Storing Vehicles for Winter with Auto Parking Lifts

October 17, 2017

If you have a sports car, classic car, motorcycle, dirt bike, or personal watercraft, it’s time to begin thinking about winter storage solutions. Here are tips on how to prep and store these types of vehicles on auto lifts so they’ll be in optimal condition when spring comes around again.

Cars

  • Wash and vacuum the car to remove as much dirt and grit as possible. Be sure to clean the undercarriage and wheel wells and to rid the interior of garbage and other items that don’t belong.
  • Top off the gasoline and change the oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Dirty fluids can cause corrosion in the engine and components when left to sit for several months.
  • Consider buying a storage parking lift if you plan to store the car every winter. Storage parking lifts are a sturdy and affordable way to use the vertical space in your garage and keep your stored vehicle safe.

Motorcycles and dirt bikes

  • Fill the gas tank and add stabilizer to prevent deterioration during storage. Run the engine for a few minutes to give the stabilizer a chance to mix well.
  • Decide what to do about the coolant, brake fluid, and clutch oil. Some people opt to drain all fluids prior to storage; others choose to change or top off the fluids before parking the bike for winter.
  • Drain and change the engine oil. This step is not optional, unless you want to risk corroding your engine.
  • Fully charge the battery and leave it in the bike if you’re able to start the machine at least once a month during storage. Otherwise, remove the battery and trickle charge it in your home for the entire storage period.
  • Store the motorcycle or dirt bike on a motorcycle lift using a center stand to keep the machine off its tires. If you’re not able to use a stand, try to rotate the tires a few times a month to prevent flat spots from developing.

Personal watercraft

  • Thoroughly wash the hull to remove salt and other contaminants that could damage the finish, and then follow up with wax for additional protection.
  • Remove the battery so you can fully charge it. Next, clean the terminals and apply waterproof grease to ward off corrosion. Be sure to check the battery every 6 to 8 weeks throughout the winter, recharging when necessary.
  • Top off the fuel and mix in a stabilizer appropriate for personal watercraft.
  • Read the owner’s manual for specific manufacturer recommendations on how to winterize the engine.
  • Confirm that the watercraft is completely dry (don’t forget to inspect the bilge) before covering and storing on a parking lift.
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