A classic car is more than just a vehicle. It can be a great hobby, if you enjoy restoring and maintaining the car yourself. Classic cars can also be great showpieces and conversation starters. However, if you want to keep your classic car in great condition, it’s important to store it properly when you’re ready to put it away for winter. You should never store your classic car outdoors, even if you put a cover over it. Take a look at a few things to consider when it comes to storing your classic car in your garage for the winter.
Is It Clean?
Has it been awhile since the last time you had your classic car washed and detailed thoroughly? You should definitely have this done before you put the car in your garage for the winter. Dirt and other contaminants can damage the surfaces of your car if left there for months while you’re not using the car. However, a good cleaning and detailing shortly before you put the car in storage can help ensure that your paint job and interior surfaces look great when you’re ready to bring the car back out in the spring.
Have You Checked the Fluids? It’s important to make sure that all of your fluids are topped off before you store the car. Start with the gas tank – you can drive there after you wash the car, which can help dry off the water in the car’s crevices before you put it away. Fill the tank, and add a fuel stabilizer that will help slow the fuel oxidation process while it’s being stored. Most stabilizers can protect fuel for up to a year, so if you’re only storing the car for the winter, you shouldn’t have to worry about it again during that time. After you add it, make sure that you run the car for long enough to let the stabilizer flow through the fuel system.
Check the rest of the fluids and top them off, especially the anti-freeze. When it comes to the engine oil, you probably don’t have to change it before storing – you can change it when you take the car out of storage in a few months. The exception is if you’ve reached the mileage limit for the oil, or if the oil is exceptionally dirty. In that case, you should change the oil before storing the car.
How Protected is Your Garage?
Your home garage is definitely better than storing the car outside, but are you certain that it’s free of pests and moisture that could damage your car while in storage? Pests have a way of finding their way into even clean, organized garages, especially during the winter when they’re searching for a refuge from the cold. A ball of steel wool in your exhaust pipe opening can keep pests out of the exhaust system, and laundry fabric sheets in the trunk and interior of the car can keep them out of the car itself. As an added precaution, you may want to put some mothballs around the perimeter of the car.
If your garage tends to have moisture problems, putting a tarp or a plastic sheet over the floor of the garage before you park it can protect your car from the damage that can be caused by condensation. Don’t forget to cover the car with a cover that will allow the car to breathe while it’s in storage.
A more organized garage makes a better storage space for your classic car or for anything else that you have to store. For free design consultation and estimate, contact us.