Why Winter Storage Does a Car (and Wallet) Good
We’re all familiar with the concept of hibernation. The subzero temperatures and blustery snowfall of winter drives bees to their nests, bears to their dens, and bats to their caves. However, there’s another beast that may benefit from a few months of winter hibernation – your car.
It’s a reality for the owners of exotic car types, such as muscle, sports, and super cars since these vehicles aren’t built for the slip and slide road conditions that the cold months produce. But even if your car doesn’t fall into one of these exotic categories, you may still have good reason to hide your ride from the snow and ice.
Why Winter Hibernation is Good for ANY car
To answer the title of this post, the answer is “yes”. Storing a car for the winter will keep it in good condition, regardless of whether you drive an Aston Martin or George Costanza’s 89’ LeBaron. It’s not only reserved to the sleek and stylish automobiles. For those of you driving cars that are suitable for winter weather, the decision to park your vehicle depends on your circumstances and how you prefer to maintain your car.
Justifying a Hibernation
- Protecting your “specialty” car – If you actually drive an exotic or sports car and have another car that’s more practical for winter, then don’t hesitate to park your ride in the garage. After all, the maintenance on your “specialty” car is likely to have higher costs, making it a good idea to shield it from the cold.
- Avoiding road salt – Road salt is both protective and damaging to cars. The salt melts snow and ice, so the roads are less slippery. However, salt lingering on your car promotes rust, paint damage and even mechanical glitches. Storing a car for winter eliminates its exposure to the nuisance of road salt.
- Reducing the risk of accidents – Winter is understandably a risky time to drive. The snowstorms and icy roads are responsible for the higher occurrence of car accidents, prompting some of you to avoid driving the season. If you can get around by means of carpooling, public transit, or dogsled, then parking your car for the cold months won’t hurt you.
- Cutting on fuel costs – The colder months tend to reduce your car’s fuel economy. Idling, low engine temperature, use of your heater, poor road conditions, low tire pressure – there’s a ton of factors that decreases fuel efficiency in the winter. Parking your car for the winter is wise, if you plan not to drive at all or have a car that has subpar fuel economy since it can lead to serious savings.
- Less maintenance (to a degree) – Driving in the winter puts a lot of strain on your car, and that means both pre-seasonal (winterizing your car), seasonal (ie. washing/cleaning), and post-seasonal care (ie. detailing). A car sitting in the garage doesn’t need as much TLC. But don’t celebrate just yet. Cars that hibernate still need maintenance (which we’ll discuss shortly).
Ultimately, choosing to keep a car in the garage for the winter allows you to spend the season in peace. In other words, you can ignore a ton of the burdens that come with winter driving.
Costs and Hassles You (Could) Avoid by Storing a Car for Winter
- Snow tires
- Winter mats
- Emergency winter kit
- Part replacements (sometimes unavoidable regardless of whether you drive or hibernate)
- Skids, spin-outs and slippery rides
- Scraping and brushing your windows for days on end
- Higher insurance quotes (driving less can lower your insurance premiums)
- Less stress (although public transit has its own share of stresses in the winter)
The Only Rule for Car Hibernation
Parking your car for the winter makes life simple since it only has one rule. But that rule is vital. Keeping your vehicle in the garage means you HAVE TO MAINTAIN IT (and some of you thought you could just leave it there!). Don’t confuse hibernation with abandonment. While it’s okay to spend some time in your den, near the fireplace sipping hot chocolate and binge watching Netflix, you must find some time to examine your car while it’s in the garage. Wear-and-tear still affects cars that are covered and concealed inside the garage. Fortunately, for you, we’ll give you some pointers on how to maintain your car shall you choose to retire it for the winter. So stay tuned…