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katecauzintrouble 01-23-2008 09:08 AM

Hey everyone, I've searched several times on this topic but i couldn't find any posts that really satisfied my questions, so i'll apologise in advance and give Red Zman full privileges to flog me if they were there laugh.gif

My question for the people who have their car in winter storage is what do you go through to store your car in the winter? Or what would you do if you could?

Some things i've been trying to figure out are:
1) what are good maintenance procedures to do before you put it into storage
- if you have a carputer, or other electronic additions, do you take them out?
- change fluids to prevent freezing, etc
2) what do you do, if anything, while your car is in storage?
- start it every week/just leave it, etc
3) what maintenance do you have done on the car when you bring it out after winter?
- change fluids to reflect temperature change
- brake job, etc

Also, do you have your car in a heated garage over the winter, and does it really matter?
And for the people who rent space to store their cars, what's the average cost involved, and does it include insurance/heating/etc

Thanks everyone for dealing with my ignorance, and i hope to see some responses soon! fing02.gif

DTN 01-23-2008 09:25 AM

Throw a coat of F27 urithane wax on it, drive it normally. F27 is thick and lasts a year.

majik 01-23-2008 09:28 AM

Give us more information. Is your car in a garage (attached to a home or stand-alone, or parking garage)?

You're in Ontario - for those not familiar, how cold does it average from Jan - April?

I live in Nashville, Tennessee. It never drops below 0 here. We get a lot of ice, and only one good snow a year (good meaning 2-3"). I keep my car in an attached 2-car garage that stays around 40 degrees since the house helps insulate it.

For winter storage, I put a pillow under each tire for comfort, a blanket over the engine for warmth and close the hood on it (not latched) - I disconnect the battery making sure the connectors won't touch the terminals if something bumps the car - I keep the interior sealed off (doors, windows, sunroof, hatch) with a very light smelling air freshener (not something strong, just something light). I make sure before I lock it up that I didn't just drive it in the rain -- I don't want water in the carpets to sit there for 3 months, so I make sure it's cleaned out (dust, vaccuum, make sure everything is dry). I roll up the window with a towel hanging out, so it drapes over the door - this helps prevent door dings from the Mustang that I'll be driving everyday.

I don't change the fluids until I bring it out of storage, that way all the fluids that sit there over the winter are changed out. Our winters aren't that harsh though... so I don't do much.

katecauzintrouble 01-23-2008 10:18 AM

I'm debating on putting it in the barn, the garage, or rent space. With the barn and garage options there's a good chance that mice will get in, so that's why i'm considering dishing out the money for renting a space.

In Ontario, where i am, it can get to below -30C (average -10-15C), get up to 3 feet of snow (averaging 1-2 at all times) - depending on that winter and snow drifts.

Also, another question, i've heard of people taking their tires off and putting the car on stands over the winter... is this worth the work?

majik 01-23-2008 10:30 AM

When I left my car sitting for 6 months, I jacked it up and put it on jack stands so the tires wouldn't get flat spots in them. I don't know if this helps, or if there's any point to it. I didn't go as far as taking the wheels off. If there's a chance of water standing around the tires and freezing, I'd jack it up and keep the tires off the floor - you don't want them to dryrot.

For all posters, I believe:
-30ºC = -22ºF
-10ºC = +14ºF

Bullfrog 01-23-2008 10:55 AM

Ok i did a little research and found a couple things for ya.

Somewhat in order but what you chose my vary.

Before you put your car away for the season give it a good wash and wax job. It is VERY IMPORTANT to always store your car clean. Don't forget to wash off the undercarriage. After all, that's were most of the rust starts. A good coat of wax on the car will protect the finish against stains if something happens to get on it during the time it is being stored. If you use a car cover, put it on while the car is clean and dry to protect against dirt, dust and possible scratches. DO NOT cover your car with plastic or one of those blue tarps that you can get at the hardware store. It only traps moisture, and trapping moisture between the finish and a piece of plastic will make the paint bubble and rust will begin to form.

Take your vehicle for a drive and get everything warmed up before you park it. By getting your car up to operating temperature it helps to burn off contaminants in the oil and it also gets rid of moisture in the crankcase and the exhaust system. NOTE: Don't start your car during the winter unless you plan to drive it or allow it to get up to normal operating temperatures. "Short running" the engine will allow moisture to build up in the crankcase and exhaust system.

Change your oil and oil filter. Fresh oil will protect the internal parts of your engine better because there are less hydro-carbons and other contaminates in fresh oil. If you would rather change your oil in the spring, be sure to do it as soon as possible after you get the car out of storage.

