In the Midwest it’s no real secret that the winter season can be brutally cold. While it can be task enough winterizing your home for strong, northerly winds and snow you also need to pay some close attention to how you prepare your classic cars for the winter season. Although we’re already in the heart of winter, there are still some great tips and any classic car owner should pay attention to – especially if this is your first time storing a classic car in the off-season.
Take a Load Off
If you haven’t done this already, lifting your vehicle on jacks while in storage can help save tires from flat spots and suspensions from constant compression. Sitting in one position for four to five months would be dangerous for you, and can be equally risky for your car.
Keep a Full Tank
Most of us will try to get as much as we can out of a tank of gas these days, but wrapping up your vintage ride for the winter on fumes isn’t smart. Make sure that you fill up your car completely before storage with as high of an octane fuel as is available. Higher octane fuels breakdown more slowly and will keep their chemical structure in tact more securely than lower octane fuels. You can help avoid the fuel breakdown almost completely by adding in a bottle of fuel stabilizer to the tank as well.
Pull the Battery
Winter is hard on ALL car batteries, but it’s especially hard on batteries that are cycled regularly. To save yourself some hassle come spring time, remove the battery from your car before storage and consider storing it in a more temperate place – like your basement.
Keep it Clean
If you didn’t give your baby a thorough cleaning before you put her away for the winter you had better get on it when the next nice day rolls around. A dirty vehicle will corrode much more quickly as compounds are allowed to slowly burrow their way in during the winter months. Make sure your car is spotless, and invest in a good quality, breathable car cover as well. This will allow any moisture that accumulates on the vehicle to evaporate away as opposed to being trapped under the cover and on top of your beautiful paint job.
Rev It Up
When you’ve got 30 minutes or so to spare on a nicer winter day, stop by and let your car run for a bit. Few things are as dangerous for a car as inactivity, so make sure to stop by every 60 days or so and let it run for about 30 minutes. This will give any fluids a chance to get warmed up and circulated so that all the components stay in good working order.
No matter where you may spend your winter months, make sure that any vehicle that you place into storage is left in as pristine a condition as possible. Not only will it ensure that your classic car stays in good condition, but winterizing properly will mean less time getting things running in the spring and more time on the road!