Winterizing a classic car is an important part in keeping it well maintained and preventing additional problems. There are a number of parts that need to be cared for when you put a car into storage, even for a few months. The cold of winter requires a few additional precautions to consider as well. Here are some tips on what to care for before you put your car into deep freeze.
Protect the Body of Your Classic Car for the Winter
The body of the car should get a good wash and wax. This is a good time to get your car show-ready and do a good clay bar before the wax. Salts in the embedded grime can oxidize the body if neglected and lead to rust. The car should be kept covered. The best case is an insulated garage. At the very least, use a car cover. If you can afford it, use a cover over the car and a portable carport if you don’t have a structure where you can keep your car. This is particularly important if you live in an area where it can get buried under several feet of heavy snow.
Fill Up Your Gas Tank
Fuel can varnish when left in a car too long. Top off your tank and add fuel stabilizer when you do. Drive it home, so the stabilizer can mix in the fuel lines for a few miles.
Remove the Battery If Needed
Cold can cause big problems to a battery, particularly if your battery is as classic as your car. If your car is being stored outside and away from any form of electricity, the best thing to do is remove the battery and store it inside, so temperature changes won’t drain the battery. If you keep your car stored in a garage where the temperatures aren’t an issue, it’s still a good idea to keep the battery charged. Use a trickle charger–old standard chargers are nicknamed “battery cookers” for a reason.
The other big fear is that a furry intruder will hibernate in your car and cause damage to the interior or hood insulation. Try and find a way to keep your car free from whatever kinds of pests are most likely to hit in your neighborhood. A pest-proof garage is best, but if you don’t have that, consider baited traps inside the car. There are several humane traps on the market. Peanut butter works better than cheese because they can’t just pull it off and run away. Poison is not recommended because it will just let them die and cause a foul odor in your car.
Your tips are greatly appreciated. If you have any tips to store your classic car for the winter, feel free to share them with us in the comments below or on the Cool Rides Online Facebook Page.
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