How to Store Your Classic Car

Storing a classic car properly is paramount to preserving its condition, ensuring that it maintains its beauty, functionality, and value over time. Whether you're tucking your classic vehicle away for the winter, or you're planning an extended absence, following the right storage procedures can make all the difference when it's time to bring your cherished vehicle back on the road. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to store your classic car correctly while it's not in use.

Choose the Right Storage Location

The ideal storage for your classic car is a clean, dry, and secure environment. A climate-controlled garage is best, as it keeps the vehicle away from the elements and maintains a consistent temperature, preventing rust and deterioration of rubber components. If a climate-controlled environment isn't available, choose a dry, well-ventilated garage or storage facility. Avoid places with fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels, as these can cause your car to deteriorate.

Prepare Your Car for Storage

Clean Thoroughly

Begin by giving your car a thorough wash and wax. This process removes any contaminants that could damage the paint over time. Clean the interior as well, vacuuming the carpets and treating the leather or fabric surfaces. Don't forget to clean the engine bay and undercarriage, as these areas can harbor moisture and dirt that might lead to corrosion.

Change the Fluids

Change the oil and filter right before putting the car away. Used oil contains contaminants that could harm the engine. Consider also flushing and replacing the coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid to ensure they're fresh and not prone to breaking down or corroding the internal parts of their respective systems.

Fill the Tank

Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from deteriorating and to protect against moisture. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer through the fuel system.

Protect the Battery

Disconnect and remove the battery to prevent it from draining. Store the battery in a cool, dry place, and consider using a trickle charger to keep it charged without overcharging.

Tyre Care

Inflate the tyres to the maximum recommended pressure to prevent flat spots from forming during storage. For long-term storage, consider placing the car on jack stands to remove the weight from the tyres and suspension.

Pest Prevention

Rodents and other pests can cause significant damage to your vehicle. Place mothballs or rodent repellent around the vehicle, and consider plugging the exhaust and air intake to prevent critters from nesting inside.

Cover Up

Even indoors, a car cover is essential to protect the vehicle from dust and accidental scratches. Use a breathable car cover specifically designed for indoor use. This ensures moisture isn't trapped against the car's surface.

Regular Check-ups

If possible, have someone check on the car periodically. Ideally, the car should be started and allowed to reach operating temperature every few weeks to circulate the fluids and keep the seals from drying out. If driving the car briefly isn't an option, running the engine and moving it slightly to rotate the tires can be beneficial.

Reawakening Your Classic Car

When it's time to bring your classic car out of storage, do so carefully. Check all fluid levels, inspect the tires, reconnect and check the battery, and inspect the vehicle for any signs of pest damage or other issues. Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes before driving.

Properly storing your classic car is a labor of love that pays dividends in preserving its condition and value. By following these detailed steps, you ensure that your vehicle remains in top shape, ready for the roads and admiration it deserves upon its return.