With the Concours d’élégance and racing season wrapped up and the temperature beginning to drop, it is time to start thinking about what you are going to do with your vehicle. Many of you will drive your car over the winter months; many others will store your vehicle for the winter. Information on storing your car will not apply to all, especially those in the sunny southern states. However, if you plan to store your car during the winter months, this is a must read.
Ranging from a convertible that's reserved for sunny days to a vehicle who’s owner has store it due to an overseas assignment; for whatever reason, it only requires a few precautions to ensure that it is preserved and will be operational after it’s in winter hibernation All cars hate to sit idle, so don't expect to top off the fluids and drive out of the garage. Also, notify your insurance company that you are storing the vehicle and tell them to make adjustment to the policy. A little work now can protect a vehicle from rust, animals and other storage-related headaches. To help vehicle owners keep their stored vehicles in good shape, here are a few storage tips.
Place several boxes of rodent killer (d-CON) around the car, both inside and out, in the trunk and under the hood. Rodents due to their size (3or 4 inches long) are able to squeeze into many small places where they leave droppings, urine or nest and sometimes die. The areas to check would be the engine heat shield, exhaust pipes, heater box opening, and glove box, under dashboard and seats, door storage, the center console bumper covers and the trunk.
1. As a barrier protection from foundation dampness; place a plastic sheet under to the vehicle to avoid dampness capillary action and it will also form a moisture barrier.
2. Some cars have a storage switch or fuse that can be tripped to keep things like dome lights and non-essential systems from needlessly draining the battery. Check the owner's manual for the switch location or special fuse location.
3. Change the oil and filter.
4. Replace brake fluid with DOT 3
5. Do not drain the fuel tank, as an empty tank will cause condensation and it will start to rust! Top off fuel tank, then pour Stabil into the tank and run it for a few minutes (to get it into the fuel lines) If you don't cycle your fuel through the tank every two months, it starts an oxidation process and will turn into varnish over time, this can clog your fuel lines, One ounce protects three gallons of any type of fuel.
6. Release the fuel system pressure by removing the relay and allow the engine to run until it stalls and then replace the relay
7. Top off coolant with a 50/50 water and corrosion inhibitor and fill all fluids
8. Spray distributor with WD-40
9. Protect the paint, give the vehicle a good washing, dry it thoroughly and then apply an oil rich polish, buff the polish and then apply a second coat but do not buff
10. Clean the interior of the car, apply a generous coating of Leather Master’s Protection to all leather surfaces, and use a box of DampRid moisture absorbing products, also leave a bar of scented soap under the seats (vermin don't like the smell)
11. Apply Wurth HHS-2000 clear spray lubricant to seat rails and sunroof guide rails
12. Apply a conditioner to `rubber' weather stripping (Zymol Seal)
13. Close trunk, and hood, and stuff the exhaust so as mice do not enter, steel wool works better than rags as they cannot chew or use it for nesting material.
14. Close windows but leave a small gap to ensure rubber seals are not completely flattened, same for doors, close to first `click'
15. Over inflate the tyres (50psi) and put car on Tyre Cradles to avoid flat spots; cars with low profile tires will flat spot. It is a rule of thumb that if your car's tires have an aspect ratio of 50 or less, they will flat spot.
16. Do not place car jacks as these will unload the suspension and may do harm. Some vehicles should not be stored with the suspensions unloaded (check with manufacturer)
17. Store the car in gear; do not apply the emergency brake.
18. Remove sparkplugs and inject a little oil down into each of the cylinders.
19. Remove the battery, clean and store separately (the myth about storing a battery on concrete is just that, a myth) coat the terminals with Wurth battery and terminal cleaner, do the same thing with the cable terminals, coat battery hold down bolts with WD40.
