Classic Car Restoration Four Tips for Storage

When it comes to classic car restoration, storage is actually one of the riskiest parts of any project. Whether you’re putting your car away for the winter, or you just can’t avoid stowing it in the heat, there are certain precautions you’ve got to take. Failure to properly prep your car for storage can lead to serious problems for your engine, pipes, body, and interior. If you want to make sure your car doesn’t deteriorate while you’re away, be sure to follow these five tips.

1. Pre-Storage Detailing

First, you’ll want to do deep, detailed cleaning of the outside and inside of your car. Begin by thoroughly washing the exterior from top to bottom. Get all of the road salts and buildup off from under the car, as even the smallest particles can facilitate the formation of rust. You can take your car to high-end car washes, but you should probably still wash the undercarriage yourself.

Next, wash the seats, dash, and every other surface of your interior. Even if they look clean, these areas are breeding grounds for bacteria. If you drive your car frequently, there may also be food particles or drink spills that could attract bugs.

2. Check your Fluids

Your fluids have got to be clean and fresh before you put your car into storage. One of the most important things to do is to change your motor oil. You should also grease any bearings or fittings, even if they don’t seem like they need lubrication. The current lube can dry up while you’re away, leading to dangerous and costly metal-on-metal contact.

Make sure to flush and refill your brake fluid, as well. Check your manual or consult an expert to find out what type of solution you need. Top off your gas tank, and use an additive to prevent it from absorbing water or turning to varnish. Finally, drain your coolant – just be sure to add it back in when you’re ready to drive away!

3. Safety and Protection

There a few additional steps you should take before stowing your car. First, take it on a twenty to thirty-minute run before you drive it to storage and empty the coolant. Once you’ve parked it, remove the battery, top the water off, and store it in a cool, dry place.

To protect your interior from excess moisture, put a couple of boxes of baking soda inside. This is especially important if you’re storing it in a humid area. Crack to windows to provide for circulation, and place a cover or rag into your tailpipe.

4. Pick the Right Region

Not every region is right for optimal storage. Even if you do take precautions against moisture, humid climates can lead to mildew in your upholstery and buildup in your fuel tank. On the other hand, cold areas can cause damage to your engine, transmission, and even chassis.