Keep your ride pristine all year 'round with these classic car storage tips.
Back in the day, your sleek Ford Mustang turned heads everywhere. It was a classic even when it was new. Now, years later, there's another classic—a convertible Corvette—sitting in your garage. It was in rough shape when you bought it, but a lovingly rebuilt engine, new tires, and a detailed paint job resurrected it from the dead.
Whether you drive your classic around regularly or just on special occasions, you want to keep it pristine, no matter what the season. That's why practical and sensible classic car storage tips are an important part of your maintenance routine.
10 Classic Car Storage Tips You
Can Use All Year Long
While it's more likely you'll store your classic car in the winter, these tips work equally well if you go without driving it for any length of time. Remember, spring rains can create conditions for mold, summer sun can wreak havoc on vinyl, and an unpredictable autumn storm can bring large hail crashing down on your hood.
1. Choose the right location
The ideal storage location for your car is a temperature-controlled garage. If that's not an option, try to keep your car in a garage or a carport where it can stay dry and out of the worst of inclement weather. If you do have to park outdoors, lay down a sheet of plastic to keep ground moisture away from the undercarriage.
2. Fill up the gas tank
This is near the top of any classic car storage list. Why? A partially filled gas tank gives moisture plenty of opportunities to collect, leading to a rusty gas tank if it's left for long enough. Add a fuel stabilizer and run your car for a few minutes to blend the gas and stabilizer.
*It's worth noting that some experts suggest emptying the tank if you plan to keep your car in storage for a year or more. In either case, make sure it's completely full or completely empty; anything in between makes corrosion possible.
3. Change the oil
Any moisture or contaminants in your oil are going to sit in one spot in your engine the whole time your car is in storage. That could lead to rust or corrosion.
4. Give it a good wash and wax
Just like you would clean anything before you put it in storage, giving your car a wash, vacuum, and wax will help protect it from the elements. Make sure to thoroughly clean the interior, too, and protect plastic and rubber parts with a cleaner like Turtle Wax.
5. Properly inflate the tires
Especially if your car will sit for an extended period, properly inflated tires can help prevent flat spots. In fact, the ideal is to put your car on jack stands if you can.
6. Mind the mice
Mice can destroy your car. They chew the upholstery and wires, make nests in your ventilation system, and leave droppings all over. Motorwatch suggests placing steel wool in your exhaust pipe to let moisture out and keep rodents from getting in. They also suggest placing poison "inside and under the hood to prevent infestation," especially if your car will be in storage for more than three months.
7. Disconnect the battery
A connected battery will gradually lose power. Midwest Classic Cars suggests keeping your battery in good condition by hooking it up to a trickle charger.
8. Cover it
Do NOT, however, cover your car with just any cover. A waterproof plastic cover could be the worst thing for your car; it traps moisture and leads to rust. It may cost a bit more, but a breathable car cover is an investment your classic is worth.
9. Drive it
This might be one of the most important classic car storage tips: If at all possible, take your car out for regular drives. A monthly 30-minute drive helps lubricate seals, removes moisture, and relubricates moving parts. If you can't drive your car, at least start it up and let it run for a bit.
10. Keep odors at bay
Writing for Your Mechanic, Brady Klopfer suggests leaving an open box of baking soda in your car to absorb moisture. Additionally, if your car is stored in a garage, he recommends leaving your windows cracked to prevent the formation of mold and mildew.
Of course, the best thing you can do for your classic car is to make sure you have the right insurance to protect it. Get in touch with your local Pekin Insurance agent today to ensure you have an insurance policy that meets your needs.