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Classic Cars: Short-Term Storage Tips to Keep Your Car Ready to Go

Classic Cars: Short-Term Storage Tips to Keep Your Car Ready to Go

Author: Ron Moorhead

One of the most frustrating things for owners of classic cars is to walk out to a car that has been sitting in the garage for weeks and not be able to slide behind the wheel and drive off. There always seems to be something that needs attention before going for that long-awaited drive.

At the top of the frustration list is a dead battery. This is the number one complaint we hear from owners, and the most frustrating one. Fortunately, there are a number of easy fixes. All revolve around keeping the battery at optimum charge without over-charging, as conventional battery chargers are known to do.

Using a battery tender maintains the charge on the battery so it's ready to get your engine started. A battery tender does just what the name implies: it tends to the battery. The wonders of microprocessors let this little device maintain the charge while not over-charging and destroying the battery. At one time, you had to have access to electrical power. Thanks to advances in electronics, there are solar powered tenders that perform quite well with power from the sun. Some owners prefer to disconnect the negative battery cable so any electronic device in the car will not continue to run.

Another area that gets owners of classic cars a bit irritated during short-term storage is under inflated tires. There's nothing that's going to keep air from slowly leaking out of a tire over time. Good sealing valve stem caps help, but most owners tell us they keep a small air compressor in the garage to check and fill the tires periodically. This is a good idea whether your car is in short-term or long-term storage.

Maintaining a full fuel tank is recommended, not only to keep you ready to go, but to maintain the quality of the gasoline. The less contact with air in the tank, the better chance the fuel doesn't go off. Adding a fuel stabilizer is a good idea no matter how long you let your car sit in storage.

Keep your classic car covered with a good quality car cover that fits your model vehicle. This helps keep dirt and grime off the surface so it looks good as soon as you pull from the garage. It also helps keep insects and critters from doing dirty things to your prize.

Speaking of critters, placing dryer sheets inside the passenger compartment, on top of tires and in the tail pipe tip is a good idea, even during short-term storage. It doesn't take long for these destructive little creatures to find a warm and secure hiding place, and dryer sheets tend to make them stay away.

The best thing to do is regularly drive your classic. There is no better way to keep your car in tip-top shape and discover minor issues before they become major ones. Like our bodies, if we tend to become sedentary, it becomes more difficult to get motivated. The car was meant to be driven and enjoyed. Driving it occasionally helps keep the car healthy.

Published Mar 13th, 2018

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