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Taking Your Car Out Of Winter Storage

Burgandy Classic Car in front of storage unit

After a long cold winter, seasonal car owners are itching for spring and excited to get their cars out of storage and back on the road.  For cars that have been stored over the winter, properly taking them out of storage is as important as properly putting them away.

Follow these steps of what to do if you've had your vehicle stored.


If your vehicle has been sitting for months on end, the most important item to check is the condition of the car's battery as it may be weak or drained.  Check the battery to make sure it is fully charged.  If your battery is low, you'll need to get it charged.  If the battery cannot hold a charge, replace it immediately.

Check that the cables and terminals are snug and look for any sign of corrosion.  You can gently clean any residue off with a solution of water and baking soda and a toothbrush.

When storing an RV or vehicle, store your battery properly to extend it's life.


Check the air pressure in your tires.  Even if your tires aren't visibly low, it's best to check the pressure before driving.

If you notice uneven wear on your tires, take your car to a shop and get an alignment.

Inspect all tires for cracks and bulges and be sure to look on the sidewalls facing the axles as well as the side facing you.  To do this, you'll probably need a flashlight.


Even though your vehicle hasn't been driven in months, the oil is now old.  Check to be sure there is enough oil in the engine and add if needed.  At your earliest opportunity, take it in for an oil change.  It's best to drive for a bit before changing the oil, as this will allow the oil to splash through the engine and loosen any deposits.

Check and refill the fluid levels for coolant, transmission, windshield wipers, power steering and brakes.  It's also a good idea to add fuel stabilizer as old gas will make the car run rougher than it should.

Once you refilled all fluids, check underneath the car for any sign of fluid leaks.  Hoses can sometimes dry out and crack after long periods of disuse.


Inspect wiring and hoses for signs of cracks or loose connections.

Check all filters and make sure they are clean.  Replace as needed.


Gently pull on the suspension components to check for excessive movement.

Tap the brake pedal to make sure it feels right and let the car roll a few feet to test the brakes.  Initially, you may notice some stiffness or noise while braking.  It's most likely from an accumulation of rust due to lack of use, but this will eventually wear away.  If the noise does not go away, have your brakes inspected and be sure to have shocks checked as well.


Once you have ensured that your vehicle is good to go, put the key in and fire it up.  Give your vehicle some time to warm up.  While your car is warming up, take a walk around the vehicle and check for smoke, fluid leaks or anything else out of the ordinary.

Make your first drive slow for a while just to let the car readjust and to redistribute fluids properly.  Watch for any warning lights and listen for unusual noises.  The engine will most likely run rough at first as it will take several minutes for the fuel to fully circulate to enable a smooth idle.

It is important to ensure that your car is ready for the season ahead by taking the time to get it back on the road.  It gives you the best chance of protecting your car and prolonging the life of your vehicle.  Overlooking an important detail in preparing your vehicle to come out of storage can result in mechanical problems down the road.

At Riel Park RV & Self Storage we have outdoor parking for your RV and vehicle storage. We also have 10x30 unheated storage units that are perfect for storing a vehicle. 

At our storage facility, we have a secured, fenced, paved lot for you to store your RV, motorhome, trailer or vehicle.  Our storage facility is well lit with security cameras and mobile patrols.  Give one of our St Albert Storage rental experts a call at 780-651-8056 to book your spot.

Secure Self Storage St Albert

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