Wash and wax the car (good
time for a clay treatment!!), then cover it with an automotive car
cover. Make sure your storage is DRY.
Make sure all your vent
controls are closed. System set to recycled air. Rodent nests in
heater boxes can be a pain. Vacuum out the interior and make sure
you get all the french fries and candy wrappers out from under the
seats so as not to arrtact rodents. Leave mouse traps and/or poison
around the car as mice do severe damage to wiring. Place a desiccant
of some sort on the passenger floor, preferrably on top of a barrier
of some sort just to make sure they chemicals don't discolor your
carpet. Some people use mothballs to keep persistent rodents away
but complain about the chemical smell when the car is revived. Apparently,
dryer sheets have the same deterrent effect and give your car that
nice "mountain fresh" (or whatever) smell. Either way,
anything smells better than old rodent carcasses decomposing in
Put the battery on a battery
maintainer (not a trickle charger, but a true maintainer). If you
do this, you don't have to disconnect it. If you don't use a maintainer,
disconnect the battery and then FULLY charge it with a 1-2 amp charger.
Check/replenish the electrolyte level with distilled water. A typical
well-maintained battery should last a good 5 to 6 years.
Some folks use a set of junk tires for storage
purposes so they don't have to worry about flat-spotting. Others
over-inflate to about 50 lbs and put two sheets of cardboard or
wood sheets under each tire, rolling the car back or forward a foot
or two once a month by pushing it. Another popular alternative is
to put the car on jackstands. It seems that most people misunderstand
this to mean putting the car up and letting the suspension hang
fully uncompressed. The correct procedure for storing a car on jack
stands is to support the car under the control arms so the suspension
Fill fuel tank, but do
not top it off. When the pump clicks off, stop filling. If you add
fuel stabilizer, follow the directions on the bottle. Drive car
a bit to ensure stabilizer is well-circulated.
Check your coolant freeze
point and Ph. Flush/install fresh coolant if necessary. New coolant/distilled
water has a Ph of maybe 8.5-9. If you flush/refill, take a ride
with the heater on to ensure you are putting the new stuff into
the heater core. Store the car in second or fourth gear to prevent
corrosion on the selector rod.
Do not set the handbrake
as the shoes can (probably will) seize. This is also the perfect
time for your once a year brake fluid change! Remember that brake
fluid attracts moisture. This can be even more devistating during
long periods of inactivity such as winter storage.
To start or not to start?
There really is no need to start the car and let
it run stationary because it can actually do more harm than good.
If you really feel like you have to run the car, you must run it
long enough to get up to normal operating temperature. And don't
forget to run ducting from the exhaust to outside the garage!!!
Ideally, the thing to do is to pick a nice day at least once a month
and go for a drive of no less than 10 miles. Brett Anderson of Koala
Motorsport advises that the E30 M3 is just fine not being started
at all for 3 months or so at a time.