As any car collector would agree, your classic car is an investment worth protecting. Many people have spent a great deal of time and money either purchasing or restoring their classic car so it only makes sense that one would want to keep in the best condition possible. Investing in long-term storage is a sensible way to protect your classic car from damage when it’s not in use. However, it’s not as easy as simply driving your car into the storage unit and leaving it. The fact is, storing your car long term without proper preparation could be detrimental to your vehicle and its motor. If you are planning to store your classic car in a long-term storage facility, consider the following tips for preventing damage and preserving the quality and performance of your vehicle.
Choose the Right Storage Environment
One of the best options for storing your classic car is an indoor drive-up storage unit, preferably with climate control. This covered unit will keep your car protected from the outdoor elements and prevent sunlight from fading your paint. Furthermore, the climate control will ward away any deterioration that might occur to the paint, upholstery, tires, or engine. It is also recommended that you cover the flooring with a sheet of plastic to serve as a vapor barrier that will prevent moisture from reaching the underside of the car. Also, be sure that the storage unit you select is a suitable size. You certainly do not want to risk dings or scratches by squeezing your car into a tight space.
Clean and Detail Your Car
Prior to storing your car, you want to be sure to clean it thoroughly. It is important to remove any dirt, grime, or salt that could otherwise cause deterioration to the exterior of your car. You should also apply a coat of car wax for additional protection once the car has been cleaned. In addition, you will want to lubricate all door and hood hinges in order to prevent corrosion and to keep your hinges from jamming up over time.
Service the Vehicle
Once the car has been cleaned and detailed, you want to service the vehicle with routine maintenance. Start by changing the oil in your car. Used car oil contains contaminants that could damage your car’s engine if left over a period of time. Once you have replaced the oil, you should recirculate it through the engine for a few minutes. It is also recommended that you run out as much of the fuel as possible and fill up your tank with fresh premium fuel before storing it. If you are storing your car during the winter months, you might also want to add a fuel stabilizer and check your coolant levels to avoid freezing during the winter. Finally, cover the tail pipe with a ball of steel wool to prevent rodents from crawling inside. Just don’t forget to remove the plug when you take your car out of storage!
Remove the Battery
There’s always a risk that your battery could die if your car is left over a period of time. If the battery terminals are left connected, the car will continue to use energy which could deplete the battery even if the car is not in use. You can avoid the problem by removing the battery while the car is in storage. Not only will this help maintain the life of your battery, but it will also prevent battery acid from leaking into your car’s engine.
Use Wheel Blocks or Jack Stands
Start by filling up your tires with air and then use either wheel blocks or jack stands to take some of the pressure off the suspension and slow the rate of decompression in the tires. If tires sit for a long period of time without moving, they could take on an oval shape and this would result in you needing to purchase new tires.
Cover Your Classic Car
Even if your car is in covered storage, you should invest in a quality car cover. This will just act as an added layer of protection to keep out dirt, insects, and dust. Choose a cover with a soft interior that won’t scratch your paint and a breathable material that won’t trap moisture.