Monday, 5 October 2015

Winter Vehicle Storage

Storing your vehicle

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. 

Vehicle Storage

1.       To avoid capillary action from foundation dampness; place a tarpaulin on the garage floor and it will also form a moisture barrier. A standard tarpaulin that is available from a builders merchant is fine, the thicker the better. Then place four pieces of regular lumber under each wheel position on top of the tarp.

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 Collinite # 845 Liquid Insulator Wax x 2, buff the polish and then apply a second coat but do not buff. It  will provide more protection and a better  durability for vehicle storage purposes
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
A British company Bilt-Hamber Laboratories have a product - Dynax UC new high-performance anti-corrosion wax provides a touch-dry firm wax film that's virtually invisible, a low film thickness see-through protective shield. Its firm wax like film is rich in unique metal seeking corrosion inhibitors that stop existing and prevent new corrosion.  It can be applied to bare metal or painted surfaces in fact anywhere where a discrete and powerful inhibitor is needed. 
Completely safe to use on the vast majority of paint coatings and is ideal where dark colored waxes or under seal would detract from the painted finish of vehicle bodywork or underside. The touch dry, spray-on wax film also provides a tough mechanical protection to protected surfaces. 
This is the ideal product to provide high levels of protection from salt corrosion during the winter months

Vehicle Storage Cover

Sometimes having a safe, dry, cosy place to keep your car, truck or SUV adequately protected from the elements is not enough. A Kimberly-Clark Corporation Dustop™ is a 4-layer fabric that stops all but the finest dust (less than 5 microns). The Dustop fabric with Block-It™ technology has an ultra-soft interior fabric that protects paint and enough cushioning to help prevent door dings. Car cover can be your answer by protecting your vehicle from some of the things you can't control. Using an indoor car cover is fundamental to maintaining your car’s paint while it’s in storage. It will provide you with peace of mind from dust and the minor bumps and rubs that can and do happen.  Keeping your vehicle protected is smart insurance.

·         Dirt & Dust Resistance - 10
·         UV Sun Resistance – N/A
·         Dent & Ding Resistance - 10
·         Moisture Resistance – N/A
·         Durability Strength - 7
·         Material Breathability – 10

This car covers are designed as our best 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 (PP) 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
·         Mould and mildew-resistant to protect delicate car finishes

Tyre Storage

The Tyre Garage lets you to safely store seasonal tyres outside, which frees up extra space in your storage areas. This innovative, new product is made of the same rugged, weatherproof material used for boat covers and awnings. It retains its colour and strength for years of normal exposure to sunlight and rain. It also resists mildew and cleans easily Also great for inside storage, it will cover up that unsightly pile of tyres - TOTL

·         Pack each tyre separately in tyre covers (TireTote) storage bags will work just as well, provided that they are sealed.
·         Store the winter tyres in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight as ultra violet (UV) radiation will cause them to dry out. Basements and garages are good storage places, as well as temperature regulated, water proof sheds. If none of these options are available, contact a reputable tyre dealer that offers tyre storage.
·         Stack the tyres flat on their sides, not more than four tyres high. Tyres stacked more than four high are unstable and can tip over.
·         Check the tyre pressure for each set of tyres when it's time to remount the tyres. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for the appropriate tyre pressure

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

Rodent Infestation

The  mouse (Mus musculus) can at times be harmful rodents; they are carriers of more than sixty infectious diseases spreading them through their parasites and feces. They can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning.  In North America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse excrements has been linked to Hantavirus, which may lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). So ensure you have the appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gloves, masks, goggles and coveralls.

Remediation of odour, cleaning, sanitizing replacing components affected by the rodent to include ventilation system and cabin air filters. 

Spray down with disinfectants and HEPA vacuum any droppings or materials they have contaminated. The danger from infection comes from mice droppings (feces) which look like black peppercorn and about 0.12 in long, and have a strong musty smell, its urine, which can be seen with a black light, a strong odor is more likely caused from decaying matter especially if the rodent has died.
Rodents are carriers of more than sixty infectious diseases like hanta virus and persons cleaning should wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gloves, masks, goggles and coveralls, and not stir up droppings or materials contaminated.  Spray down with disinfectants and HEPA vacuum any droppings or materials contaminated

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. 

The odour is more likely caused from urine, faeces and / or decaying matter
Proceed to remove plenum cowling from around windshield and then clean and disinfect entire area and parts. Fog a/c ventilation ducts with disinfectants, remove cabin air filter and disinfect housing, when decontamination is complete replace cabin air filter with new.

