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Storing Your Car

Classic car enthusiasts usually go through a driving season of two or four months and then store the car for eight to ten months. Or maybe you have a home up north and move south for the winter.
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» Part 1: The Basics
» Part 2: Indoor Storage
» Part 3: Outdoor Storage
 

Every night when you come home and pull into your driveway you take a long look at your brand new convertible. This is your dream car. You scrimped and saved for a long time to get it and it is your pride and joy. It purrs like a kitten and you relay enjoy driving it. In short, it is a dream come true.

But winter is coming and you don't want to use your dream car in the snow where it will be subjected to road salt and chemicals that will, literally, eat it alive. So you want to store it for the winter and have it ready for spring.

Classic car enthusiasts usually go through a driving season of two or four months and then store the car for eight to ten months. Or maybe you have a home up north for the summer and move south for the winter and have a car at each location that sits while you are away.

Or you have to go away for a few months on business, or are in the military and have been deployed overseas and can't take your car. Whatever the reason is, winter or summer or what kind of vehicle you have, you need to store your vehicle as inexpensively as possible, with the minimum of deterioration and yet be able to put it back on the road with little or no muss or fuss.

The Basics

Ideally, indoor storage is the best way to go, especially for an older vehicle. It doesn't matter where you live indoors is the best way to go. Indoor storage actually becomes imperative if you will be away for a couple of years or longer.

If you don't have a garage, indoor storage facilities are easy to find. Just go to any "U Store It" type place and rent a storage space large enough for your vehicle. You should also try to find someone who can "exercise" the vehicle every month or two. If you can afford to do long term storage of your vehicle properly, you will save a lot of money on restoration when you're ready to drive it again.

If outdoor storage is the only option, don't worry. There are a lot of things you can do to protect your vehicle, especially for seasonal storage.

Prepping The Vehicle

The first thing you need to do is clean the vehicle. There is no such thing as too clean for storage. On a warm, dry day give the vehicle a thorough wash and wax. Two coats of wax is good, three coats are better and four coats is excellent. Make sure you get the underbody of the car as clean as possible as well, especially the wheel well areas. The dirt will hold moisture and will combine with air and cause the iron and steel parts of your car to rust and rot.

As for the interior, there are three things you need to do; clean, clean, clean. Use a heavy-duty shop vacuum or household vacuum cleaner. Those little battery operated ones or the ones you plug into the cigarette lighter don't have the power to do a good job. Use the crevice tools to get into all the little nooks and crannies. What you want to do is get all the crumbs, pizza crusts, French fries and dog food out. Critters will be attracted by this stuff and will make a home inside your vehicle.

A good carpet shampooing is an extra step that will help keep those little varmints out of your vehicle while you are away.

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» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3

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