Suggestions for Long-Term Classic Car Storage Preparation

1. Make sure your gas tank is full. This will reduce the amount of water that can be absorbed by the gasoline and it also slows the rate at which it turns to varnish. Use an additive like "Sta-Bil", "Dry Gas" or similar. Make sure it's well mixed and run the car for a while to make sure it's in the entire fuel system.

2. Change the engine oil. Dirty oil is contaminated with acids and water that can cause premature bearing failure and rust inside the engine. If the car is likely to be left for a long period of time unattended, remove the sparkplugs and liberally squirt some form of upper-cylinder lubricant into the cylinders before replacing the plugs. This will help stop the piston rings from rusting to the cylinder walls. Introduce into the cylinders about six squirts from a normal oilcan. Turn the engine over slowly before replacing the plugs. This will move throughout the head.

3. Make sure the brake and clutch master cylinders are full of brake fluid. Brake fluid can absorb water very quickly. By reducing the exposed surface area of the fluid, the water absorption can be reduced. If you can, bleed the brake and clutch systems. It is recommended that you do this on an annual basis anyway, to purge the system of old and possibly contaminated brake fluid.

4. To inhibit rust in the engine area, use a lubricant spray such as WD40 to coat all exposed metal surfaces. The volatile carrier in the WD40 will soon evaporate leaving a protective film on the hose clamps, coils, carb bodies, etc. 'Wax-oyl' is also good, but you'll want to hose it off with car wash in the Spring.

5. Wash the entire car and apply a good wax. Don't forget to clean the inside. Do this early in the day to give it plenty of time to thoroughly dry before putting it in storage.

6. If you have a convertible top, leave it up and close the windows and vents. A convertible top can develop nasty creases when folded for long periods, especially in cold climates. Treat vinyl tops with silicone or similar. Keeping the windows and vents closed keeps small creatures from entering.

7. Ensure that the trunk is clean and dry, The trunk seal is not always positive and some moisture can collect and condense in the inner fenders and floor. Air it out well for a day or so, then place a desiccant sac in before closing it up.

8. Take the car on a good 30-minute run. This will evaporate all the moisture in the exhaust and in the engine. Then park the car with the hand brake off and either 'chock' the wheels or leave it in gear if necessary. Over-inflating the tires can help guard against flat spots. Disconnect the battery.

9. We suggest you use a cover. It should be a proper cloth car cover, not a plastic one.

10. Choose a garage or other storage facility that's dry. Damp air will cause rust over a long period of time, depending on how long
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11. Desiccant bags (the size of a sock) should be placed inside your car which will effectively soak up atmospheric moisture to prevent mildew damage.

12. Cover the tail pipe with duct tape to prevent moisture or rodents from getting in.

13. Ensure that the cooling system is clean 50/50.

14. Lubricate the hose as if the car is going to be stored for an extend period of time.

15. Storage of the vehicle for a long period of time can have an adverse effect on the clutch. Exercising the pedal on a regular basis can avoid these types of problems.

16. Tire maintenance - Tires should be pumped up and moved once each month to prevent flat spots form forming.

17. Suspension grease: Should be done if it has not been done recently.

18. Carburetor: Run it dry with stabilizer.

19. Lubrication of points such as: crease fittings, connections, hinges, latches, cables, etc.

20. Disconnect the batteries.

21. Empty the car. Check the trunk, glove compartment, side pockets, etc.

22. Don't set the parking brake.

The best thing to do is to run the car once a month. A service we can provide!

 


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