Not all cars are intended for year-round usage. If you own a classic car, then it needs certain considerations to keep it in its pristine state. This is why many classic car owners opt to use auto storage during the harsh winter months, to protect their pride and joy from adverse weather conditions. If you've never stored your classic car before, how should you get it ready for its winter hibernation?
Choosing a Storage Facility
There are several different options for automobile storage. If you have the budget for it, consider an indoor storage unit with climate control. You also have options for partially covered outdoor storage (similar to a carport), or entirely outside storage (which is essentially a fenced parking lot). Given the sentimental and financial value of your classic car, indoor storage will be your best bet. Climate control regulates relative humidity inside the space, which is more effective in terms of preserving the contents of the space (namely your car), but it's not always essential. It really depends on your car, as well as the likely local weather conditions during the winter months.
Preparing for Storage
Your classic car must be cleaned, inside and out, prior to storage. You might wish to take it for car detailing for some extra TLC, which also saves you from the job of having to clean it. In terms of your vehicle's mechanics, its oil filter should be changed before the oil is topped off. This minimizes the chances of any contaminants leaching out of the oil during storage. Your vehicle's gas tank should also be filled, although not necessarily to capacity. Some gas is essential to reduce the level of condensation that might form inside the tank, and this gas will also prevent seals from drying out, which can cause them to degrade. A fuel stabilizer can also be wise.
Inside the storage unit, your vehicle's tires must be inflated to a level that allows them to fully support the vehicle's weight. Failure to do so can put unnecessary stress on the axis and overall chassis. A dust cover can be a good idea to protect the paintwork. If possible, you might wish to occasionally take your vehicle for a short drive during its time in storage. This allows for tire rotation. A short drive also encourages the circulation of oils, fluids, and lubricants. This is essential for maintaining the integrity of your vehicle's engine.
A newer car can generally come back from any neglect during storage, but this is more difficult for a classic car, meaning you need to do everything you can to make sure it has appropriate protection during its winter hibernation.