Storing Your Muscle Car
If you have a garage then you’re already in a good position to keep your muscle car safe and secure. If not, it’s a wise idea to invest in something to shelter your valuable road rocket – older cars are far more vulnerable to the elements than their modern counterparts.
One of the better options you have if you lack a garage is paying for indoor storage. Some of the best car storage facilities will even start your car every few days – or even take it out for some exercise. Leaving any car sitting for weeks at a time without driving it can harm the internals of the engine as well as more obvious things, like the tires, so a quick and routine drive can keep your muscle car in top condition.
Preparing your car for storage
To prepare your car for storage, clean it up. It might sound a little strange, but dirt and dust can hold moisture next to your car’s underbody and paint – and nobody wants to see rust on their pride and joy. You’ll also want to fill the gas tank to full, and add some fuel stabilizer to prevent varnish formation and gumming. Just be sure to read the label and add the right amount. It’s also a wise idea to drive your car for a while (about 35 miles) to mix the fuel and the additives thoroughly.
Long term storage tips
If your car is not going to be running for a long time, you’ll want to do a bunch more work to prevent big problems later on. Long-term storage pros recommend jacking the car completely off of the ground, disconnecting the battery, removing the spark plugs and spraying down the cylinders with motor oil, then replacing the plugs. You don’t want outside moisture to corrode the internals!
Another great tip is to put rags underneath your windshield wipers. Believe it or not, in a few months those wipers WILL stick to your windshield, leaving an ugly and hard to remove line. You can also remove the wiper blades completely; just be sure that your windshield is well protected from the wiper arms.
Long-term storage begs for critters to invade the sanctity of your classic muscle car, so drop some mothballs around the floorboards to keep them at bay. Even the larger animals that manage to somehow find their way inside will not want to stick around for long.
When you have to stay outdoors
If you have to keep your car outside, there are some additional precautions you’ll want to take. Make sure you get a liberal amount of lubrication on the doors, hood hinges, latches – everything that you want to move freely a few months down the road. To prevent rust, stuff a rag or use aluminum foil to block the exhaust pipes – just don’t forget what you did when you start ‘er up.
Finally, remember to exercise the car at least once every 60 days. Don’t just start the car and let it run for a few minutes, actually drive it for a good half hour, use the accessories, give it a little gas – let it stretch a bit. If you follow these tips, you’ll find that your car is ready to perform for you in driving season with a minimum of fuss.