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What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

What’s the Minimum I Should Drive My Car? And Other Winter Car Storage Tips

The roads are home to all kinds of vehicles. Daily drivers that clock thousands of miles each year. Seasonal vehicles that only clock hundreds. And then there are some whose odometers move only when being loaded or unloaded from a trailer.

In any instance, winter vehicle storage is sometimes inevitable.

What to consider when storing your vehicle for winter

There are several things to consider when storing a vehicle. Read on for some tips to ensure your vehicle is ready to answer the call when you awaken it from its storage-time slumber.

1) Seek shelter

There are plenty of good locations for storing your vehicle. Here are a few.

  • Garage – If you own a garage, it’s the obvious first choice to protect your vehicle from the elements, pests or thieves during storage. Ensure that all entries are secure, including windows or side doors.
  • Storage facility – If you live in an urban area or you don’t have access to an enclosed space, consider renting space at an indoor storage facility. There are businesses geared toward storing vehicles. Depending on your region’s weather, some offer both indoor and outdoor options.
  • Friends or family – If the above options don’t work, call in a favor with a family member or good friend who has space in his or her garage, shed, barn or other secure building.

Outdoor storage isn’t ideal, but if it’s your only option, buy a quality weatherproof cover that will protect your vehicle from the elements. There are tons out there ranging from low quality to virtually impenetrable, so do your research to find the best one capable of properly covering your ride.

Covers are effective at protecting the body of the car, but consider the underside of the vehicle. Parking on a concrete slab will help avoid moisture from the ground collecting under the cover and causing rust damage from the bottom up.

2) Clean your vehicle before storage

When you let your car sit for long periods of time you want to make sure it’s thoroughly clean. Even small amounts of the following can damage the paint.

  • Water droplets
  • Salt from the road or the air
  • Sand and dirt
  • Bird droppings

Show your vehicle some love by washing it well, completely drying it with a shammy and giving it a proper coating of wax. If you’re really feeling fancy, use a clay bar to remove dirt trapped inside the paint.

Inside the vehicle, vacuum all dirt, debris and crumbs. Even small crumbs will attract insects and rodents.

3) Keep out the undesirables

Speaking of which, mice and other rodents love finding a good stationary vehicle to hole up inside for the winter. They’ll build a nest in an inconvenient place, chew through wires and wreak general havoc during their uninvited stay.

Keep them out by closing off any entry points such as the exhaust and air intakes. Dryer sheets are an effective deterrent, so try placing those in and around the vehicle to deter them from considering your vehicle as a winter home.

4) Check fluids & fill ‘er up

Perform an oil change prior to storing a vehicle. This will keep the engine from holding harmful contaminants for a lengthy period of time.

Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from deteriorating, then fill up the gas tank to prevent moisture from accumulating. AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer is an excellent choice. It’ll inhibit the oxidation process in stored fuel, which will help prevent sludge and varnish from clogging injectors, fuel lines, carburetors and other components. Keep the fuel as fresh as possible since deteriorated fuel makes up the highest percentage of problems associated with vehicle storage.

5) Take it for an occasional spin

Start the vehicle every two weeks and take a short 10-minute drive if possible. A battery that is not used will soon lose its charge and lead to a headache later on.

If you’re looking at long-term vehicle storage, it’s not a bad idea to disconnect and remove the battery entirely. Or, purchase a battery tender and connect that instead. Doing so will deliver a regular charge to keep the battery from losing all power. Look for one with an automatic shut-off feature so it’s not overcharged.

Regular startups or a short drive will also keep the engine and all its components lubricated, which is another important area requiring regular TLC. Just be sure to remove any rodent-repelling measures you may have taken earlier, like the dryer sheets in the exhaust pipe.

If you aren’t in a position to conduct routine starts or short drives, you’ll need something to prevent surface rust from accumulating on engine components. A good coat of AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil sprayed into the cylinders will do the trick.

6) Mind the Tires

This is another important area to consider, as they are what the vehicle rests on for the duration of the storage period. First, make sure the tires are properly inflated to the correct psi before storage. Sitting vehicles can create flat spots on tires that render them useless later on.

