When collecting classic vehicles, you need to perform essential maintenance and upkeep to maximize your vehicles’ lifespans. Here at Classic Auto, we know that you want to keep your classic vehicle on the road for as long as possible, and that’s why we have great tips for keeping your collector car in top-notch condition when you leave it in storage for extended periods. Storing your vehicle for over a month without proper care can be detrimental to its long-term health, especially if it’s an older vehicle. With older vehicles, you need to maintain diligent upkeep to preserve their vintage style and avoid corrosion. Follow these tips before storing your classic vehicle.
1. Pick the Best Storage Location
One of the most important things you need to protect your car in storage is picking the right storage facility. It may be tempting to store your vehicle in your personal garage or on your property, but exposure to light and harsh temperatures is detrimental to maintaining your classic car. Consider choosing an indoor drive-up storage unit that comes equipped with climate control. With climate control, your classic vehicle can stay out of extreme elements and temperatures that can hurt its long-term health. Additionally, you can place a sheet of plastic underneath your vehicle in storage to prevent excess moisture from building up underneath the car. Your classic vehicle should always be stored in a clean, dark, and dry space.
2. Change Your Oil and Fill Your Tank
Before storing your vehicle, you need to take simple steps in ensuring its engine health. Firstly, consider adding a fuel stabilizer that follows your manufacturer’s instructions. Fuel stabilizers can keep your vehicle’s fuel from hardening and messing up your engine. In addition to a fuel stabilizer, you should also change your oil as well as your oil filter. Old oil can cause your engine to rust. After adding the fuel stabilizer and changing the oil, make sure to drive your car around for a few miles so that the oil and stabilizer work throughout your engine. Finally, make sure to top off your gas tank before storing the vehicle. Any space that you leave in your gas tank can cause moisture to collect, which will result in rust.
3. Get Your Vehicle Cleaned, Detailed, and Prepped
It’s critical that you clean and detail your classic car before storing it for an extended period. Any leftover dust or debris can scratch your vehicle and damage its paint. Additionally, any neglected dirt or crumbs in your interior can result in bad odors and pests. Get both your interior and exterior cleaned, and add a wax finish for further protection. In addition to cleaning out the interior, you can also leave baking soda in your car to absorb bad smells that can attract pests. Another step you can take to ensure your vehicle remains clean is covering it with a breathable cloth car cover rather than plastic because plastic covers can cause condensation to build-up on your exterior, leading to rust.
4. Remove Car Battery and Refill Fluids
Before putting your vehicle into storage, you should remove your spark plugs and car battery. In the event that the removed battery has corroded, you can clean it with a combination of baking soda, distilled water, and petroleum jelly. After cleaning it, you can store it separately from your vehicle in a climate-controlled space off the ground. You can ensure that your battery doesn’t die from lack of usage by regularly using a battery tender. In addition to removing and cleaning your battery, you should also inspect and top off all of your vehicle’s fluids, including antifreeze, transmission fluid, and brake fluid.
5. Fill and Prepare Your Tires
If you don’t properly prepare your tires, you may have to replace them after long-term storage. You should fill your tires to their maximum recommended pounds per square inch (PSI), and you can jack your car up in storage if you don’t plan on driving it any time soon. Jacking up your car alleviates the pressure the car body has on its tires and suspension. The weight of your vehicle’s body can cause your tires to flat-spot if you don’t place the body on jack stands. Another step you can take to ensure tire health during storage is by placing plywood underneath your tires, which protects them from potential ground rot.
Protect Your Car with Classic Auto Insurance
If you’re looking to protect your collector, luxury, or vintage car, sign up for Classic Auto Insurance. At Classic Auto, we provide our clients with robust and affordable coverage, and we also include invaluable perks, such as agreed-value coverage, inflation guard, rollover miles, and nationwide roadside assistance. We’re more than just an insurance company—we’re also vehicle enthusiasts, and we want to help you keep your classic car on the road for as long as possible. If you want to learn more about what makes Classic Auto the perfect fit for classic car enthusiasts, call our car experts at 888-901-1338. You can also receive an instant quote here.