As the cold weather continues, Windrush founder Tim Earnshaw shares his top 10 tips on protecting your vehicle over winter.
With over a decade of experience at the pinnacle of car storage, a world-class reputation and years of experience in Formula 1, Tim Earnshaw is uniquely qualified in explaining the art of car storage at the highest level.
Wash the vehicle thoroughly to remove all contaminants – It sounds obvious, but washing a car just before storage ensures all impurities are removed. You don’t want to leave any contamination in place when storing a vehicle for any period of time.
Dry the vehicle and note any damages. Repair any exposed scuffs/scratches – Washing and drying a vehicle allows the owner to inspect the car in close detail, enabling them to look for any damage that may have occurred during the summer season. We recommend any exposed scratches are attended to before storage to avoid the onset of corrosion.
Vacuum the interior to remove any debris – Once again, the hands-on nature of cleaning allows the owner to inspect closely for damage or any areas that need attention. It also ensures the car is clean and ready to be enjoyed once the weather improves.
Wax the bodywork to protect and feed the paintwork – A coating (or two) of wax will not only make the car look good, it also helps to protect the paintwork while in storage.
Change the engine oil and filter to remove acidic contaminants in old oil – A process we do each and every time a car arrives at Windrush, but something that is often overlooked by the owner. If a car is to sit for any period it is best to ensure the oil in the engine is clean, of the correct type and to the recommended levels.
Check the strength of the antifreeze to prevent freeze damage to the engine – It’s very easy to add antifreeze to your engine and forget about it. I always check the strength before any period of rest, even when the car is in a temperature-controlled environment. Strength can weaken over time so it’s an activity well worth doing.
Overinflate the tyres to 50psi to prevent ‘flat spotting’ – Another simple job that offers benefits way beyond the effort required. A matter of course for us at Windrush, but something every car owner needs to be aware of.
Apply tyre preserver to the sidewalls to nourish and prevent perishing – Even with the tyres overinflated, it is essential to apply a tyre preserver to keep the sidewalls pliable and in good health while not being used.
Apply a battery conditioner to maintain the battery – A battery conditioner monitors the health of the battery and tops up as required. There is no risk of over or under charging and it provides the safest and most effective method of battery optimisation.
Apply a car cover to protect the bodywork – Once all of the above measures have been carried out, we recommend applying a multi-layer, high-quality car cover. Waterproof covers can restrict airflow, so be sure to use the right type to avoid condensation build-up. Lift the cover from time to time to check the vehicle while in storage.
These steps will help ensure your car remains in top condition while resting for winter. At Windrush, we go way beyond this with client cars, but as a basic guide to storage these actions should be undertaken by any owner taking a car off the road for any period of time.