If you are a car enthusiast that has a vehicle in winter storage, there is likely only one thing on your mind as the weather gets warmer, and that is getting your summer car on the road again.  Whether it is a vintage sports car, a classic touring car or just a high-value car you aren’t willing to expose to the winter elements, getting it out into the sunshine makes you feel completely free.  Of course, you can’t just hop in and fire it up after it’s been sitting for so long, so here are some tips to help you make the transition a smooth one.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

If you’re like most people that keep their beloved summer car stored for winter, you’ve probably modified your insurance coverage.  There’s really no need for the standard road, accident or liability insurance while the car is parked and covered, but comprehensive insurance to protect against theft, fire and other miscellaneous damage is usually left on.

When you’re two or three weeks away from bringing it out into the open for the warmer months, contact your insurance provider to resume your road insurance.  This typically creates enough time for the insurance company to report the change to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.  If your license plate sticker has expired since you put the car away for the winter, don’t forget to get it renewed before you start driving.

Test the Battery

Once the paperwork is figured out, you can get down to the fun stuff.  You’ll need to test the battery to ensure it has enough charge left in it to start the car.  Many car owners keep their battery on a maintainer over the winter.  This ensures the battery remains charged and doesn’t die on you by the time you need it.  Also, check for signs of corrosion when connecting the battery or before you start up the vehicle.

Check Your Fluids

Car fluids are essential for a smooth start up, so check your engine oil, coolant, steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid and steering fluid.  You may want to add a fuel stabilizer so it doesn’t run rough at first, and even if you had the engine oil changed before the winter, you should get it changed again shortly after it comes out of storage.

Look It Over

A thorough visual check helps you find little things that may need attention.  Check under the car for any fluid leaks, look at wires and hoses for signs of cracks or splits, check the tire pressure, and peek inside the tailpipe to make sure there are no signs that mice were using it as a winter home.  Make sure you let the car idle for a few minutes before you take off, just to let all the different components come back to life.  If you have any concerns, be sure to visit your mechanic, and don’t forget that insurance!