Fall is officially here and do you know what that means? It’s time to get in a few stunning drives before the classic car season is over. Though, despite the memorable drives you’ll undoubtedly be taking to see the beautiful fall colours on long winding roads, we need to think a little further down the line to, dare we say the “w” word, winter. Yes, winter is coming. Those of you who love Game of Thrones will get a chuckle out of that.
Anyway, with old man winter only two calendar swipes away, we need to consider winter storage and the five things you must do before nestling your car away until the sunshine brings it back from hibernation.
Whether you’re storing it in your garage or you’ve rented a location for winter storage, we want to check a few things before we hang up the keys this season.
You must make sure the storage location is sheltered from wind, is dry, and ideally has a concrete floor. The location doesn’t have to be heated, but you should ensure that there won’t be excessive humidity build-up during the winter months. (i.e. Avoid a tempo with the dirt or grass ground, which promotes humidity.)
It’s best to ensure that the oil is in good condition prior to storage. If it isn’t, it’s best practice to change it rather than let the dirty oil sit. Check and top up the other fluids such as anti-freeze and gas. Storing the classic with a full tank of gas with stabilizer is best. And don’t forget to drive around the block to get the stabilizer well circulated before putting the car away.
This is a pretty important step. And what’s a little disconcerting is the fact that the best practices are debated, so there’s no clear best practice. That having been said, we can all agree that either a trickle charger or a maintainer is what we want to use to preserve our charge through the months of non-use.
This should put us in good shape come spring.
We’ve mentioned this in past posts and it’s coming up again, because it’s a real “thing”. Rodents love to be the bane of our stored classic car’s existence, by chewing wires, doing their business and nesting where we don’t want them.
Simply use steel wool to “block” the exhaust pipe(s) and any air intakes. Some say that an added defence of mothballs around your vehicle will also help deter the critters from moving in.
Tuck it in
Purchase a high-quality, well-fitting, breathable cover. This will prevent build-up of dust and foreign matter on the surface of your vehicle and help keep out dirt whilst you have lowered the windows.
Make it sparkle
Ok, this may not be an absolute requirement, but it’s good practice. What we’re looking to do here is simply ensuring that there is no foreign matter left unattended for a long period of time on the paint, or on any of the interior, prompting corrosion or staining.
Lower two opposite windows (ex: front driver and rear opposite-side passenger) a quarter of an inch to allow airflow, which will allow for moisture to be evacuated.
And when you put your classic beauty away, it’s OK to have that one last lingering look as you turn off the light. And we won’t judge if you shed a tear. After all, it’s the end of another season.