It’s always disappointing to contemplate the end of the warm-weather driving season; especially if it means the end of driving an SRT® vehicle. Many owners enjoy their SRT vehicles as daily drivers throughout the year, certain owners in colder-climate states opt for winter rides like a go-anywhere Ram 4×4 truck to tackle ice and snow. For them, the annual fall ritual of car winterization is an unfortunate occasion. Most automotive enthusiasts have a special routine when it comes to caring for and putting to bed their pride and joy. The SRT brand recommends following these guidelines for storing an SRT vehicle for extended periods.

Fill the fuel tank
This will prevent water condensation inside the tank. If the plan is to store the vehicle more than two months, add an anti-oxidant fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. Most fuel stabilizers will prevent the gas from deteriorating for up to 12 months. Be sure to add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer to the tank and run the vehicle one more time for at least five minutes to get the stabilized fuel into the engine.

Change the engine oil and filter
This will remove any corrosive combustion related acids in the crankcase.

Check the coolant
The engine coolant/distilled water level of protection should be at least -20°F (-29°C).

Check the tire pressure
Make sure that all tires are inflated to the optimum pressure.

Protect the finish
Wash and wax the vehicle to protect the finish.

Keep it covered in a dry location
Cover the vehicle whenever possible to prevent accidental damage to the finish. Use a cover that ventilates well and won’t trap moisture. Store the vehicle in a dry, well-ventilated location.  If your garage is not temperature controlled, place a layer of heavy plastic on the concrete floor. Parking on plastic helps keep the moisture of the concrete from attacking your car.

Don’t use the parking brake
Block the wheels and do not apply the parking brake. If the brake pads make contact with the rotors for too long, there is a possibility that they might fuse.

Prevent flat spots
Cut blocks of plywood about the same size of the tires. Cover each block with indoor/outdoor carpeting and place them between the tires and concrete. This will prevent tire flat spotting. For long-term storage, remove the tires and put the vehicle up on blocks. Stack the tires on plywood and cover with a tarp to prevent flat spotting.

Keep the battery charged
If the vehicle will be subjected to freezing temperatures, either remove the battery and store it in a dry, well ventilated area or connect a battery tender (1.5 Amp) with automatic shutdown/overcharge protection to the battery. If the vehicle is not going to be driven over a three week period, perform the battery recharge procedure in the appropriate Chrysler Group LLC Service Manual.

Then, either disconnect the battery at the negative terminal or use the “Battery Save Feature” to conserve battery power. Refer to “Battery Save Feature” under “Maintenance Procedures” in your SRT Owner’s Manual. Disconnecting the battery causes the engine control system to lose memory of some “learned” functions. After reconnecting the battery, the engine may run rough until the control module “relearns” these functions. Using the Battery Save Feature will prevent the engine controller from losing its memory.

Beware of rodents
Unfortunately, mice and rats like the dry and relatively warm environment in which most cars are long-term stored – in a garage or storage unit. And, there are many places in your car for rodents to hide and plenty of things for them to chew on. Cover gaps where a mouse could enter, such as exhaust pipes or an air intake. Put steel wool in the tailpipe so rodents don’t make it their new home for the winter. A large container of mothballs (all around and under the vehicle) will also discourage unwanted pests.

Long-term A/C Storage
Anytime you store your vehicle, or keep it out of service (e.g., vacation) for two weeks or more, run the air conditioning system at idle for about five minutes in the fresh air and high blower setting. This will insure adequate system lubrication to minimize the possibility of compressor damage when the system is started again.

For any additional questions on winter storage of SRT vehicles, visit an SRT Performance Dealer.

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