If you won’t be driving at all, roll the vehicle forward or backward a few inches from time to time.

You can do this when you conduct the occasional engine start to keep the battery alive and engine parts properly lubricated. For those who don’t mind a bit of extra work to ensure road-ready tires later on, you can also take them off entirely and replace them with jack stands.

Based on your environment you can pick a storage protocol and do the best you can. Just be aware that vehicles don’t like to sit for extended periods and need opportunities to “stretch their legs,” so to speak. They need to be started and moved at least once per year to keep seals from drying out and internals coated with oil. Follow our vehicle storage advice and your ride will be ready for the road when you are.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter

Originally posted Nov. 11, 2016

With the worst of winter right around the corner, now is a good time to get your vehicle prepared for the worst. Being based in northern Wisconsin, we at AMSOIL talk a lot about how synthetic lubricants make life a little easier, as the cold air starts to pierce our engines and lungs.

Wherever you may be, nasty road conditions and winter driving can be dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead. Weather.com blogged about how bad-weather car accidents are more deadly in the U.S. than many of the worst storms.

Snow, rain, fog and wet pavement all pose a hazard during the season. To be ahead of the game, here are some preparedness tips:

Garage Time

  • Battery check – Cold temperatures are a battery killer. Be sure you’ve got the juice to keep going. Check the terminals for corrosion that needs cleaning and ensure the alternator and belts are in good shape.
  • Antifreeze and coolant – Look for any radiator and hose leaks and top off the reservoir, if necessary. If it’s been several years since you’ve changed the coolant, be sure to get some fresh fluid in there.
  • Windshield wipers and fluids – Make sure the wipers are working and the blades are not worn. Fill the washer reservoir with a good-quality fluid that doesn’t freeze.
  • Brake system– Being able to stop is crucial when roads are slick. Look to see that the floor mats aren’t blocking the pedal. If you notice braking issues, have the brake fluid, pads, rotors and lines checked.
  • Tire pressure and tread – Tires should be checked monthly for wear and proper inflation regardless of the season. Make sure you have a spare tire, and keep a pressure gauge in the vehicle with you.
  • Fuel and oil level – It’s a good idea to keep your fuel tank at least half-full in case you get stranded on the side of the road and need to stay warm. Motor oil should also be topped off.

Emergency Roadside Kit

  • Flashlight – I like to carry an LED flashlight in my truck since they last a long time. But a traditional flashlight works well and tends to be brighter.
  • Tool kit – It should have the basics, including screwdrivers, pliers, an adjustable wrench and a socket set. Work gloves, tape, fuses and a good pocket knife or multi-tool are all handy to have as well.
  • Blanket – Not only does it keep you warm in winter, but it can also block out wind and help treat shock victims.
  • Jumper cables – It’s best not to settle for chintzy. Good-quality, thick cables with multi-strand wire, heavy duty clips and extra length can save you from headaches. Invest in four-gauge, 20-foot cables that won’t break the bank and will last a long while.
  • Food and water – Keep a stash of high-energy foods such as granola bars and nuts in the car.
  • Fire extinguisher – Often overlooked, but good to have. A multipurpose A-B-C type is the way to go.
  • First-aid kit – Any kit should contain bandages, gauze and prep pads to stop bleeding and prevent infection.
  • Other items to consider – Maps, shovel, broom, ice scraper and flares.

Even if you don’t get any snow, it’s good to be ready for any emergency. Got any more tips to share? Let us know in the comments.

Beater Car – AMSOIL XL Offers better Value than Run Of The Mill Motor Oils

Expensive AMSOIL for my old daily driver?

That’s definitely one part of the conversation that comes up weekly with our Sioux Falls customers. Either while discussing our various price breaks with the “Good, Better, Best” lines within one product category or if a 2nd car is discussed in addition to their prized possession.

High mileage cars rely on quality additive packages in oil.Being proud of the performance of all the AMSOIL products, early on I decided to become a dealer with the idea of helping others experience the same triumphs I discovered. Convincing people of the merit and that there is a clear difference was not going to be easy but for those who I have convinced just as I, they will be customers for life. My focus all along is the one customer who really has the most to gain – which is the driver of that car he or she must depend on to get to work. They don’t have the option to buy a new one, they don’t need a new car payment and they certainly don’t need any downtime from a locked up transmission or badly worn engine.

