from the November 2000 RootesReview:
Here is a checklist for putting your car up for winter storage:
- Anti-freeze mixture and level: 50/50 mixture provides protection to -34 deg. F. Additives can be added to restore depleted anti-corrosion and lubrication properties.
- Change oil and filter: The acids in contaminated oil can damage the internal engine parts.
- Rust prevention: Cover a concrete floor with plastic sheeting and· some old carpeting. A dry dirt floor or wooden flooring is ideal to cut down on moisture.
- Clean exterior: Wax the exterior to remove air pollutants, dirt and grime and wax to seal the paint surface.
- Use a car cover: No polyester, poly/cotton or vinyl materials. Cotton is ideal because it prevents condensation but keeps dust particles off.
- Use varmint protection: Put mouse or rat poison under the seats and in the trunk. Moth balls works well, but sometimes leave a lingering smell in the Spring. Get a cat to patrol the garage.
- Flush and top off brake and hydraulic systems: water in the fluid will rust the brake lines and corrode the hydraulic cylinders. Caution: use only quality well-known name brands (Girling, Lockheed, etc). Consider switching to silicone fluid which resists moisture build-up.
- Remove battery: Plan to charge the battery in mid-winter and just before re-installing in the Spring. Clean terminals, check water level.
- Fill the fuel tanks: Condensation forming inside a less-than-full fuel tank will rust the interior. Use fuel stabilizer.
- Rust and corrosion proofing: Use WD-40 or equivalent to seal and rust-proof the steel mechanical parts of the vehicle.
- Clean interior: clean interior surfaces and vacuum carpeting. Remove rubber floor mats (they can seal in moisture). Wipe all rubber, plastic and vinyl parts with Armor-All to seal the surface.
- Super-inflate tires or use jack stands: Increase tire pressure by about 20 psi to eliminate flat-spotting during the winter. If tires have slow leaks, jack stands can be used. Apply Armor-All or silicone to prevent sidewall cracking.