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Winter Storage

It's that time of year again for us that live in the northern part of the country...

Photo by PhotoJoe

In Minnesota, we were lucky to get almost an extra month of car fun, due to a warm October. But now it's November; it's getting colder, snow is in the forecast, and it's time to put the car in storage.

Our Miata gets the prized spot in a garage, and stored about 5 months of the year.

Here are a few storage ideas that I have had luck with for keeping a performance car in good shape during the cold winter months!

A Car Cover

The car is going to have a cover on it to keep it from getting dirty while it sits, so I like to start with a clean car. If you cover a dirty car it could cause scratches on your paint.

Gas Up

Fill the car up with gas. We get extreme cold here, some times down to -50*F. In these harsh elements, you can get condensation in your tank if it is not full. This will help keep water out of the tank and will keep your tank from rusting.


Under the hood, I typically will do a fresh oil change, this will keep any contaminates from your oil out of your engine when it is sitting. Also it is a good idea to test your coolant, and remove the cap. If you do not run antifreeze be sure to drain your radiator. Spark

For the battery I will disconnect it until the spring. Come springtime the battery will go onto a trickle charger for 2-3 days before it goes back into the car.

Photo by PhotoJoe

Wheels & Tires

Depending on the wheels/tires you have on your car, you may want to store them separately. The Miata has some 200TW tires, if they were on the car sitting all winter long they would be trash by spring. A good rule for tire storage is, if you can store inside it will always be better. If inside is not an option, leave them alone. "Sport" tires can crack when they are cold and can loose performance. If tires are mounted on wheels it is best to stack them flat "==" like so. If they are not mounted, it is best to store them upright like this "IIII". Last Tip: cover it up and leave it alone. I know some people like to see if their car will start, or want to warm it up in the winter. but I have found it is best to leave it until the car will be driven.

Winter Storage Check list:

Wash car Full tank of gas Fresh oil change Check coolant. Change wheels

Disconnect battery Cover car Photo Cred: PhotoJoe (instagram

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