20. Disconnecting the battery will cause the radio pre-sets and the seat position memory to be lost. Once the battery is re-connected the engine control unit (ECU) will reset automatically (a good thing to do occasionally anyway)
Alternatively use a Deltran Battery Tender®, a fully automatic two-stage lead acid battery charger, lightweight, compact size, trickle charger that assures batteries are maintained after charging. Ideal for all lead-acid, sealed maintenance free and gel cell batteries. After full 14.4 VDC charge is reached, converts to float charger and monitors battery at 13.2 volts. When voltage drops below 12.6 VDC, charger resumes charging back to 14.4 VDC, a two-colour LED indicator, Spark-proof; reverse polarity protected, twelve-foot output cord and quick-connect harness. Comes with a set of quick disconnect clamps and rings
21. Cover the car with a good quality cotton car cover. If you are storing the vehicle outside use a UV sunshade on the windshield and rear window, plus a car cover
22. Store convertibles with the top up; convertible tops can actually shrink if they are left in the down position, for an extended period of time.
23. Inspect the vehicle from time to time and check to ensure that the DampRid is still operational
Vehicle Storage Cover
Sometimes having a safe, dry, cosy place to keep your car, truck or SUV adequately protected is not enough. A Kimberly-Clark Corporation Dustop™ car cover can be your answer by protecting your vehicle from some of the things you can't control.
Dirt & Dust Resistance - 10
UV Sun Resistance - 0
Dent & Ding Resistance - 10
Moisture Resistance - 0
Durability Strength - 7
Material Breathability – 10
This car covers are designed as a good solution for storing your vehicle indoors. There are a total of 4 layers that make up this fabric. The first two layers are polypropylene/polyethylene and act as outer protection for your vehicle against dings, dents, scratches and heat. PP offers excellent strength and stability, while PE brings superior softness. Combined, they form a soft barrier that protects your car when bumped or something is dropped on it. When temperatures rise, this outer combination can also keep the surface and interior of the vehicle much cooler.
The top two layers of the car cover can prevent sharp claws from cats and other animals that have been known to rest on your investment from scratching the painted finish. The third is a melt blown polypropylene film that traps dirt and dust and prevents it from getting to your vehicle.
Tests have demonstrated that multiple layer materials are more effective than one layer woven fabrics at keeping dirt and dust out. This is an important factor in keeping the finish of your car, truck or SUV always looking its best. Finally, the fourth layer or inner layer is a soft, high-loft spun bound composite that pampers and protects your vehicle's finish.
· 4-ply developed by Kimberly-Clark and made in the U.S.
· Soft flannel-like fabric designed as our "best" indoor cover
· Nearly dirt and dustproof, keeping vehicle surface clean
· Breathable characteristic allows for moisture evaporation
· 4-ply material provides ultimate ding and scratch protection
· Mold and mildew-resistant to protect delicate car finishes
Caring for your Car Cover
By regularly cleaning your Dustop™ car cover you can prevent the "fogging" effect from occurring on your vehicle's windows.
a) Machine wash - begin by inserting the cover in the washer allowing the warm water to fill then proceed to add ¼ cup laundry detergent. Run the rinse cycle twice to get all the detergent rinsed out. Allow cover to air dry before placing back on vehicle or storing. A large commercial washer without an agitator can also be used to wash your car cover.
1. Remove your washing machine's agitator before washing your Dustop™ car cover.
2. Do not use a fabric softener on a Dustop™ car cover.
3. Air Dry ONLY.
b) Hand wash - leave your Dustop cover on your vehicle. Mix an ounce of mild dishwashing liquid per quart of warm water. Spray or sponge soapy water onto your car cover and clean with sponge or soft bristle brush. Rinse with plain water until no suds are evident and allow to air dry. Only store cover when completely dry.
Engine Start Up
· When time comes to start the engine, pull the fuel pump relay/fuse and crank the engine without it getting any fuel for a while to prime the lubrication system/circulate the oil. This will avoid washing down dry cylinder walls with fuel before it starts up.
· Remove the steel wool from the exhaust pipes
· Run the vehicles air conditioning system for a few minutes and check for leaks and / or loss of refrigerant as the seals may be dry
· Assuming you heated up the car to full operating temp after changing the oil and filter (pre-storage) at start-up there should be only minimal deposits and contamination.
· Fill the stored car with low viscosity oil during storage and if possible start the engine occasionally to ensure the oil and water gets a chance to circulate
· Drain the oil system and before replacing the oil and filter fill it with oil as this will enable oil priming upon start up and prevent dry cranking