How to Store a Pickup Truck for the Winter


Many drivers in colder areas put their warm-weather vehicles in storage for the winter months, and for good reason. According to an article published on, cars subject to harsh winters are likely to experience rust, corrosion, discoloration, cracked vinyl, decreased tire function and poor fluid function. By storing your pickup truck properly during the winter, you’ll be able to enjoy it problem-free when spring arrives.

  • Record all changes you make to your truck in a notebook for reference in the spring. That way, you’ll avoid having to pull over and unclog your tailpipe on the way to work once you take the truck out of storage.

  • Change your truck’s oil and filter, even if it’s not due for an oil change. Leaving used oil in the engine over the winter will allow dirt and impurities to collect and damage the engine.

  • Add a container of fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank. Then, fill your tank completely with gas and joyride for a few minutes, allowing the fuel stabilizer to make its way through the entire fuel system.

  • Top off all fluids. Replace your summer washer fluid with one that won’t freeze. Drain the cooling system and fill it with an antifreeze that will protect it from rust.

  • Disconnect and remove the battery. Store it indoors, using a battery charger to ensure that it maintains its charge throughout winter.

  • Clean the interior of your truck. Double-check under the seats for crumbs or food particles that will attract rodents. Wash the cab and bed thoroughly to remove all dust, dirt and sediment. Apply wax and allow plenty of time to dry.

  • Spray the exterior with a rust inhibitor. Use WD-40 to keep all hinges and tight corners well lubricated.

  • Wipe down all rubber vehicle parts with a rubber dressing to prevent them from drying out. Coat any vinyl in the interior of the truck with a vinyl preservative.

  • Park your truck in a clean garage or storage building. While some prefer to leave the truck on jacks and remove the wheels, this is not required if you’re only storing the vehicle for a few months. Simply overinflate your tires with 5 to 8 lbs. of air to keep them from going flat.

  • Plug the exhaust pipe and any other openings with steel wool to keep rodents out. Place a few mothballs under the hood.

  • Crack your truck’s windows slightly to allow for air circulation.

  • Cover your truck with a breathable cloth vehicle cover. Tarps and plastic may trap moisture or scratch the exterior.

  • Call your insurance company to find out if you’re eligible for an insurance discount while you store your car. However, don’t cancel your insurance completely. A parked vehicle can still easily roll, fall off jacks or have a broken window.

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  • Photo Credit snowy road image by samantha grandy from
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