Winter weather puts a lot of stress on your car, especially if you live in an area where the roads are periodically salted. That's why it's a good idea to keep your sports car garaged until spring and use a cheaper daily driver to get you through the cold months.
However, letting your car sit for extended periods of time can also cause some reliability issues to arise. When you finally bring your sports car out of its winter hibernation, there are a number of preventative maintenance procedures you should perform before you start winding out the engine on spirited drives.
Perform Basic Drivetrain Maintenance
Regardless of how many miles you've put on your sports car since its last service, it's a good idea to tune up the drivetrain with fresh fluids and filters. Change the engine oil along with the transmission and differential fluid. That will ensure that all of your drivetrain's moving parts are properly lubricated when you take it out for its first cruise.
While you're at it, swap out the oil and air filter to get rid of any debris that accumulated in the filter elements while your car has been collecting dust in the garage.
Make Sure Your Suspension Bushings Are in Tip-Top Shape
Your sports car's suspension system contains a multitude of pivots, connecting rods, and other mechanical components that dance in unison as your wheels move up and down on the asphalt. You'll find a rubberized bushing or rotating bearing wherever two moving components meet.
After sitting immobile for an extended period of time your suspension bushings can become dried out. That will prevent them from actuating smoothly. As a result, your suspension will start to make creaking noises while producing a rough ride. Your car's handling will also suffer, especially if you're pushing it hard through tight turns.
To prevent those issues, all of the bushings, bearings, and pivots throughout your suspension need to be cleaned and lubricated. On older cars, the rubberized bushings and pivots can even become dry-rotted, in which case they need to be replaced. Otherwise, your car will handle sloppily and may develop clunks and vibrations as you accelerate.
Inspect Your Tires with a Fine-Tooth Comb
The rubber compound of your tires can also become dry and cracked after sitting for months on end. That will that substantially lower your car's grip and road-holding ability. More importantly, it will make your tires much more likely to blow out if you hit a pothole or piece of road debris at speed. Before you start ripping around your favorite twisty roads, make sure your tires are free from damage and are properly inflated.
If you're not mechanically inclined, have all of these preventative maintenance procedures performed by a reputable auto repair shop. It may cost you a bit more, but the price you pay for servicing is much less than the price you'll pay if your car breaks down or crashes due to improper maintenance.