is nigh-on essential to protect your vehicle from dust, debris and even small animals. If you’re particularly worried about pests, it might be an idea to stuff clean rags into the tailpipe, and anywhere else they might nest. Try and use a proper car cover, incidentally, not simply a plastic tarp, as this could cause damage to the paint job. (You might not be too fussed about that, depending on whether you’ve had a chance to get to it yet. If you have, though, it’d be a shame to have all your hard work undone!)

And of course, once you’ve finally fixed up your auction car and sold it on, you can find your next one right here at RAW2K. We’ve host a huge range of online vehicle auctions on an ongoing basis, allowing you to get fantastic bargains on models by globally renowned brands like Audi, Peugeot and Mercedes. Why not take a look through our site, and see what we’ve got in stock?