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muzak

Winter Storage

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I have quite a bit of experience with storing a motorcycle for the winter, but this year I am having to store one of our three family Echos. It will be left in the carport out of the elements and I'm wondering what the steps are to store a car for 8 months or more. I'm sure I could check and find this out on the internet, but I trust this site the most...thanks in advance.

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I have quite a bit of experience with storing a motorcycle for the winter, but this year I am having to store one of our three family Echos. It will be left in the carport out of the elements and I'm wondering what the steps are to store a car for 8 months or more. I'm sure I could check and find this out on the internet, but I trust this site the most...thanks in advance.

What's winter??

I live in CA and all we get is wet weather in the winter.

For most colder climates I think what is recommended is a full tank of gas and a battery (either removed or charged ocassionally).

Of course you need to have winter weight oil and also winter coolant added.

I would visit the car and start it up every month or so, just to make sure it runs.

Get it up to operating temperature and then it should be fine.

You can also use a battery tender to keep it charged, during non-use time.

Hope this helps.

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There are many decent resources on how to "pickle" the car for long term storage. Generally speaking - most involve performing normal maintenance items

 

- fluids changes (most critical is engine oil, others to change are coolant, brake/clutch fluid, P/S, and transmission fluid or oil)

 

- check tire air pressure (flat spotting is not much of an issue, unless you have very low profile tires - those can flatspot in as little as 24 hours)

 

- fill up with a fresh tank of gas + fuel stabilizer fully mixed

 

- a good wash and good quality of wax, detail all rubber and plastic bits with a good sealant and UV protectant, clean carpet well

 

- battery fully charged and either disconnected (remove negative terminal) or a trickle charger installed

 

- add cedar chips or similar items inside to discourage animals nesting in your car over winter (squirrels, chipmunks, etc. can do a TON of damage) - I put wire mesh over the intake snorkels to prevent those little buggers from filling the airbox full of nuts in the winter.

 

- run the car on the highway on last time to get it up to operating temp and burn off all moisture - check for anything unusual, let it idle a bit (don't race the engine before you shut the engine down, the extra gas will wash the cylinders down), park the car - parking brake off and wheels chocked (just in case the parking brake freezes up on you)

 

- if needed, hit all exposed metal surfaces with WD40 or similar (even rotors just remember that you cannot drive the car until you clean them off with some brake cleaner, don't get any on the pads). Also squirt some motor oil in each cylinder before. This is a little more extreme but will lessen the time it takes the get the car back up and running.

 

 

Optional items

- Car cover is hit or miss, since you are in a carport, might be better to let it be uncovered. Even with the better materials and quality of newer car covers, they will still trap moisture and dirt against the body of the car.

 

- Running the car once a month, same deal with the car cover - hit or miss on some cars. I have to say that I've killed two classic cars because of this. You just can't catch any problems in that short period of time between runs. Better to let your car sit the whole time and then revive it all at once. I've stored my old Celica outside on the driveway with just the fluid changes for about 9 months. Battery was weak, but still strong enough to turn the engine over - car was just fine, aside from the dirty exterior and some interior fading from sunlight.

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