A classic BMW Z4 Roadster or Porsche 911 may have plenty of muscle and style for warm summer drives, but when it comes to weathering winters in Canada they may not be so tough.
All the snow, ice, below-freezing temperatures, and salt that come with Canadian winters can take a toll on any vehicle. In fact, some folks prefer to use a cheaper used car for winter driving and save their more prized vehicle for motoring around in warmer weather.
But if you don’t have a garage — or the space in your garage — to store your car during the long winter months? Or maybe you’re a snowbird heading south, and you don’t feel comfortable leaving your extra car in your home garage, where it may be invaded by small animals looking for a warm spot.
Instead of fretting over what you’re going to do with your car this winter, you may want to consider renting winter car storage. Fortunately, there are safe and secure options for storing your fair-weather machine in major cities across Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver. To help you decide, we put together this quick guide including reasons to consider winter car storage, what to look for in a facility, and how to prepare your car for storage.
Why You May Want to Consider Winter Car Storage in Canada
Not sure if you need to store your car during the winter in Canada? Here are a few reasons to get your favorite vehicle into a safe, secure indoor facility:
- The wrong coolant-to-water mixture can cause serious damage to your engine in freezing temperatures.
- Rats and mice may crawl into your tailpipe or engine compartment looking for a dry place to live.
- Your tires may lose air and go flat.
- You’ll have a safe place to store your car even if you don’t have a garage.
- If you do have a garage, you’ll free up space for other needs and projects.
- You’ll have peace of mind knowing your car is in a safe, temperature-controlled building through the cold Canadian winter.
What to look for when shopping for winter car storage
If you’ve decided winter car storage in Canada might be just the ticket to keeping your car in perfect shape through those long dreary months, here are some questions to consider when choosing a facility.
Will your car be stored in its own container or storage unit?
For maximum security and protection against damage, many vehicle owners prefer their car to be stored in a separate unit or container, such as a PODS container in a secure storage center. Other car storage facilities provide an enclosed but open space where cars are driven and parked together, similar to a parking garage.
Is the facility heated and/or climate-controlled?
If you want the best protection for your valued vehicle, look for a facility that maintains a specific temperature and humidity range.
How secure is the facility?
Look for storage facilities that are monitored around the clock for security and that strictly control access.
|Save on winter car storage. Learn about PODS’ special pricing at locations in Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Vancouver.|
How to prepare your vehicle for winter car storage
Before putting your car in winter storage, it’s a good idea to take a little time to prepare your vehicle for its long hibernation. Here are our best tips on getting your car ready for those long winter months.
- Clean your car — bugs and bird droppings are acidic and can damage your paint if left there for too long.
- Fill your tank with gas so your tank doesn’t rust. You can also add some fuel stabilizer.
- Fill your tires with air so your tires don’t develop flat spots during storage.
- Crack your windows a little to get air circulating in the interior — this helps prevent moisture from building up.
- Top off your fluids.
- Keep your car insurance in force throughout the storage period.
When you follow these steps, your car will be good as new when you retrieve it for some fun joy rides come spring.
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Kristin Hanes is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in SF Gate, Marie Claire, and Realtor.com, among other publications.