Check behind heat shield for nests or decomposing matter, check the interior compartment, under seats to include trunk for any sign of droppings, or nests. Check electrical wiring for any damage.
Inspect all interior areas and under seats and include trunk for any sign of droppings, or nests and / or decomposing matter. Check electrical wiring for any damage. Once all areas have been checked, cleaned and disinfected, treat for odor with appropriate chemicals. When you have finished cleaning go over all hard and soft surfaces with Lysol disinfectant or a vapour steam cleaner. 

Inspect all interior areas and under seats and include trunk for any sign of droppings, or nests and / or decomposing matter. Check electrical wiring for any damage. Once all areas have been checked, cleaned and disinfected, treat for odor with appropriate chemicals. When you have finished cleaning go over all hard and soft surfaces with Lysol disinfectant or a vapour steam cleaner.  (See also Odour, Mould and Smoke Control article).

Havahart® Small 1-Door Easy Set® Trap-this durable, rust resistant trap lets you set and release with just one hand, keeping you far away from the captured animal. The trap features a solid plate covering the top and doors that serves as a hand guard to limit contact with the animal

Products - Microban Mildew & Mold Remover is an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys bacterial odours on contact. When you cannot use chlorine, Microban is a very effective solution. The formula is a water-based, nonflammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and anti-microbial, all in one formulation

Application - do not dilute, use full strength, apply via sprayer to porous surfaces until moist, no not over wet, brush into carpeting, allow to dry 10-20 minutes
A vapour steam cleaning of the interior will help to sanitise and kill any remaining bacteria

Caution- use respiratory protection and gloves as the droppings (feces) constitute a health hazard that can cause an allergic reactions and respiratory problems, and cause disease

Arachnids (spiders)

Many people have an inherent fear of spiders. They are attracted to warm, dark small spaces, like panel gaps, air vents, and in the engine bay or trunk of your vehicle. Some species prefer to stay closer to the outdoors, weaving their webs in your garage, garden or near your outside lighting. Most spiders are a nuisance primarily because of their webbing.

All spiders can and will bite if in danger or accidentally touched; and any spider bite can cause a reaction, ranging from a sting type bite to those requiring hospitalization.  Different people react in different ways

EcoSMART Spider Blaster -

 Kills spiders (black widow, brown recluse, cellar, wolf, and others), scorpions, silverfish and other crawling insects Hold container upright and aim nozzle away from person. Press button firmly to spray. Contact as many insects as possible. For spiders, apply until web is wet. Repeat as necessary.

Spider Identification (USA) -
Airflow Air Chamber - an ingenious indoor tent for your car which pumps up to 50,000 litres of filtered air around your car every hour. This keeps it free from moisture, helping prevent rust, mildew and other unpleasant effects of damp.
With a rigid, 3D internal frame, it stands upright so you can drive your car in after a mere 45 minute’s assembly. It’s totally portable and available in 8 sizes to fit your garage and vehicle. Turns any shed or barn into the perfect environment for storing any occasionally used items. (UK) -

ValuGuard Transseal TPF - a sheet film is a breathable temporary protective film designed to protect finished paint surfaces without the use of adhesives.  The performance of the TPF film is very similar to that of a skin or membrane, allowing the paint surface or substrate to continue to breathe or outgas while protecting the paint finish from mutilation and/or environmental damage.
At application, the TPF film reacts like a “shrink wrap” packaging material easily conforming to component surfaces.  And since the Trans Seal film is not readily affected by UV light, the film can endure long periods of outdoor exposure.

Encapsulation Storage System

A perfect solution for those enthusiasts faced with the dilemma of long-term storage of any car or truck. The unique (and patented) Car Capsule vehicle storage system - virtually "seals" the vehicle in its own purified environment. A continuous airflow keeps the car dry and prevents corrosion and mildew. It also eliminates that "musty" door that is so common with stored vehicles. The air is filtered, and is circulated by a highly efficient fan that costs just a little over a dollar per month to operate and is warranted for 5 years. Features an 18 oz. Herculite laminated fabric base-mat, double polished 8-mil PVC shroud and heavy-duty nylon zipper closure, the material is warranted for two years. It's easy to use, and shows-off your pride and joy while protecting it, available in a variety of sizes from 14' to 20' in length

Mould (Mold)

Stachybotrys Chartarum [: fungi that grow in the form of multi- cellular filaments, called hyphae] 
[Many molds can begin growing at 4 °C (39 °F), the temperature within a typical refrigerator, or less. When conditions do not enable growth, moulds may remain alive in a dormant state depending on the species, within a large range of temperatures before they die. The many different meld species vary enormously in their tolerance to temperature and humidity extremes. Certain moulds can survive harsh conditions such as the snow-covered soils of Antarctica, refrigeration, highly acidic solvents, and even petroleum products such as jet fuel. Xerophilic molds use the humidity in the air as their only water source; other moulds need more moisture. Mold has a musty odor.] 

