Parking Your Car in the Garage Or Winter: Is It a Good or Bad Idea?

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Car Maintenance | 0 comments

Sure, it’s nice to jump in a relatively warm car in the morning, or any time you need to go to work, but what about when you come home with ice, snow, and salt all over your car?

Obviously, for individual car owners, specific factors come into play when it comes to whether or not to park in a garage in the winter. Of course, there are things you can do to protect your car from damage, whether it’s parked outside or inside.

But keep these pros and cons in mind and decide the best option for you:

Advantages of Parking a Car in a Garage in Winter

A garage attached to your home sounds like an ideal setup – not only to reduce sun and radiation exposure to your vehicle in the summer but also to maintain out the cold and snow in the winter.

Here are the advantages of keeping a car in a garage in the summer:

1. No Snow to Brush

How can you not welcome the sight of your car which has zero traces of snow or ice on its body to brush or scrape off? It definitely helps reduce your preparation time in the morning! Not only this, but it also means that there is less chance of damage to your paint job and windshield wipers.

2. Takes Less Time to Start the Car

Provided your garage is properly insulated for the winter, you should have a warm car in the morning. Note that it may take twice as much energy to start your engine in cold weather as on any normal day. The more out the temperature, the more difficult every part of your car has to work.

3. Less Chance of Thickening of Essential Fluids

Away from the cold outside, your car’s engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and other essential fluids will be less likely to thicken. This means they can lubricate internal parts faster when you start your car.

4. Less Risk of Vehicle Body Damage in Bad Weather

In bad weather, if your car is parked outside, it can easily sustain body damage from things like snow-laden tree branches, or trees.

Disadvantages of Parking a Car in a Garage in Winter

While the pros are certainly compelling, the cons also cannot be ignored – and make you more vigilant in making sure that your vehicle is protected from any kind of damage.

Here are the disadvantages of parking a car in your garage in winter:

1. Rust

Coming home in winter is another story, especially if there’s a storm. When you park your car directly in your garage and it is covered with snow and ice, the snow will melt, but at the same time, corrosion (oxidation) will accelerate with warmer temperatures, moisture, and salt residues.

2. Condensation

The warm temperatures in your garage will cause condensation, which will cause some of our car’s mechanical components to tarnish. Some of these, such as the radiator, exhaust system, and engine, are susceptible to corrosion.

3. Change in Temperature

Exposing your car to changes in temperature can cause the rubber seals to wear down quickly.

How to control damage to your car if you are parked it in your garage in winter

Like most people, you want to take the best care of your car possible. Winter can definitely bring some challenges for you.

If your specific circumstances make it the best option to park your car in your garage in the winter, here are 3 ways you can prevent damage from oxidation, condensation, and large changes in temperature:

  • Avoid warming your garage too much in the winter. Withstand at an ambient temperature of approximately 41° (5°C).
  • Make sure your garage is well-ventilated. This will help in drying your car quicker and hence reduce the humidity.
  • Don’t forget to wash your car to remove any residual chemicals that may damage your paint job and cause rust.

By being proactive and mindful of the conditions in your garage, as well as keeping your vehicle’s body clean, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of cold weather parking your car in your garage without the headache (and expense).

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