Storing Your Car - How to Do it Right
So you finally have the car of your dreams. You've sunk a massive amount of time and money into restoring it and keeping it in pristine showroom condition and functioning easily.
But wait a minute- winter is coming. You need to drive your car in the snow, through road salt, sand and corrosive substances? I thought not. You wish to store it to the winter s inexpensively as possible? You also want to have the ability to place it back on the street with little if any hassle and have it ready for spring in precisely the exact same condition it went into storage ? Continue reading.
Indoor storage is, of course, the best thing to do. And it is really your only option if you're going to be off for two or three years or longer.
You don't a garage, as indoor storage facilities are plentiful. Many"mini-storage" type places will happily rent storage spaces large enough for vehicles. Furthermore, try to find somebody who can"exercise" the automobile each month or two. Though it's an extra expense in your automobile budget, appropriate long term storage will help you save money on recovery when you are ready to push your dream car again.
You can never be too clean for storage, so the first thing you need to do is wash the car. Wait for a dry warm day and give your car a complete wash and wax. Make certain to find the underbody as clean as possible too- especially wheel well areas. Any dirt will maintain moisture and combine with air, causing rust propagation.
A comprehensive cleaning is in order for the inside, also. Use a shop vacuum or home vacuum cleaner, getting into all the little nooks and crannies. All crumbs, pizza crusts, French fries etc. have to proceed. Otherwise smallish creatures will be attracted to it and also make their home inside your automobile.
To go the extra mile, a fantastic rug will help discourage them. Do all this early in the day to allow time to dry before putting the vehicle in storage.
Take the spark plugs out and put some oil to the cylinders. This prevents cylinder walls, pistons and valves from rusting. Normal motor oil is fine or get a spray can of fogging oil from a marine supply store. Turn over the motor by hand half a dozen times to be sure the oil coats everything.
Next apply a tiny anti-seize on the spark plugs and reinstall them. Make sure that the gas tank is full. This will reduce the amount of water available to be consumed by the gasoline.
For the electric system, remove the battery cables (negative cable ) and lift the battery out.
Wipe the battery with battery cleaner to take any moisture-holding dirt or grease. Put the battery on a clean, dry surface, like a block of wood or a heap of bricks.
Now hook up a trickle charger. These are made to maintain the battery's charge over an extended time period. While the battery is out, inspect the battery rack for rust or corrosion. Clean and repair any damage as needed.
Lubricate hood latches, hinges and door hinges white lithium grease to keep air and moisture out.
Take a Look at the brake fluid. Brake fluid will soak up moisture in the atmosphere, causing your brake system to rust and corrode. Get it flushed and full of fresh, clean fluid if it has not been done in two decades or more.
Check the coolant level- make sure it's topped off to the appropriate level. Also check the coolant's protection level. It needs to be low enough to protect the cooling system from winter temperatures.
Because rodents and other little creatures like to chew ignition wires and wiring harnesses, stuff clean rags into the engine air intake, fresh air intake below the windshield and tail pipe. A neat trick a mechanic told me about is to find a huge box of mothballs and spread them out around and under the car- for some reason the smell works wonders in keeping away undesirable creatures.
Tires tend toward developing flat spots in the event the vehicle will be sitting for more than five or six months. To prevent this you need to find a pair of four jack stands. Jack up the car and put the jack stands under the lift points of the vehicle (usually the lower control arms or under the framework ) If you've got a dirt floor, set pieces of 1" plywood under the jack stands to stop them sinking into the dirt.
Remove the wiper blades in the wiper arms to keep them from getting glued to the windshield and leaving marks.
The final thing you will need to do is- nothing