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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

6 underappreciated ways to winterize for storage

The fall colors are upon us, at least in the states where that kind of thing happens. That means the vintage rides are being prepped for storage as we collectively brace for the snow to fly and the salt to hit the roads. Hagerty has covered proper winterization methods and tips for your car in [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/maintenance-and-tech/6-underappreciated-ways-to-winterize-for-storage/
73 REPLIES 73
XJ6
Intermediate Driver

Good article but Fall is the best time of year to be driving, not storing. In Ohio where I live, winters have snow and salt on the road but there are days when rain has washed away salt and the roads are dry. Even if it's cold I go for a drive in my classic Jaguars; so I don’t put them into hibernation – I drive them.
DUB6
Specialist

   Even here in the frozen northland of Idaho 😊, we are able to get our cars out a few times during the winter months, when the roads are bare and dry.  We even manage to have a show 'n' shine or two during that period.  So all of the long-term storage ideas (like putting the car on jack stands, for instance) don't always apply.     However, like Kyle suggests in his last point, if you have a list of things to do on the car, winter is the time, and that may mean that it won't get out of the garage on every nice day come January...

   When I look at my current "wanna do/neeta do" list, I'm not sure mine will come out at all until April!  😐

BMD4800
Gearhead

I remember swapping cam, heads, and intake on Christmas. I got a bunch of stuff for gifts and dove in. I ate Christmas dinner at the workbench to the soft hum of a propane heater.
DUB6
Specialist

Man, your letter to Santa musta been a good one!  I didn't even get the socks I requested, let alone a new cam!  😁

BMD4800
Gearhead

Parents and grandparents, best Christmas-Ever.  

4wheel2wheel
Intermediate Driver

Well said, XJ-6
Cars, like people need excercise and if the weather is good no matter the temperature going for a nice drive is very beneficial to both car and driver.
I live in South Florida so Winter is not a concern but regular driving is just as important.
RedDuster
New Driver

I run a 20" breeze box fan and a ceiling fan on low 24/7/365 in my toy barn. Took care of ALL the humidity problems. No more rusty tool, parts, or cars.
MrBill-1943
Advanced Driver

Great suggestion, never thought of this as mine is stored in a Public Storage unit. Biggest issue is Rodents. I put out sticky traps plus food when my SS is out, hope that helps but will take any suggestions.
BMD4800
Gearhead

If you have power a fan or a quiet dehumidifier and attach a clear plastic hose to the tank to slowly draining under a corner of the door.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

Had to park my car in a barn one winter. I put mothballs around the car. Put one in the trunk, 1 in the interior, and 1 on top of the air cleaner. Kept them away. Some people don't care for the smell but it doesn't bother me.
DUB6
Specialist

The UV point is well-taken.  My garage doesn't even have any windows for sunlight to come through, but like in the pictures of Kyle's storage places, there are fluorescent lights above the car.  These emit UV rays (albeit not as strong as sun through a window) - and my classic is red, which does NOT play well with UV light.  My car rests under a light-blocking cover while parked inside year-round (even if just for a week in the summer between cruise days).

Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

When I had my car in storage I would start it once a week and let it run till it hit idle temps.
MustangJim
Technician

I am sure you are fine but its really better to let the car go unused then to start it and let it idle. It really takes about a 10 mile drive to fully warm up. Even though temp guage is"in the middle" there can still be condensation that does not burn off and also you are not doing anything at all for the drivetrain. I have always been advised that it is better to let it sit unstarted.
DT
Advanced Driver

Yes mufflers and tailpipes don't like it when you start your car up in the winter and don't let it warm up enough to dry out the condensation in them. They rust out in no time.
hyperv6
Racer

I practice all this and more. I use a tender also have a heated garage. I have employed a Fan vent to circulate air to keep moisture from forming on windows and tools as well as the car.

Also air up the tires to help prevent flat spots. I also run stable into the fuel and fill it to the top to prevent moisture in the tank.
The E brake is a no brainer for me as mine adjust the rear brakes up and if not used will result in a low pedal.
I also cover my tires under the cover to prevent additional dirt or moisture from getting in as well Ozone and UV.

I also invested in a good Covercraft cover that they made adjustments to account for my additional body parts that were not on the car from the factory. A properly fit high quality cover is a must.

cyclemikey
Detailer

Kyle, you left off a pretty big one - spray a peppermint oil solution around the interior perimeter of the garage, and even on the floor around the tires. It's the best prevention against chewy little critters that I've ever found. Be sure to get real peppermint oil (hint: it's not the cheapest one on ebay); it only takes a few drops in a spray bottle of water. Do it every month or so and you won't have to confront mouse poop and chewed wiring in the spring.
Tsaxman
Advanced Driver

I shave a bar of Irish Spring and surround my stored car with a perimeter of sprinkled soap. It works, although my garage smells like a 1980s frat house from November to April.
MrBill-1943
Advanced Driver

Another good suggestion for the rodent issue.
cyclemikey
Detailer

A 1980's frat house? I'm confused - are you using Irish Spring or beer?
oldnasty1937
Pit Crew

I always shove a ball of steel wool up my tail pipes to keep the mices out.
DUB6
Specialist

...said Richard Gere.

