Winterizing Your Classic Car: Essential Storage Tips

Dated: November 6 2023

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Your garage is part of your home, and sometimes a garage contains a classic car.  As the winter months approach, it's time to prepare your loved 4-wheeled friend for a period of hibernation. In this blog post, we'll explore the essential steps for winterizing your classic car and provide you with valuable tips to ensure it stays in pristine condition until the warmer days return.

 

Clean and Detail:

Before storing your classic car, it's crucial to give it a thorough cleaning. Start by washing the exterior and cleaning the interior. A well-detailed car is less likely to suffer from rust and other issues during storage. Inside, a good vacuuming gets rid of many items that might attract rodents and other creatures.

 

Fluids and Oil Change:

One of the most critical steps in preparing your classic car for winter storage is changing the fluids. Replace the engine oil and filter, as old oil can become acidic and damage the engine. It's also advisable to add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration. Top off the coolant and brake fluid to avoid corrosion.

 

Battery Maintenance:

To avoid a dead battery when spring arrives, either disconnect the battery or use a trickle charger to maintain its charge. Keeping the battery connected without charging can lead to damage and a shortened lifespan.

 

Tire Care:

Overinflated or underinflated tires can be problematic during storage. Inflate your classic car's tires to the recommended pressure and consider using tire cradles to prevent flat spots. You can also move the car slightly from time to time to distribute the weight.

 

Car Covers:

Many detailers suggest nothing more than a plastic sheet, or simple plastic car cover as found here.  Some say nothing at all.   If you are storing your car in a public space like your condo’s parking garage, a cover is a must. As a Real Estate Professional, I often see nice cars, covered in dust with finger writing on the paint surfaces. 

 

Pest Control:

Critters can find their way into your classic car, causing damage to wiring and upholstery. I’ve always used dryer sheets like Bounce in the interior, trunk and other spaces.  The scent seems to keep rodents away.  If your storage area is prone to heavy rodent activity, you might want to use some stronger deterents.

 

Store in a Safe Location:

Choose a secure and climate-controlled storage space if possible. If you're storing your classic car in a garage, make sure it's well-insulated and weatherproof. Avoid parking it on grass or dirt, as moisture can seep in from below.

 

Regular Check-Ups:

During the winter months, it's essential to visit your classic car periodically. Check for any issues, including leaks, flat tires, or pest infestations.

 

Winter storage is a crucial part of classic car ownership. By following these tips, you can ensure that your beloved vehicle remains in pristine condition and ready to hit the road when spring arrives. With proper care and attention, your classic car will continue to bring joy and admiration for years to come.

 

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Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett's bond with Guelph is more than just a professional commitment; it's a lifelong love affair with the city he calls home. Born and raised in Guelph, Michael has developed a deep and inf....

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