Case Guys: storing an old car for the winter?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by 48thStreetCustom, Sep 21, 2016.


  1. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom

    Nov 30, 2005
    Colorado
    i could google it, but let's make it a TBOT thread.

    What do you guys do to put your car away for the winter? Additives, covers, floor coving? Discuss. But make it quick, I'm putting my V-dub away in 6 days.
     
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Sta-bil in the gas tank, wash it, air up the tires with a bit of extra pressure, put a battery tender on it.

    If sunlight can get to it, remember that paint and interiors fade. Put a cover over it....good idea in any case.
     
    farace, Skeezix, PillO and 2 others like this.
  3. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Race car - run the fuel system dry, fog the engine, back off the rockers, disconnect the battery.

    Other cars - fill the tank, disconnect the battery and shut the hood.
     
  4. In December, I park my Mazda RX-8 and put a battery tender on it. A few years ago, my mechanic suggested that every week I start it and let the engine run for half an hour, so I now do that too.
     
    Tom Bomb likes this.
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I wouldn't run it at all, and 30 minutes isn't anywhere near long enough to get the oil up to temperature to get the moisture out of it.
     
    MJ5150 likes this.
  6. 48thStreetCustom

    48thStreetCustom

    Nov 30, 2005
    Colorado
    What's your guys opinion about trickle chargers?
     
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Must-have. Not expensive.
     
    48thStreetCustom likes this.
  8. hondo4life

    hondo4life

    Feb 29, 2016
    SC
    I would never store a car. Just give it to me, and I'll drive it to work once a week.
     
  9. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Disconnect the battery and worry about it in the spring.
     
    Bob Lee (QSC) and MJ5150 like this.
  10. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    You're asking the wrong guy; not really anything you could call winter, here in Vegas. I normally wind up not riding one of my motorcycles a mere 7 -10 days of what passes for winter here, sometimes; but only if it gets below 40 in the morning....
    But, yeah; Sta-bil in the gas, etc., etc., as Pilgrim said. I might consider pulling the battery, and keeping it in the house on a Battery Tender trickle charger, if it's going to get really cold. It's possible to crack a car battery from the cold, but we're talking way, way below zero, here..:thumbsup:
     
  11. It depends on what car, where it will be stored, and for how long.
     
  12. An aIr cooled VW? Park it. Disconnect battery and take inside. Cover.
     
  13. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    If it's truly stored inside then empty the gas tank, disconnect the battery and, depending on the antifreeze, empty that too. Anti freeze turns septic and will actually eat the brass or soft metal bits if it's too old. Some fluids don't do that any longer, you'll have to research it. If it's stored outside I would only add put the car up on 4 jack stands to get the wheels off the ground as weathering will add years to the tires ( the gnarly cross checking in the sidewalls for instance ) or cause flat spots. Depending on how long you leave it you're gonna want to fire it up after about 3 months and run the ac ( yes even in the winter ). AC units need the additives in the refrigerant to lubricate the seals. If you neglect this you run the risk of leakage.
     
  14. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    My .02 ....

    Unless you're running racing gas (which would likely evaporate over time) I would fill the tank versus emptying it. Reason? Less chance of condensation forming in a full tank versus an empty one.

    If your coolant is acidic (and there's test kits to find this out at any Vato Zone) it should be flushed with new coolant instead of drained. Reason? You're not going to get all the acidic coolant out of the block by simply draining it.

    I'll go along with the tires, but if you can I prefer to put a set of crappy wheels & tires on for storage, especially if the car sits outside.

    I don't fire up any of my cars during the winter and never will. Unless you can get the oil up to operating temp (and that will never happen at idle) you're doing more harm than good. Reason? You're not getting the oil hot enough to rid it of moisture and only adding more when you shut a warm engine off in cold weather.

    The oil in an A/C system stays pretty much where it is for long periods. If you have a leak, you have a leak. I don't believe not running the system for 6 months will contribute to premature leaks.
     
    Bob Lee (QSC) and MJ5150 like this.
  15. farace

    farace Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    Connecticut USA
    With my Alfa, I do as others have said, Sta-bil and battery tender. But I also have a problem with mice in my garage, so I leave the hood open to discourage rodent partying. Other Alfisti have put mothballs around their cars for similar purpose. I would like to put a cover on, but the darkness sort of encourages the mice to set up shop. My point being, besides the mechanical precautions, if you have wildlife issues, attend to those, too.
     
  16. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    Yeah, I get what you're saying. Personally I've always emptied the tank, then when I was ready to start driving again I changed the gas filter and ran a bottle of heat in the cheapest gas I could find. Mind, this was before carbs were completely replaced. I haven't stored a car in years ( since my hot rods which is forever ago )
    The typical car/driver starts the car drives to work and rarely gets the car to operating temps. Most cars fall into the sever service category for that reason. I've done the winter start for a good long while and rebuilt the motors myself I've done it to and they have never shown atypical wear in the bearings or the oil rings. I could say it was luck but the simple fact is I've rebuilt 5 cars in this way and all of them were fine. As for the AC oil, I've NEVER heard anything about the oil staying put. In fact factory reps said the exact opposite and that was who I got the winter running of AC units from, an AC Delco factory parts rep. Now, mind, I admittedly haven't been a wrench since forever ago :) Perhaps things have changed, but I tend to think that seals, oil and ac units in general are pretty much the same. The seals on the bottom will be fine and on the top will start to show signs of deterioration (especially in the winter when cars are driven and the heat from the engine is applied to an unlubricated seal in the unit) leading to leakage.
     
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I'm going with what @Mike N has to say here. The rest of you can say what you want. :D

    -Mike
     
    Mike N likes this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 25, 2021

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