Long Term Car Storage Tips

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Storing a car for a long term is not as simple as it first appears, but it can be easy if you know what can go wrong. We’ve heard some terrible stories about beautifully restored cars being ruined by rats. The rats found there way into the back seat made a nice little house and then proceeded to eat just about everything on the inside of the car.  This happened over a much shorter period than may think, the car was stored for less than 12 months.  The problem was it was stored in an old farm shed and was not made rat or mice proof.

So having shared this one horror story and heard many more, here are a few tips that will make storing your car much more successful.

What should I do to prep an old car for long term storage?

  • Drain and flush the radiator, refill with new antifreeze.
  • Place a cover of some kind over the radiator overflow line, bugs will make a home there and plug the line.
  • Change the Engine Oil and filter
  • Lube all the grease fittings, the door, hood & trunk hinges.
  • Pour a couple of quarts of light weight engine oil into the petrol tank or alternatively fill the gas. Which route you choose will depend on how long you are going to store the car.
  • Start the engine and run it until you get lots of blue smoke out the exhaust. (This coats in inside of the Carb, intake manifold, cylinders and the exhaust with a light coat of oil to prevent corrosion.)
  • Top off the petrol tank, add fuel stablizer. If the gas tank has a vent line, be sure to cover it.
  • Cover the ends of the exhaust to prevent critters from making a home in the exhaust.
  • Remove the aircleaner and cover the top of the carb with light plastic and then reinstall the aircleaner.
  • Remove the battery and store it away from the car.
  • Put a light coat of wax on the paint and chrome
  • Clean the interior of the car.
  • Put a couple bags of dessacant, a open box of baking soda and some mouse/rat poison in the car.
  • Leave the vents or windows open a little.
  • Use a rubber lubricant on the door and trunk seals.
  • Put the car on jack stands just high enough that the tires do not touch the ground. Make sure you release the hand or parking brake.
  • Keep your tyres fully inflated, if your tyres go flat they will deteriorate quickly and form a flat spot, permanently altering their shape.
  • Cover the car with soft blankets or a car cover. Be sure the cover does not go all the way to the floor or
  • ground, it is important for air to circulate under the car.
  • If you are worried about theft, remove the rotor from the distributor and store it with the keys.
  • Place a copy of the storage checklist in the glove box to use when you remove the car from storage.

When you are ready to remove from storage;

Reinstall battery, remove the cover on the carb and radiator oveflow line, reinstall the rotor in the distributor. Now disconnect the coil wire, and with a fresh battery crank the engine over several times until the oil pressure indicates you have pressure, or if it has an idiot light until the light goes out.

Before you reinstall the air cleaner, spray starting fluid in the carb, reconnect the coil and start the engine. It may take a couple of tries to get it to run smooth, the neighbours will love you for all the oil smoke, but they will get over it.

Store & More Self Storage of course can help you with storing your old, vintage, classic, collectable car give a call so we can give you a cost.

Please note Store & More will not be held responsible for any of the advice offered in this blog, we are simply trying to offer you some assistance.

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