When storing your classic car for an extended period of time, some simple steps can help keep your car in good shape for it’s next adventure on the road.
Select a dry, dark storage place. This one might seem obvious, but selecting an appropriate storage space for your classic car impacts how well it’s maintained. Choose a dry, dark storage space, like a garage or storage unit. Concrete floors are best to prevent moisture and a building that’s insulated will help prevent damage caused by winter weather.
Perform all maintenance items.Change your oil and filter. Check your tires. Complete any outstanding maintenance services or repairs.
Detail it thoroughly. Detail your car – inside and out. Give your classic car a good wash and wax. Make sure you clean both the exterior and undercarriage. Vacuum the interior, paying attention to crumbs, so critters will be less likely to hibernate in your car while stored.
Empty the gas tank or add fuel stabilizer. Opinions differ on whether or not to drain your gas tank for long term storage. If done properly, draining your gas tank can prevent buildup, but if done incorrectly, could cause an expensive repair. Alternatively, fill your gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Just make sure you drive the vehicle for 15-20 minutes after filling the tank to mix the stabilizer and spread the mixture throughout the fuel system.
Protect the battery. Take one of two steps to protect your battery: (1) disconnect and remove the battery and store it in a dry, protected place where it won’t freeze or (2) use a battery tender or maintainer. A battery maintainer will keep the battery fully charged while stored which will prevent freezing.
Cover open holes to keep critters out. Use plastic bags or aluminum foil to cover open holes like the air cleaner/air inlet and exhaust pipe(s). Use moth balls or steel wool in the tail pipe.
Cover with a breathable cloth. If you’re storing your car inside, a sheet will do, but if you’re storing your classic car outside, invest in a water-resistant and breathable covering that’s custom made for your car.
Raise your vehicle. Use car jacks to lift your vehicle off the ground. Doing so will prevent flat spots from sitting in the same position for so long.
Are there specific steps you take when storing your classic car? What tips have you found to be helpful in protecting your car while stored away?