Getting Ready For Winter Storage

Octagon Newsletter … October 1985

Author Unknown

Many car owners live in parts of the country where it is preferable to store their cars for a period during the winter months. There are numerous opinions on the do's and don'ts of storage, but we thought we would convey some concepts that experience has shown to be good for short-term (2-6 months) storage.

(01) Renew engine oil and filter.

(02) Renew anti-freeze mixture.

(03) Top up the tank with fuel … the higher the octane the better, since gasoline tends to lose some of its octane as time goes on.

(04) Start the car and run until the normal operating temperature has been achieved. This helps burn off some of the moisture that accumulates in the exhaust system. Otherwise the condensation will prematurely rust out your exhaust system come Spring. (Installing a stainless steel exhaust system on your car is a nice piece of insurance against such an event!)

(05) Disconnect power to your fuel pump and continue to run the engine until the carburettors are dry. Turn off the ignition, reconnect fuel pump. (This is also a good time to remove float bowl covers and clean any moisture or sediment out of your float bowls.)

(06) Remove Air Cleaners and tape over the carburettor intakes. Plug the end of the exhaust pipe with rags. This prevents moist air entering the engine and forming rust on the faces and seats of the valves which are open.

(07) Thoroughly wash interior and exterior of car, paying particular attention to the underside and wheel well areas, being sure to rid the area of damaging road salt and other corrosive materials.

(08) Next, wax the painted and chrome surfaces as well as applying ArmorAll to all rubber and vinyl, including the interior. Apply a particularly heavy coat on the convertible top rear window inside and out. This will help extend the life and transparency of the rear windows.

(09) Remove battery/batteries and store indoors being sure not to store directly on a concrete floor.

(10) Store the car on jack stands to prevent flat spots in tires. Be sure to place the jack stands under suspension components, so the car rests on its suspension rather than remaining fully extended for a long period. Leave the  handbrake in the off position.

(11) Use a full car cover to keep the dust of, as well as sunlight that may come in from a window. It is advisable to keep the car windows closed to keep mice and other rodents from setting up shop inside your car!

For the initial start-up in the Spring, a few precautions:

(01) Remove the car from jack stands and recheck tire pressure. Set handbrake on.

(02) Re-install battery/batteries and top up with distilled water, if necessary. It is a good idea to give the battery a slow charge on a battery charger to restore life.

(03) Remove the tape from the carburettors and the rags from the exhaust pipe. Check that the pistons in the carburettors move freely up and down. (Remove dashpots and pistons and clean out the 'gum' if they are stuck) Take out the spark plugs and squirt a little oil into each cylinder. Spin the engine with the starter until oil pressure registers on the gauge. Refit the spark plugs and start the engine.

(04) Run the engine gently until normal operating temperature is reached then make any necessary adjustments to carb settings, timing etc. Refit air cleaners.

(05) Remove radiator cap (carefully!) and make sure the coolant is circulating. (Thermostats have been known to stick in the closed position during periods of inactivity!)

(06) Test drive, slowly at first. making sure brakes are working evenly, etc.

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