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The Simple Guide To Storing A Ford Mustang For The Winter

The Simple Guide To Storing A Ford Mustang For The Winter

The Simple Guide To Storing A Ford Mustang For The Winter

Most owners of Mustangs are very fond of their vehicles. While some people use their Mustang as their daily driver, many don't. This is especially true for people who own classic Mustangs, using a classic car as a daily driver is the fastest way to wear it down, sometimes beyond repair. The good news is Mustangs are well made vehicles that can last for lifetimes. However, it doesn't matter how "advanced" or "exclusive" a vehicle is; if it's not correctly maintained, it's only a matter of time before it breaks down and stops working properly.

Most owners know the importance of maintenance and carry out preventive maintenance tasks for their Mustangs, such as regular oil changes, tire pressure adjustments, and so on, when their vehicle is in everyday use. However, most people have no idea how to keep their cars in optimal working conditions when they don't intend to use them for a while, especially during winter. Unfortunately, this often means they'll have to spend a significant amount of money on fixing or tuning their cars come springtime.

If you own a Ford Mustang and want to store it for the winter but don't know how, this article is for you! Read on to discover how to properly and effectively winterize your Ford Mustang.

Storage Location

The first thing you want to do when you're planning how to store your Ford Mustang during winter is to find an appropriate storage solution.

Store Your Mustang Indoors If Possible

An ideal location for storage would be a garage or a storage unit if you don't have a garage or space available in yours. Keeping your vehicle inside a garage or a storage unit will significantly protect your Mustang from weathering. This is huge because very few things can substantially affect the functionality and appearance of a car, like weathering. So this is definitely the first thing you want to shield against.

However, you should know that, while a garage or storage unit offers significant car shielding effects from weathering, it does not actually provide "perfect" insulation or protection. As a result, even after storage indoors, your car may still be affected by weathering. Car covers come in handy in this situation.

Always Use a Car Cover

Car covers are protective "clothing" specially designed for use on cars to allow for excellent protection from dust, water, and a whole lot more. If you do have a garage or storage unit, you should opt for an indoor car cover, this way you can rest assured that your Ford Mustang is excellently shielded from dust and weathering. If you plan on leaving your vehicle outdoors, you should look at getting the highest quality outdoor car cover for your Mustang. The major difference between an outdoor cover and an indoor cover is the amount of protection. An outdoor cover is much heavier duty and will protect against the elements, an indoor cover will not shield your car from harsh elements like rain or snow.

Deep Clean Your Ford Mustang

Once you have your garage set up to accommodate your Ford Mustang and a cover ready, the next thing to do is clean your car thoroughly. That's right; you don't just go straight to the covering. This is because your vehicle will be practically untouched throughout the winter season. If you don't thoroughly clean your car before finally parking it for the winter, you may end up with a smelly car when winter is over, and those smells can be very challenging to get rid of; plus, they could even attract rodents.

Car Cleaning Tips

While it may appear to be an appealing option to drive your car to a car wash and have it cleaned for between $10 - $25, this is not always recommended. This is because many of these car washes use regular towels for cleaning, which have been known to leave scratches on cars. So, unless you're certain your Ford Mustang will be cleaned using microfiber towels, you should get a microfiber towel and do the cleaning yourself. As far as the rodent problem is concerned, tons of anti-rodent spray for cars are available on the market. So you should make sure to get and use a car rodent repellent to prevent them from moving into your car and damaging its wirings and other parts.

Check Your Mustang's Fluids

If you've been driving your Ford Mustang for a while, you'd undoubtedly have had to carry out some form of routine car maintenance, especially fluid check. You should know that properly managing your car's fluid system is important to keep it in optimal working condition throughout winter and into spring.

Gas Maintenance

Some people opt to keep a full gasoline tank in their car during winter, while others prefer to empty their tanks. While there is no hard and fast rule to this, you should know that gasoline can be pretty unstable and degrades relatively quickly. So if you intend to keep a full tank, you should ensure to add a fuel stabilizer to your tank.

Cooling System

The water content in your car's cooling system can also freeze up during winter, and this can end up causing severe damage to your Mustang's engine. So it's always a good idea to add some antifreeze to your car's cooling system as this will effectively prevent it from freezing.

Oil Change When Winterizing

You should also do an oil change before storing your Ford Mustang for the winter. Of course if you just recently changed your oil you don't need to, but the fresher the oil the better it will be at preventing any unnecessary wear or build up. The same goes for when you get your vehicle ready to be used in the spring. It never hurts to replace your oil before you plan on using it. This becomes more important the longer you go without using your Mustang.

Battery Care

This is one of the most essential parts of your Ford Mustang winterization process. When cars remain unused for relatively long periods, their batteries usually go bad. So if you plan to store your Mustang throughout the winter, you'll have to pay special attention to battery care, or else you'll find that you're unable to start your car come spring. There are generally two ways you can go about this battery care process.

Use a Battery Tender

The first way to winterize your Ford Mustang's battery is to hook it up to a battery tender (also known as a battery charger). This will keep your battery "active" all through the winter, ensuring it doesn't go bad. Note, however, that you should ensure the battery tender you're using as an automatic shut-off feature to prevent your Mustang's battery from overcharging.

Storing a Battery Without a Tender

If you don't have a battery tender, however, the best way to winterize your battery is to remove it from inside the car and then store it in a dry, mild environment. You want to make sure it doesn't get too cold, and that it isn't sitting right next to a heat source. DO NOT place the battery on concrete, or else it will be completely drained of electrical power. Also, ensure the storage location you picked for the battery is not cold, or else it will freeze up and crack, meaning you'll have to replace it.

Tire Protection

One other thing to do when preparing to winterize your Ford Mustang is to prepare your car tires for long storage periods. Car tires tend to deflate slowly over time, so you should ensure to inflate your car's tire before storage. Take care, however, that you do not exceed the maximum permissible tire air pressure. Alternatively, you could opt to remove the tires totally and suspend your Mustang using car jacks. Note, however, that if you intend to do this, your garage or parking space must be level and made of concrete.

Winterizing Pays Off

While following all these steps every year may seem like overkill, they shouldn't take much time or cost too much. Figuring out where you'll store your car may be the trickiest of them all if you don't have a garage. But everything else is a small task, plus the accessories like a battery tender and a car cover generally come with warranties and should last you years on end. Adding all this up and you're looking at a few hours and a few hundred bucks, which could end up saving you thousands every year in tuning and maintenance fees, seems like a no brainer to me!

September 22, 2022
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