By Tommy Garcia, BG Technical Sales Engineer
There’s nothing I love more in the warm weather than hopping my classic ride, rolling the windows down, and going for a cruise. But once that cool weather sets in, I tuck away my classic car for the winter.
Storing your classic car in the cold weather can help you keep it in the best condition. If you live in a four-season climate as we do in Kansas, it’s time to start prepping your car for storage.
Here are 7 simple steps to winterize your classic car:
- Clean your car
- Be aware of varmints
- Change your oil
- Treat your fuel system
- Check your coolant
- Winterize battery
- Properly inflate your tires
1. Clean your car
You’ll need to wash, wax, and detail your vehicle’s interior and exterior. I know this seems like a no brainer, but consider it a gentle reminder not to leave any stale fries in between the seats. Don’t forget to remove any personal items that you’ll need. The last thing you want to leave is your favorite pair of sunglasses or your awesome 80s rock mix CD. Do people still use CDs? Or is it just me?
2. Be aware of varmints
If your vehicle is stored where it can potentially be exposed to varmints (so… basically any garage), use steel wool in the exhaust tips or dryer sheets in the interior. Mice don’t like the smell of dryer sheets, and on the plus side, your vehicle will smell like a fresh basket of laundry when you take your car out for a spin in the spring again.
3. Change your oil
You want to avoid leaving dirty oil sitting in your engine for long periods of time. Doing so could cause corrosion and damage internal engine parts. Now is an excellent opportunity to do something like the BG Engine Performance Service because it will offer more protection than just a standard oil change. A little engine maintenance now will go a long way to extending the life of your classic car.
4. Treat your fuel system
Be sure you fill up your gas tank to minimize the air in the tank. Air can hold moisture that causes the fuel to break down, which can contribute to corrosion in the fuel system. I recommend using a tank treat product like BG Ethanol Fuel System Defender before topping off the tank with premium (ideally) ethanol-free fuel. Once you treat the fuel, run the vehicle for a couple of minutes to ensure the treated fuel makes it throughout the entire fuel system.
5. Check your coolant
Ensure your vehicle’s coolant is in good condition, topped off, and at the correct mix ratio. You don’t want to leave water in your cooling system. Cold weather can freeze, expand, and crack your engine block. No bueno!
6. Winterize your battery
Treat your car with the BG Battery Terminal Protectors. Then give them a nice coat of BG Ignition and Battery Terminal Sealer from your trusted BG Shop. You’ll want to hook the battery to a good quality battery tender or trickle charger. Those devices are designed to maintain your battery while your vehicle is stored.
7. Properly inflate your tires
Inflate all the tires to the vehicle’s recommended tire pressure. Place your vehicle on jack stands to avoid creating flat spots on your tires. This is common in bias ply and race tires.
Key Takeaway: Take the time to protect and properly store your classic car. It requires a little extra care during the winter.
Be good to your car, and it will be good to you.
Your trusted advisor in automotive maintenance,
by Tommy Garcia
BG Technical Sales Engineer
Tommy has 20 years of experience in industrial maintenance. He is a hot rod enthusiast and lover of all things automotive. Before his role as BG Technical Sales Engineer, Tommy was the Shop Foreman for the BG Proving Ground.