With the cold weather creeping in and winter on its way, it is time to store your classic car for the winter. The key to keeping a vehicle in tip top shape is not just how your care for it while you use it, but how you store it when not in use. Below are some tips on how to properly store your classic car for the winter.
PREPPING FOR STORAGE
- Wash and wax your vehicle. This will reduce the chance of scratches when putting on and removing your car cover due to dirt and grit on the vehicle.
- Fill the fuel tank with high octane fuel and add fuel stabilizer. Be sure to run the vehicle for a bit to move the fuel stabilizer through the fuel lines, carburetor, etc. A full tank provides less room for moisture to build, which can create rust and contaminate the fuel.
- Change the oil and filter. Clean oil reduces the risk of contaminants damaging the engine during hibernation. As a plus, you will be ready to roll come spring!
- Check the antifreeze levels and top off if necessary
- Add air to the tires. Cold weather can reduce the tire pressure. Underinflated tires can reduce tread life by as much as 25%.
STORING THE VEHICLE
- Store your vehicle in a dark, dry place. Concrete flooring is best as it keeps moisture out. If you must store the vehicle on a dirt floor, place plastic underneath the vehicle and plywood or carpeting under the tires. This will help keep moisture away from the undercarriage of the vehicle.
- Place plastic bags or tin foil over the air cleaner/air inlet and exhaust pipes. This will keep insects and rodents out of the vehicle. For added protection you can also place mothballs in the tailpipe and around the vehicle or place steel wool inside the tailpipe.
- Place the vehicle on jack stands. This will add to the life of your suspension by reducing the amount of stress placed on it. This will also eliminate flat spots on your tires which are common when a vehicle sits without moving for long periods of time.
- Close all windows and place baking soda packages in the trunk and cabin to reduce moisture.
- Remove the battery and store in a place where it will not freeze (never store a battery on a concrete floor). If you prefer not to disconnect the battery then put a battery tender on it to keep the battery charged at the appropriate storage voltage.
So, take your baby for one last spin before you put her away for the long winter! Please visit www.hagerty.com for more on this topic (including the information above) as well as how to properly prep your vehicle for driving after storing it for the winter months.