I am leaving my car (2016 Toyota Rav 4 XLE) to go on vacation. This will be during the winter so December to January. It will be under covered parking, but I am worried about what the cold will do to it if it isn’t going to be driven for 1 month. Any tips on what I should do to protect it before I leave?
For one month I think that you are just fine without any extra precautions. But if it's for a longer period, then you may consider the following ideas.
I recommend three action points, one on them is stolen from the comment of user
- Maybe increase the air pressure in the tires by about 0.5 bar (and check the pressure of the spare tire at that opportunity).
- This helps prevent the tires from getting a flat deformation.
- In addition to the recommendation regarding the battery (disconnect the minus because it is safer from electrical point of view, typically black or sometimes blue) that was already posted.
- Disconnecting the battery will prevent that the battery slowly gets empty because there is typically always a (very) small energy consumption in a car even if it's parking. When you reconnect the battery then reverse the order. But I think that it's enough, if you just disconnect the minus and put some textile around it (it's covered with grease typically).
- Maybe you need to input a code into your radio after reconnecting the battery. If that's the case, better prepare the code before you leave so that you don't need to look for it after you return.
- Disconnecting the battery may be the single most important point regarding "being able to drive immediately after you return".
- No not use the parking-brake (if possible) because it can get stuck (especially it it's an old one).
I found an related article online from the website https://driving.ca: https://driving.ca/porsche/auto-news/news/storing-your-car-for-the-winter-follow-these-eight-tips. The topics are:
- Get things clean
- Storage places
- Fuel up (
-->Fill the fuel tank)
- Avoiding flat feet (
- Oil and water
- Maintaining a charge (
- Unwanted car guests
- Tuck and cover
Lock your doors . . .
. . . and have a safe trip.
With the presumption that your vehicle is in good running condition, and has no charging system issues (like a bad alternator / battery, or an aftermarket alarm that constantly pulls 300mA,) you should have no issues electrically nor mechanically.
I'll add an alternative. Why not take public transportation to/from the airport?
Leave your car in your garage, hooking up a battery tender if you want. Give a friend the keys and ask them to take it out once or twice before your return.
Fewer problems with vandalism/theft/odd things due to an exposed vehicle. Almost certainly less expensive than a month's worth of parking fees.
In any event, enjoy the time off!