Check and fill all major fluids, including brake fluid, clutch fluid. Also be sure your antifreeze is clean and fresh to avoid the cooling system from freezing or possible corrosion.

Fill the gas tank just before you park the car for the winter. (This will help prevent moisture from condensing inside the tank). . If you are not planning to visit your car during the winter, be sure to add a good fuel stabilizer.

Remove the battery and keep it charged. When storing a battery you should keep at as close to room temperature as possible and it should be kept off of the floor so that it doesn't discharge. Store it on a wooden shelf or on a large block of wood (a piece of 4x4) several inches off of the floor to keep it from discharging.

Put steel wool or rolled up scotch-brite pads in the tailpipes and also in the air-intake openings to keep mice from using your car as a food pantry.
(I still have acorns in my hood from the previous owner of my car that i cant get out...)

On cars with 4 and 5-speed transmissions you can place a board on the clutch pedal rod to partially depress it, that helps to avoid the risk of the clutch and flywheel rusting together. (If you are only storing the car for a few months this really shouldn't be necessary). Never set the parking brake. The brake shoes or pads could stick to the drums or rotors or the cables could rust or freeze up during storage.

If you store your car off of the ground, (on jack stands), the stands should be under the suspension. If not, damage to the shocks and other suspension parts can occur. Jacking the car up will remove the weight from the springs and prevent flat spots on the tires (more common on older bias ply). Spray the rubber bushings with a good quality spray to prevent rot.

relieve the pressure from your fuel system. This can be done by starting the car and then disconnecting the fuel-pump.

If you store your car on the ground be sure to over-inflate the tires slightly. Five to 15 pounds should be enough. Even tires that are new or in good condition can lose around one or two pounds of pressure per month. When you get your car back out in the spring, re-check the pressures to insure against tire damage. Put a moisture-absorber, like baking soda, inside the car to keep mildew from starting inside the cars interior. (From mildew come mold, from mold comes a new interior). If you store your car inside a heated area leave the windows opened about 1/4 to 1/2 inch to allow the air to circulate.

Do NOT treat inside surfaces with Armor-All (or similar) products before storing your car. They contain a lot of water and chemicals that can encourage mildew and mold. Mouse traps or poisons placed around the car is also a good idea, BUT be sure that your dogs and cats can't get to it. Place them around the car every several feet. Leave your sun visors down so it is more difficult for mice to get into the headliner if they do get into the car. NOTE* Mothballs will repel some pests, but the smell stays in the car for a long time. Don't put them IN your car. Bars of soap placed in an open plastic butter tub or coffee can in the trunk and front and back floorboards work good too. They smell a lot better too.

Always store your car on a vapor barrier like a large piece of plastic. Try not to store your car where vehicles will be coming in and out during the winter months. They bring moisture in with them. If you are like me, (somewhat forgetful), make notes and leave them on the front seat or tape them to the windshield to remind you what needs to be done in Spring to get the car ready for the summer season.

katecauzintrouble 01-23-2008 11:06 AM

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (bullfrog @ Jan 23 2008, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div><div class='quotemain'>DO NOT cover your car with plastic or one of those blue tarps that you can get at the hardware store. It only traps moisture, and trapping moisture between the finish and a piece of plastic will make the paint bubble and rust will begin to form.</div>

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (bullfrog @ Jan 23 2008, 12:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div><div class='quotemain'>Always store your car on a vapor barrier like a large piece of plastic.</div>

Umm... is it just me, or did you just contradict yourself?

Other than that, sounds like some good info - thanks! fing02.gif

Anyone else out there want to share what they do/have heard/would like to do?

majik 01-23-2008 11:21 AM

^ ^ in one quote he's talking about putting a tarp ON your car... the other he's talking about putting your CAR ON a vapor barrier.

in one scenario, your car is on the plastic (good)
in the other, the plastic is on your car (bad)

Bullfrog 01-23-2008 11:36 AM

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (xLotusx @ Jan 23 2008, 06:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div><div class='quotemain'>Umm... is it just me, or did you just contradict yourself?

Other than that, sounds like some good info - thanks! fing02.gif

Anyone else out there want to share what they do/have heard/would like to do?</div>

Anythings possible with me but Majik cleared it up for me. Maybe this could be used as a FAQ or placed someplace for information.

majik 01-23-2008 11:49 AM

I've made it a sticky for now - we'll keep it there during the winter months

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