With the Polar Vortex blast from Mother Nature gone for the moment, now is the time to really prepare your car for the upcoming winter. Even better, now is a good time to winterize your car before storage. As you will see, winterizing your car for storage includes several of the same steps you perform for winterizing your car for the driveway and open roads. Thoroughly Clean Your Car Cleaning your car for winter storage involves much more than simply hosing off dust and grime. You need to wash the vehicle thoroughly with an approved non-abrasive cleaner. Then, you finish the cleaning job by applying a coat of high-quality wax. Yes, your car will be in a temperature controlled environment, but waxing it is still a sound maintenance idea. Cover the vehicle with a breathable fabric that does not contain any sharp metal objects that can scratch the surface. Juice Up the Battery Keeping the battery juice at a maximum level is a critical part of winterizing your car for storage. You never know when you might need the vehicle and because of that, you want to avoid the Murphy’s Law principle of what can stall a battery in winter will stall a battery in winter. The storage business might have electrical outlets where you can juice up the battery, but you should ensure the battery operates at peak performance by juicing it before winter storage. Fuel It It is not only important to top off the gas tank before storage, it is also essential to stabilize the fuel tank. Make sure the fuel stabilizer works with ethanol-based fuels. Without stabilizing the fuel, you run the risk of the fuel oxidizing and either causing hard starts or not starting at all. If you live in a climate where winter lasts a few months, adding a fuel stabilizer is not an option, but a mandatory task on your car winterizing to do list. Tires under Pressure Once again, you never know when you will need to use the alternative family vehicle during winter. This means to prepare the vehicle for everyday road use. Check the pressure for each of the tires, as well as the pressure for the spare tire. Keeping the tires at the manufacturer recommended level goes a long way towards preventing a flat tire. No Rodents Allowed When the temperature drops, squirrels, raccoons, and other annoying rodents look for warm places to shelter for winter. Although home attics are the preferred spots for winter living, rodents will take advantage of a car owner who fails to close all the windows and block every possible entrance. Take the time to inspect your car thoroughly to ensure a family of squirrels do not put up the “No Vacancy” sign. The last item on your winterizing your car before storage list is to determine whether your insurance company requires policyholders to report the address of offsite properties.