The Ultimate Guide to Storing Your Classic Car Right
When you store your sports car or classic car in the garage, a few simple steps and some proactive care will keep it in tip-top shape for the next outing, no matter the season.
Step 1: Show Your Car Some Care
Before you bid farewell to your car, pamper it with some essential care:
- Change the oil and filter, then run the engine briefly to distribute the fresh oil. This protects your car against corrosion.
- Don’t forget the grease fittings. Inject fresh grease to keep all moving parts well-lubricated.
- Ward off corrosion by spraying white lithium grease on the hood latch and door hinges.
- Open the windows, doors, and trunk, and apply dry Teflon lube or silicone spray to all the weather stripping. This prevents them from sticking to the doors during extended periods of inactivity.
Step 2: Fuel Up and Stabilize
Emptying the fuel tank may seem like a good idea to avoid gum and varnish buildup, but it’s impractical and can harm your fuel pump. Instead, opt for a fuel stabilizer. Fill the tank at the gas station and add the recommended amount of stabilizer. Drive your car for about 15 minutes to ensure the stabilizer mixes well with the fuel and spreads throughout the system.
Step 3: Elevate and Deflate
To prevent flat spots on your tyres, which are common during storage, use this technique:
- Elevate your car on jack stands. Place a piece of plywood under each stand to protect your garage floor.
- Lower the air pressure in the tyres to around 25 psi for the duration of storage.
Don’t be misled by misinformation; even radial tyres can develop flat spots when stored for extended periods, especially high-performance radial tyres. So, it’s wise to get those tyres off the ground during storage.
Step 4: Critter-Proof Your Car
Critters can make your car their cozy home if you’re not careful. Here’s how to keep them out:
- Insert steel wool pads into the tailpipe(s) to deter critters from entering.
- Close the fresh air inlet on the heater system by switching to the “recycle” position.
- Stuff steel wool into the air filter box intake duct, which is the duct leading into the air filter box.
- Plug the exhaust system to prevent unwanted guests.
Step 5: Give Your Battery a Boost
Batteries can lose their charge during storage, and a dead battery can ruin your day. Prevent this by:
- Connecting the clamps to the vehicle battery (red to red, black to black).
- Plugging in a battery maintainer and configuring the voltage and battery type.
This will keep your battery charged and ready to go when you’re back on the road.
Step 6: Cover and Protect
Whether you’re storing your car indoors or outdoors, a cover is essential to protect it from the elements. Invest in a breathable, water-resistant, custom-fitted cover to keep your classic car in prime condition.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your classic car remains in impeccable condition during its hiatus, no matter the weather. When the time comes to hit the open road, your treasured vehicle will be ready and waiting.