Anyone who owns a classic car knows the sadness of having to put it away over the winter months. While storing your car is a necessary evil to keep it safe from the harsh winter months, there is also a certain way to store it to maximize protection efforts. Simply parking it in your garage will not do. Here are the steps you need to take to ensure it is ready to go in the springtime.
Everything Old Is New Again
When putting your car in long-term storage, it is crucial that you change the oil first. Make sure to let the engine run for a few minutes after the change so that the fresh oil can cycle completely through the engine. This process helps to protect against corrosion. It is also advisable to spray all hinges and lube with white lithium grease and make sure all of the fittings have fresh grease. Any weather stripping should be sprayed with silicone spray so that the stripping does not bond to the car itself after sitting for a long period of time.
Fill ‘Er Up
Some people have the mistaken belief it is good to empty the fuel tank before storage. While it prevents the buildup of gum and varnish, it could also damage the fuel pump, which is an expensive fix. If you are curious as to how long gasoline will last long-term in a fuel tank, look through a guide explaining long-term solutions and how long it will take for the gas to spoil. Most manuals will direct you to add a fuel stabilizer before storing your car. This is a relatively simple process. All you need to do is buy a bottle of fuel stabilizer from your local auto supply store. After this, fill the car up at the gas station, add the stabilizer per directions on the bottle, and then drive the car for a god 15 minutes before parking it in your storage spot.
Flat Spots Are Real
Yes, everything you have heard about flat spots is real. If you let your car sit directly on its wheels for a long period of time, you can damage and have to replace them. The solution is to put the car on jack stands. Putting the car on blocks is insufficient. Place boards on the ground and then place the jack stands on top of the boards. This prevents the stands from sinking into the concrete due to the fact the wood helps to spread the weight of the car out more. Once the jack stands are in the proper position, lower the car onto them and you’ll be good to go for the duration of storage.
Take Out the Battery
It is highly unlikely that your battery will remain charged during long-term storage. The best solution is to simply remove the battery and put it in a safe location in the house. You don’t want to leave it in the garage unused during the winter months because once its charge is depleted, the cold weather could cause it to freeze which will ruin the battery.