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Winter Storage How-To


Old 10-12-2003, 11:45 AM
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Default Winter Storage How-To

Itís that time of year where many of us store our cars over the winter months to save them from the corrosive salt used by the road crews. I thought Iíd create a write up on a step-by-step procedure for safely storing your car and to make getting your car back on the road trouble free.
Disclaimer Ė Much of the info is taken straight from the Owners Manual, other info is taken from tips Iíve picked up over the years through various forums. I am not responsible for anything that happens to you or your car. This is also written in a format assuming the car is stored indoors, please make any adustments for outside storage.

The steps listed are written in a step-by-step format that when finished, the car will be in your garage, ready for the winter months. If you are storing the car in a remote location, like a self storage unit, you will obviously have to re-number some steps. Ok, here we go!

1.Purchase a gas stabilizer of some sort, I use Sta-Bil as it is the most readily available. As we all know, gas goes bad after a couple of months and can leave gummy deposits in your fuel system, the gas stabilizer will keep the gas fresh and prevent the deposits from forming.

2.Wait until your car has about 1/4 to 1/8 of a tank of gas left in it, stop by the gas station and put in the Sta-Bil according to the instructions. Then fill the tank, all the way full. Why you might ask? You want a full tank of fuel to keep condensation from forming in the gas tank. Water in the gas tank is bad. Drive around for 5 to 10 minutes to get the Sta-Bil through your entire fuel system, then drive home.

3.Change the oil and filter. Oil contains all the by products from combustion and these by products are acidic, so you want the cleanest oil as possible in the engine.

4.With the oil changed, thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the car. Hand wash, wax, vacuum, armor all, the whole nine yards. Iím not going to go into any more detail on this because most of us are fanatics in this area already. If cleaning tips are needed, thereís a ton of info out there.

5.This next step has a couple of options. The owners manual wants you to put the car up on jack stands for any extended period of storing. The only benefit I see of this is the prevention of flat spots forming on the tires. Though I doubt 3 or 4 months of storage will cause any permanent damage to the tires, I have low profile tires on custom wheels and I donít feel like taking that chance, so if jack stands arenít convenient for you, this is what I suggest. Use a set of old wheels and tires on the car for storage and store the custom rims separately. This will allow you to move the car if you need to and will save your expensive tires. This is also a good time to clean all the brake dust and road debris from the rims and brake components, and to throw a coat of wax on rims (if applicable). To properly store the custom wheels, lay the first tire on a piece of cardboard so it isnít in contact with the cement then stack the remainder of the wheels on top with a layer of old rags or newspaper in between. Note: If you have no other spare wheels to use, and don't have any jackstands, then at least put cardboard or carpet between your tires and the concrete.

6.The car should now be in the garage either on jack stands, or on crap wheels. Crack you driver and passenger windows a 1/2 inch or so for breathing purposes. This only applies if you are storing the car indoors.

7.Leave the Parking Brake OFF.

8.Put the transmission in Reverse. (or Park if itís an Automatic)

9.Block the rear wheels if not on jackstands.

10.Put a towel in between the windshield wipers and the glass, this will keep the rubber from sticking to the glass.

11.Pop the hood and disconnect the battery. When closing the hood, just latch the hood, but donít close it completely, this just makes it easier to access later.

12.(Optional Step) Apply a small amount of armor all or silicone lube on the door weather stripping to prevent them sticking on the paint.

13.Cover the car with a quality car cover, cover per the instructions.

14.Once a month, connect the battery and run the car for 5 to 10 minutes with the heat turned to full and the main defroster on. This will keep everything lubed and maintained, including the A/C compressor, to make taking it out of storage easier. Don¬ít be a dumb ***, be sure to open the garage door and remember to disconnect the battery when youíre done.

15.When spring arrives, slap on the nice wheels, back the car out and let it idle for a few minutes. Then take a test drive. I like to baby the car for the first week or so just to make sure everythingís ok before taking it into the upper RPMís.

I hope this was informative for you!

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Old 10-12-2003, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Winter Storage How-To (Buzzbomb)

Good Write-Up
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Old 10-12-2003, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: Winter Storage How-To (slvrcivic97)

i agree. cars up here in ohio are a lot different from texas ones. nothing but rust buckets. for salt.
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Old 10-16-2003, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: Winter Storage How-To (Buzzbomb)

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Old 10-16-2003, 07:21 AM
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Default Re: Winter Storage How-To (Buzzbomb)

sweet write up!!! I'm glad i got outta the northeast salt fest, cant complain about the weather down in these parts
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Old 01-25-2004, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Winter Storage How-To (Pooptooth)

ttt good info
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