Need to store your car for the winter, a deployment, going off to school?
I've got the real steps for you.
None that you don't need, and no myths.
Let's make this as easy as possible.
Now when do you need to do this?
You're going to park for a couple of weeks or so you're fine.
Once you get to a month or longer, it's time to store your car, not just park your car and if you're going to be doing so for a year or longer, that includes a whole lot of other steps that we're not going into.
If at all possible store your car somewhere that has a nice Sound summit floor or some other kind of finished floor, you got to park it outside in the mud or on the grass, not great tons of moisture all the time working its way up and around breaks and engine parts.
If you do park it outside don't try and fix that by putting down plastic as a moisture barrier.
All that does is collect rain water and make it pool under the car just deal with it.
If you are indoors, you might want to put down a plastic moisture barrier.
If you've got bad summit with efflorescence
that shows it's got water penetration.
Now in terms of fuel, you want to get some fuel stabilizer that makes several brands and you're going to want to add enough to your tank to treat a tank full.
Then you're going to go down to the gas station immediately and fill up.
To get that mix just right, and the drive back from the station should distribute all that treated fuel throughout your fuel system so everything is protected as much as possible.
And by the way, you do want a full tank when you store a car so you're leaving the least amount of oxygen in here to oxidize.
Okay, under the hood you've got two main things to think about.
One is oil, the other one's battery.
I would change your oil right before you store the car, not after you bring it out of storage.
Somewhat counterintuitively, this is why.
Look at the old dirty oil, that darkness is from a lot of the byproducts of combustion that are now suspended in the oil, they are corrosive.
When you're driving your car and using every day that's unavoidable, but I wouldn't let it sit there all the time when there's no use being garnered from the vehicle.
So do an oil and filter change and put the car away.
The bonus to that is it's already done when you get the car back later.
Over here is the battery.
If you leave it connected like this, it'll likely discharge over a period of months.
You can remove it physically big pain, you can hook up one of those battery tenders that will trickle charge it all the time.
It works great.
Some folks are concerned about fire hazard around that I know a guy who burned the house down with one of them, although I don't think it's that common.
I like these.
This is a quick disconnect for the ground side of the battery.
In a DC electrical system when you disconnect the ground you have virtually removed the power source from the socket.
These were great, I will never get any discharge and it's that easy, so hook it back up.
The downside is my clock's is gonna be off and I'm gonna lose all my settings.
Not on a car this old.
Lot of hand wringing about getting flat spots on your tires that the car sits for months at a time.
I've never actually had a problem with it.
A lot of folks go to the effort of jacking their car up and then putting everything up on Stan.
So their suspension kind of hangs down like this, but there's no pressure on the wheel.
I think that's a whole nother set of problems, to be honest Cars weren't designed to have their suspension hang at long periods of time.
I prefer to put the tyre to its maximum rated pressure that is not the same as the pressure for driving.
It's the maximum for the tyre.
It could be like 50 or 55 pounds.
That's gonna keep the tire highly over inflated, but that's fine because you're not driving.
And when we come back later, you set it back down to the right pressure.
By the way, when your car's being stored, leave the parking break off unless you're parking it on a slope.
That's one less thing to freeze.
Over the months ahead.
There's not too much to do on the inside of a car for storage except combat moisture which could ruin your vintage Time magazine or your eight track tape collection.
So open up one of these moisture eaters, one of these desiccant containers you can buy at Just about any kind of a home supply store.
This is a giant version of one of those silica do not eat packets.
One or two of these left open in the car will absorb environmental moisture and things will be nice and dry when you get back.
Now, a lot of folks say they stuff steel wool into openings like exhaust pipes or air intakes up in the engine bay to keep rodents out from these systems.
I'd be much more worried about them climbing up in the unprotected underside of the engine and chewing on your wiring insolation, especially if it's soy-based, which means it's food-based.
Find another way to keep the rodents away Way from that part of your car, whatever you do, don't use rodenticides.
Now, wiper blades are a huge drag.
I mean just in regular use, they get a bend to them.
Then they stutter and skip across your windshield.
To prevent that during storage anyway, stuff a rag under the arm just to give some altitude to the blade, so it's resting naturally and hanging straight down.
Man when you go back in the spring when you come back, it should glide nicely.
Leave the keys near the car but secured obviously or with a friend who's always around in case the car has to get moved for an emergency or just an urgency.
And that's another good reason not to leave it planet on Jack's.
Get a car cover I know, it's kinda like this giant, lumpy, expensive, bedspread for your car, but few things are as important for storage.
They come in indoor versions that are fairly light, and outdoor versions, and can deal with a lot of elements.
They also can have a lot of padding in them if you want some bump and ding protection while your car's stored, or a little lighter if you don't.
Now what I want you to do is before you ever put this on, make sure you wash and wax your car wax is another kind of car cover.
It's just a very thin one.
You do not want this sitting on a dirty car for months and months.
What you also don't want to do is This!
I got a cheap car cover!
It's a tarp!
This is hillbilly.
You don't want to do this to your car.
It'll stick to the paint.
It'll stick to other parts of it.
It'll rub in any dirt really hard because the material is not forgiving.
This is not a car cover.
Once these steps are done, leave it alone.
I'm not a big believer in this nonsense about coming out every week and idling your car for five minutes.
I think that just builds up a lot of corrosive condensation, especially in your exhaust system and kind of half assed warms up everything else.
Just leave it, come back in a few months and then do the right things.
Pull the covers carefully take your stoppers out from underneath the wipers.
Don't forget your tires, you gotta drop those back down to road pressure.
If you have an older car like this, pull the coil wire and crank it until you see the oil pressure light go out.
That means you've preload the engine and got it back up the pressure harder to do on a modern car probably also a lot less necessary as well.
Then go out for a good, long, shakedown cruise, get that battery charged up again and get everything distributed.
And then enjoy the spring.
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