Made for the machine you depend on.

High mileage cars is our specialty!! I’m not necessarily talking about an old heap, clunker or beater but they benefit just the same. There are some specifics about high mileages cars that need to be addressed. Well AMSOIL to the rescue!!! It may not sound reasonable at first to use a product that cost $2.50 to $4 more per quart or running around town for an “Automotive Enthusiast” product. Face it – there are some bargain prices on oil at every auto-parts store or even most big-box stores.  But alas, AMSOIL may be the only motor oil company to honestly address critical issues of your daily driver.

Thanks to Amsoil it still runs like newThere are two things to consider with a product brand. Their ability to offer full disclosure and not cheat the customer of available technology by misrepresenting the level of quality from year to year.  Then relate this to the issues or potential issues the car that may have lacked adequate maintenance or one that is attended to but the desire is to get more trouble free years out of it.

I think in our Sioux Falls store holds the record for helping customers hold on to their 90’s era Pontiacs than any other. You don’t need a car payment. AMSOIL makes that old car reliable beyond your expectations. 

The most common cause of failure in any piece of equipment whether it’s an automobile or manufacturing equipment is a lack of lubrication.  In automobiles, a good lubricant/additive blend will also prevent the issues which cause the lack of lubrication.  This is generally caused by fuel entering the lubrication system or from the high volatile nature of good to average motor oils and gear lubricants.

Devoted to Quality that Stands Alone

AMSOIL test truckExplaining why AMSOIL is in your best interest can be divided into two categories. #1 is regard to their place within the available quality levels in the various groups synthetics are categorized in (many which for decades market as a premium product are nothing more than a petroleum oil legally allowed to be called synthetic). And #2 how these additives which make up the oil addresses your situation.  There is so much false advertising out there that your beloved car may be seeing the end at an accelerated rate due to the poor quality of additives and the fact that the companies stock holders demand more profits. AMSOIL protects you from this problem all together.

Good, Better and Best

AMSOIL has created a Good, Better and Best system, our “Good” offers significantly more performance than these 5-gallons for $13 you see at the big-box stores. For Less than $5 per quart you can improve your engine’s seal function, benefit from fewer deposits including the intake system’s valves because our products are singled out in the industry for maintaining the lowest volatility levels by a long shot In fact AMSOIL brought that test to the industry.  In some vehicles you can’t afford to use lower quality base stocks such as DGI (direct gasoline injection) as we showed Royal Purple and Mobil 1 allows for significantly higher separation which leads to intake valve deposits which can only be cleaned by removing the heads.

Amsoil keeps my daily driver goingOther things addressed are better temperature control, reduced wear because our products can withstand the  greater influence from deposits and fuel thus viscosity staying in grade. Additives to address fluctuating temperatures we experience in the Sioux Falls climate. Improved start-ups and longer battery life not to mention a jump in mileage. Detergents which can once again allow oil to flow where it’s been blocked off. Despersants which will hold wear particles in suspension as well as other corrosive elements.  AMSOIL also addresses filtration with our Ea Oil nanofiber technology which increases filter capacity, flow, life and filters 98% at 20 microns.

The better quality base stocks are actually the part that brings the customer back. Especially in non-high performance cars the driver notices a new feel. A smoothness in the engine that they couldn’t get anywhere else.. And one that stays for the whole interval.

 

So in summary AMSOIL offers the top additive quality in each category. Some additives are available in 80 different quality levels thus these $3 so called synthetic products coming to market. You will squeeze more life from that beloved car with our products. My suggestion in your high-mileage runabout is a bottle of AMSOIL Flush (detergent based) and then switch using our XL Extended Life oil which has a 10,000 mile or 6-month guarantee. The price is right and you will notice right away the unique quality. You will enjoy your drive better and have more money in your pocket in the long run.

Don't laugh. This car runs and it's paid for!

Read the specifics in our product section our visit the Sioux Falls store at 4610 W. 12th St for your free catalog.

Ches Cain- AMSOIL Dealer

605-274-2580