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Thanks for any pointers you guys can give me about how to care for the car in the winter.
Yeah ............. stop doing what you're doing.
If you're not going to drive your car for a long while, most experts are of the opinion that you should either DRIVE your car long enough to warm EVERYTHING up or not start it at all. Letting your car idle for a long period is generally considered bad practice whether or not you're storing your car or driving it regularly. You're just going to produce excess carbon and contaminate your oil with condensation (which produces acids inside the engine) . Even if the water temperature gets warm enough to open the thermostat, the engine oil and transmission oil won't ever get properly warm, especially in cold weather.
I live in northern Italy where we have a significant winter with salted roads, etc. But recently the weather has been sunny and temperatures have been well above freezing following a long period of rain. Consequently the roads are clean and dry at the moment. So, when these conditions occur, I take it as a sign from God that I should drive my 360 Modena.
I simply take the cover off, turn on the battery master switch, follow the ECU reset procedure, and go for a drive of at least 30 minutes, but usually an hour or more. It takes about 15 minutes for the oil to reach a temperature which allows me to exceed 4000 rpm, so you can't even load the engine unless you drive longer than that.
When I see a spate of bad weather coming, I wash the car, follow the storage recommendations in the owners manual (over inflate the tires for example), turn off the battery, cover the car, and start looking for another good spate of weather.
Bottom line: I recommend you read the owners manual and follow the procedure there to put your car to bed. Then leave it alone until you have conditions which allow a half hour drive some of which involves loading the engine enough to get it really warm. Don't forget your radio code if applicable. I never use a charger or tender and I have never had any problem starting my car even after months of inactivity, but I do turn the battery off.