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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
Ajakeski
Detailer

Fall is good boost weather. Go to the track and set some personal best records.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

It's true.  I can always look forward to boost weather.  Supra is extra torquey these days.

BMD4800
Gearhead

Coolant. If your garage freezes, make sure to check your concentration. If your race car has water, drain it and add some antifreeze.
Or, make sure the garage doesn’t hard freeze.
If you park your daily in your garage with your classic, strongly consider a capsule bag.
Waterboy1KHY80
Detailer

If I may add one more. I store several cars, and I cover them stored on jack stands with the axles hanging, I believe this helps keep air moving under the car. In addition, I place several shallow old plastic cottage cheese containers filled with moth balls fore-and-aft under the car. This seems to keep the little vermin out, so far for 20+ years.
Lrac
Pit Crew

Great article, a refresher for many; a few new to me... parking break & UV damage inside garage. Here's a tip for the convertible lovers who keep the top down all season : even my 69 Olds plastic top seems to shrink over the season so I put the top up as far as it will go. I come back in a week, a little pressure and more motor and viola!
As for 'winterizing them, yes but I continue to use mine or at least run it once a week. Helps keep everything 'tight'. I did this even while living in NJ.... weather conditions permitting.
Hal
Intermediate Driver

I would be interested in hearing points of view on fuel. I usually top up my C5 and add a product called Seafoam fuel conditioner. This has proven to mitigate a problem with the fuel sending unit acting intermittently and causing trouble codes. (Common problem with C5 Corvette). It is also a stabilizer. Just wondering if anyone stores their car with only a quarter tank as some of my friends do.
uweschmidt
Instructor

I was Advised by a Mr DT to reread the Article after asking about the Fuel read the article severalmore times but could not find any reference to Fuel Old Age problem?
gasman45
New Driver

Read it a few more times.
DUB6
Specialist

   @Hal - Several of the stabilizers/conditioners on the market seem to work fine (according to reports from friends), including the Seafoam.  I use Sta-bil and have for many years.  Probably a matter of personal preference.  But with ranch equipment as well as vehicles and lawn stuff, chainsaws, etc., I have never had any issues in the spring.  In fact, most of my stuff starts up first pull, crank, etc. after a winter with Sta-bil and FULL tanks.

   I'm a firm believer in topping off the tank to reduce the air and bare metal inside, where moisture can form.  Is there science behind that?  Not that I know of, it just makes common sense to me.  Air contains moisture.  Cold bare metal makes moisture condense.  Less air equals less moisture and less bare metal - ergo, less condensation.  At least that is my simple math. 😉

   I don't see the sense in the 1/4 tank idea.  Do your friends have an explanation of why they do it?

Hal
Intermediate Driver

My friend has C7 Corvette and he swears by the 1/4 full process. He didn’t
really say why. Other C5 owners I know keep it 1/4 full so that the fuel
sending unit is not submerged. I have had great success with filling it and
using a stabilizer. I agree with you that there is less chance for
condensation. I’ll stick with that.
DUB6
Specialist

Well not being a Corvette guy myself, I'm not familiar with the foibles of the sending units, but it would seem to me that the designers intended sending units placed inside gas tanks to be, oh, I dunno - submerged.  But hey, who am I to question it if it works for them?  😁

Sajeev
Community Manager

I like them as empty as possible for that reason: saving the sending unit. They are hard to come by for some (most?) classics and ethanol is shockingly unforgiving to them. 

DUB6
Specialist

Well, my classic has never tasted ethanol, so that's not a problem for me...

uweschmidt
Instructor

I firmly believe Full to the top is the best way fuel will expand and contract with every temperaturechange expelling air that leaves moisture behind when exhailing when contracting new air with moisture will come in and the fuel will absorb that moisture now the scenario changes with modern non vented or pressurized systems and I think a good study should be done by someone in the real know and how all this could be applied helpfully to old ventedcars maybe take off the old vented cap and attach a good inflatable balloon that will allow the tankto inhale and exhale but only the same Air so no moisture would be added Crazy Idea?
Michellehrand
Pit Crew

Visit the car sometimes and move it a few inches forwards or backwards to keep tires from flatting. Better to start it and back it out and let her run, or even drive her at least a little bit.
toddh9
Pit Crew

Thanks for the tips. I like all the ideas, but have found that when putting a cover on the car, the darkness invites mice to lodge in for the winter. Putting a cat door on the garage and shed.
Love the roomy flat floor in your Corvair!
itsBobS
New Driver

Good tips, some quite useful commentary as well. Battery tender, indoor cover important. I also crack each front window about 5 mm. Re. rodents: I find mesh bags of mothballs in trunk and engine compartments, front and rear interior are effective (so far) in my 51-year-old Porsche 911T. I also plug the tailpipe with a fresh SOS scouring pad, first lining the few inches at the end with a plastic sandwich bag so the pad is easy to remove in the spring. Other drivers of air-cooled 911's advise pulling the heater lever all the way up (full on) to close the flaps in the heat exchanger on the car's underside. Works for me.
j7161762gto
Pit Crew

i am the one with gto with peanut shells i do not eat in the car some one near me must put peanuts out for the birds or something i find empty dhells in my yard all the time thats how come i knew where they came from
Steve2
New Driver

Great article. Thanks. Regarding the 1/4 tank of gas for winter storage: The idea is to allow you room to add fresh gas either on nice days in the winter or in the spring. If the tank is full, you have to burn gas that’s been sitting for months. I think it’s a matter of personal preference. I have been keeping a 1/4 tank in the winter for two vintage VWs for 17 years. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think ethanol holds moisture in suspension. In Illinois, our gas is 10% ethanol. Just my thoughts.
Bench-Racing
New Driver

I agree, I store with a partial fill and add Stabil making sure I go for a good drive so the Stabil is mixed and distributed throughout the fuel system. I don't want to get to the spring with any more old gas then necessary. In the spring I like being able to top off with 5-8 gallons of fresh fuel on top of the old stuff, makes sense to me.
Best
Charles
Woody's Custom Shop
auto-mark
Intermediate Driver

Lots of good ideas! One more: in addition to airing up the tires to maximum allowable pressure (as cited on the sidewall, and don't forget to reset to the car's specs come spring) to mitigate flat spotting, I put squares of "styrofoam" house insulation and park the car tires up on these. The foam compresses around and cradles the tires, which also helps to keep the car in place, and prevents the tires sticking to painted floor surfaces.
57
New Driver

Another suggestion besides steel wool placed inside the tailpipes. Take a 'bounce' dryer sheet, wrap it around the tailpipe and secure the bounce using a rubber band. It works great, plus the bounce sheets can also be placed inside the cabin, trunk area, and even in the engine bay.
Corvettebaggs
Intermediate Driver

I've had good luck with parking my car on indoor-outdoor carpet. Then I put carpet squares under each wheel. My garage is heated most of the time during winter.
gasman45
New Driver

Moisture will pass through plastic sheeting. But it will probably slow it down. Use plastic first, then put a layer of cardboard. Park on top of the cardboard.