Without identifying and eliminating the source of the mould you can't get rid of it, there are many Counteractant type products that mask odours; what you need to do is remove and clean and thoroughly dry the whole area; carpets, upholstery (inc foam and etc) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan (don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter). 

Just like mould and mildew contamination in other areas, you cannot wash or shampoo it away. This only exasperates the problem. Mould is a form of fungus which forms anywhere there’s moisture trapped in the air, and is spread by releasing millions of tiny spores into the air. You cannot see the spores but you may be able to see moulds, grey, green or black in colour, growing on damp surfaces.
 Dirt and moisture are essential to mildew propagation, which is very difficult to eradicate as mould uses enzymes to digest nutrients from organic materials, the mould forms on top of the material and also down into its fibres leaving circular or black spots in an irregular pattern. Mould / mildew needs to be neutralized as it will not dissipate without treatment as the spores are still present and moisture will regenerate them

There are hundreds of thousands of types of mould, but only about ten types cause health problems, commonly sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, as well as allergies. I would strongly recommend you wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) safety glasses, respirators; etc inhalation of mould could be very detrimental to your health and can cause an allergic reaction
There are many Counteractants products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove and clean and disinfect the whole area; carpets, upholstery (including the upholstery foam and etc) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan. Don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter.
Remove the seats and thoroughly clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner and a disinfectant. Then let it air dry, or use a heater to ensure that they are completely dry. To neutralize mould use 10:1 Distiller water / (non-chlorine) bleach solution, use a syringe to inject solution into seating foam, you may need to remove and replace the carpet padding.

Microban® Disinfectant Spray environmental protection against: germs, odours, mould and mildew- The first thing to do is to raise as much dirt / dust from the carpet with a brush by using a circular motion over the whole carpeted area; this will loosen the debris and bring it to the top of the carpets pile, enabling a vacuum to remove it

Sporicidin® Enzyme Mold Stain Cleaner - concentrate is a blend of enzymes in a low foaming solution formulated to loosen and remove dried debris, protein, blood and mucin deposits. It effectively cleans both natural and synthetic fibres that have been soiled with organic and inorganic debris. Ideal for use as a pre-cleaner for mould remediation, and restoration applications
·         Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, published by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) also contains valuable information
·         The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free brochures to anyone who asks.
·         The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a few other organizations can be considered unbiased and reliable sources.
·         The National Institute of Safety & Health (NIOSH) is also an excellent source of unbiased information.

Professional detailers – as your you’re dealing with health-related issues, bear in mind that we are living in a litigious society, so document the process / procedures used on this type of remediation.

Current Information
To be of real practical use, a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like detailing clay, micro fibre technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nanotechnology paints are examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them, hence all of the in-depth articles will be up-dated and revised on a regular basis

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know. You should never stop learning, and your quest for information should be part of your everyday process. It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I detailed my first vehicle at the age of fourteen forty plus years later I started to write detailing articles to share my experiences. For about fifteen years or so I started to contribute to various detailing forums answering questions posted by neophyte’s, enthusiasts and professionals alike. My mantra has always been Experience Unshared Knowledge Wasted.

About the author -

This is not a product vendor’s catalogue, nor am I a vendor pretending to be an educator, as there are a lot of companies that are now sponsoring detailing forums, giving advice and preaching that only the product they sell or manufacture are suitable. In reality they are just advertisements, with the appearance of educators, mere salesman. Those who have something to sell can be very persuasive, often using marketing pseudo-science (i.e. blurring the distinction between science and fiction) to make a great case while completely ignoring meaningful facts, like their product adds nothing of real value.

I purchase all the products I use, so the endorsement is entirely personal and commercially unbiased, the product recommendation is based on "Does exactly what it says on the box" and it suits my detailing goals. 

The products mentioned have been personally subjected to extensive laboratory (using state of the art instruments and methodologies in some of the world's most prestigious labs) as well as field testing, and I have found that they will perform the task more than adequately, hence the personal recommendation, using the methodology and tools cited, which may or may not be the same as those recommended by the manufacturer.

I hope these articles are informative. They are based on the current status of technical development as well as my experience with the products.

By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.

As always if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer; bear in mind the only stupid questions is the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated

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