Six Essentials to Properly Storing Classic Cars

Sep 29, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

If you have a classic car, you want to make sure that you care for it properly, including storing it correctly. Proper storage of your classic car is one of the best ways to help maintain its appearance and functionality throughout the years. You should not leave your vehicle outside exposed to the elements for most of the year (especially during the winter). Follow these important tips to put away and store your classic car, whether it is just for a month or for a season.

Clean and Care Before Storage

Before you put your classic car into storage, you want to make sure that it is clean and in good condition. Start by giving it a thorough detailing, so no dirt or dust will cause damage while the vehicle isn’t being used. Then, you can apply fresh grease where necessary, including lithium grease on the door hinges and hood latches. Don’t forget to change the oil as well as the filter before putting your classic car away.

Fill the Gas Tank and Add a Stabilizer

Ideally, you would want to be able to store your classic car with an empty fuel tank since this prevents the buildup of varnish and gum. Since it is all but impossible to empty your tank completely, and this can ruin your fuel pump, you should instead fill the tank and use some fuel stabilizer. Follow the stabilizer’s instructions, which typically involve mixing it with a full tank and driving for around fifteen minutes.

Prepare Your Tires

It is a given that your classic car’s tires will deflate while in storage, but you can prevent damage from this process by reducing the air pressure. If you are storing your car for the winter, reduce the tire pressure, so it sits at approximately 25 pounds per square inch.

Pest Control

You don’t want rodents and other pests to decide your classic car is the perfect nest during the cold winter months (or any other time of year). You can help prevent this by closing your fresh air inlet so they won’t enter the heater and putting a steel wool pad within a sandwich bag in your tailpipe. Just remember to take them out after you remove the car from storage.

Protect the Battery

Months of disuse can take their toll on your vehicle’s battery so you should consider getting a battery maintainer. Otherwise, the battery will simply drain its charge. Attaching a battery maintainer, so it stays at full charge is the simplest option. Otherwise, you can remove the battery and store it inside the garage or your house.

Cover Your Car

Finally, you are ready to store your classic car. You should always store it indoors if possible and if that is the case, cover it with a breathable fabric. Consider a cover designed specifically to fit your model. If you are storing it outside, opt for a water-resistant cover with UV rays and make sure it fits your car correctly. While this might seem like a lot of work, it will save you time and money in unnecessary repairs and prevent your classic vehicle from depreciating. Not to mention unpacking a perfect car and preparing it for the road is a thrilling experience that is ruined if your car is damaged or in need of repair. Keep your classic car safe and secure when you put it into storage.

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