It's that time of year again for those of you who have "Summer" cars to get ready to store your ride for the Winter.
First, you should clean your vehicle inside and out. Interior's (including the trunk) should be cleaned as immaculately as possible, to avoid the dreaded "mice made a nest in my car and chewed some wires" scenario. Also, if you shampoo clean the interior prior to storing, be sure that all carpets, seats, etc. have completely dried. Obviously, if carpets are stored damp, you could also face the "eeeww, mildew" scenario.
Secondly, you'll want to connect a trickle charger (also called a battery tender) to your vehicle's battery. A
trickle charger safely monitors the charge of your vehicle's battery, and maintains a full charge so that your battery will not be damaged while your
vehicle is being stored. Without using a trickle charger you risk running your battery dead, which will definitely have you uttering in aggravation, "and now it won't start!", but more importantly, it damages the battery and your battery will no longer be able to hold as good of a charge as it did before being damaged.
Next, if possible, place a large plastic drop cloth down and drive your car onto it, then cover with a car cover. The plastic will be a moisture barrier and the car cover will protect against paint damage.
Finally, don't store your vehicle with an empty tank of gas. If a vehicle is stored with an almost empty gas tank, condensation will build up inside the gas tank over time, which can cause rusting and corrosion. The best way to store your vehicle is to have between a half tank and full tank of gas, and to add fuel stabilizer to the gas before storing it (so that the gas doesnt break down over time). After adding fuel stabilizer to your gas, drive at least 10 miles to ensure the stabilizer has circulated through your car's fuel system.