Orict0015668
Intermediate Driver

Ahh, the 1980s frat house. The scent of Irish Spring is preferable than that of what’s left after the Friday night all night benders!
MrBill-1943
Advanced Driver

Great suggestion, will try.
Maestro1
Technician

Thank you Kyle, good article and good comments from the troops. I am on the Left Coast so I'm mostly year around as far as being on the street with my cars but I'm at a high enough elevation so we do get snow infrequently and freezing temperatures. So everything is driven pretty consistently. And yes, after your previous on making lists I pay attention to
the white board in the garage.
SJ
Technician

Winterizing consists of putting the wiper arms back on, I could not imagine not driving the Mustang for months. I do however sometimes get jealous of the winter projects some do, such a great excuse to do it.
BossGreg
Detailer

I live in California, I don't understand this article.
DUB6
Specialist

😂

Scottch
Pit Crew

I am also in California, I winterize by pushing the heater lever to the left.
Vern
Intermediate Driver

LOL!! Showoff!! 😄
BMD4800
Gearhead

I mostly live in the non-mountainous areas of AZ, we have to take extra precauations in summer. Temps just over the pavement can be 165.
Mountains are a different story. Some small towns it freezes every month.
DUB6
Specialist

@BMD4800 - you bring up an interesting topic: Summer Prep.  Of course a lot of us (except Californians, obviously 😁) are currently thinking about Winterization and Storage - hence the article.  But I've never experienced anything like the summer temps you refer to.  So how 'bout you write an article about those "extra precautions", just to inform guys like me?

Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

I think a version called "How to keep local bums from using your classic car as a toilet" will be out next week for people in non-privileged areas of California.
Orict0015668
Intermediate Driver

Drive your car while you can before non electric vehicles are outlawed.
gster
Intermediate Driver

Leaving the parking brake off is very good advice.
Utopia1
Detailer

I'm kind of torn on one point the article makes and am not sure what to do. I understand the desire to prevent moisture from coming up from the concrete floor by adding plastic under the car. However, I have a polyaspartic garage floor coating and am afraid that not allowing it to breathe and trapping moisture may result in it lifting from the concrete floor. Should I be concerned?
il66pony
Pit Crew

Regarding moisture - Do not try and heat your garage with a high efficiency unvented heater. They put a lot of moisture into the air which will condense all over your car.
Dragonwing
Pit Crew

Great article. Simple and to the point. May I add to the list the raising of the wipers ( front and rear) off of the glass? Saves a few problems on the first Spring drive when they disintegrate before your eyes after that unexpected rain shower. Oh, and if peppermint oil is not available, I suggest a handful of moth crystals placed in old socks scattered around the car, and hung in the engine compartment as a very effective rodent repellent. Been using this for years in my MGB. Nothing chewed up since 1979.

DW
uweschmidt
Instructor

Good Article alright but you did not touch on oneof the most important things : Fuel and Fuel Tank!!
DT
Advanced Driver

Yes he did. Go back and read the article again.
uweschmidt
Instructor

DT pleasre help me out here I just read the article 3 more times but cannot find the reference to fuel and Fueltank point me to it please thanks much
markim
Pit Crew

Go to Carbag.com and buy a carbag. Then throw the supplied bags of desiccant in the car. Seals the car up and no worries about rodents or moisture.
MustangJim
Technician

I don't know that i should particpate here because my car is a late model...I am in the northeast and unless there is salt on the roads I do take my car out for a drive or even a winter c&c. I never use the E brake in the garage ( my habits we're developed years ago, long before my late model car). But, in the winter I always put the car away with a full tank of gas and I always clean the car with waterless car wash if it actually gets dirty and if not just keep it cleaned off with spray detailer. This way if there is a significant storm that leads to prolonged bad weather I am prepared, I put the battery tender on and indoor car cover. With this process there have been years where I have the car going all winter and years where by the time January comes I am done until March..depends on weather. One more thing, when I am going to let it sit for more then a few weeks , rather then jack stands I just over inflate the tires a few pounds and have never had a flat spot problem ( yes, Z rated summer tires)
KenBoss
Pit Crew

You’ve got a lot of money invested. Spend the money for a battery maintainer and a car capsule; humidity, fade, ding damage and rodent worries gone. Amazes me the money people spend on collector cars and cheap out on storage.
Personally I have six capsules and never had a worry. Car and bike comes out in spring like washed and parked yesterday.
Just saying…….
j7161762gto
Pit Crew

i am in ri i left my gto for 6 days got in saturday to go for a cruse had peanut shells on pass side right under heater box went looking for moth balls very hard to find they smell but its better than mice young girl at dollar stored thought i was kidding she never heard of them
ValterPrieto
Intermediate Driver

All good hints, but come on!!!! eating inside the car????? I don't do it even in a common car. It spoils two pleasures at same time, the car driving/sitting and eating. These are exclusive activities to me.
autowriter
Detailer

I've just finished a 300-mile break-in on the engine/drivetrain on my 1966 Corsa convertible. Looking to change the oil before storing it in a bubble for several months here in Oregon. This is a flat-tappet camshaft car so, finding an oil with high zinc content seemed important. Was concerned about moisture and a friend recommended diesel oil. Gave that some serious thought, and ran across an Amsoil synthetic specially made for vintage/classic cars with flat-tappet cams. It's called Z-rod, and has even higher zinc content than does diesel oil, along with higher phosphorus. Mosre importantly, they are saying that it's good for one year, including storage, and at least 5,000 miles between changes. Perhaps more -- they're prepared to analyze the oil over the one-year period. This is a new thing to me. Does anyone have any experience with this product?
gasman45
New Driver

High zinc oil designed for diesel engines is a myth for flat tappet engines. Yes the oil does have high zinc, but it also has very high detergent levels. On a microscopic level the zinc competes for space with the detergents. Overall result is an oil that does NOT provide the same protection as a high zinc oil designed for vintage gas powered cars. The other reason not to use a diesel oil is the high detergent level...
Vern
Intermediate Driver

I am in the process of putting my girl away for the winter now. Indeed, fall is the best time for driving (I had her out this weekend!), but I live in Minnesota, so (harsh) winter is just around the corner!! Unfortunately, she must be stored until spring 2022. 😞
1933ford
Intermediate Driver

Nothing new here! It is a shame that the publisher will pay for this! My question why? Again nothing new here.