What to Know About Classic Car Storage

The Classic Car Club of America identifies a classic car as one that is fine or distinctive and built between 1915 and 1948. Some classic car enthusiasts have a more liberal interpretation of what meets the definition of a “classic”, including models after 1948. Whether your classic is a 1929 Lincoln L Sport Phaeton or a fire-engine red 1974 Chevrolet Corvette, it’s important to know a few things about storing your prized automobile. Keeping the below storage tips in mind will ensure your vehicle remains in pristine condition and retains its value.

Deciding on a Storage Space

The first thing to consider is where you want to store your car. If you are going to keep it in your garage make sure that there is nothing around it that could damage it by falling on it. Inspect for openings where pests can get in. During the cold months rodents, especially mice, will climb up in the engine and make it their home for the next few months. If your home garage isn’t a viable option, you can also opt to store your vehicle in a climate controlled facility designed specifically for car storage.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Storage

Proper storage takes some prep work; you can’t just park your classic and walk away. Here are some of the recommended steps:

  • Clean the interior and exterior completely, but don’t put a cover or tarp on it until it is completely dry to prevent trapped moisture from corroding the vehicle.
  • Put the car on jack stands if it is going to be sitting for more than three months to prevent flat spots from forming and ruining your tires.
  • Change your oil and filter along with the coolant to prevent sludge from building up or rust from forming.
  • Fill the gas tank to prevent moisture from forming and building up in the empty portion of the tank.
  • Roll the windows down an inch or so to allow air circulation and to prevent moisture from forming inside.

Caring for Your Car in Storage

Even if you plan on leaving the car in long-term storage, you’ll want to check on it periodically to ensure it keeps running. At a minimum, you should:

  • Start the car once a month and allow it to run until it reaches the normal operating temperature to keep everything lubricated. Starting it regularly also prevents brakes from seizing or having the clutch stick.
  • Take the spark plugs out if you’re storing for more than six months or aren’t able to start it occasionally so they don’t rust and corrode.
  • Keep the battery charged either by hooking a trickle charger to it while in storage or by removing it and keeping it charged at home.

Proper storage of your classic eliminates the need for costly repairs and maintenance. To find out more about renting a vehicle storage space in NYC, contact Imperial Self Storage today.