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dtthiaga
09-21-2003, 08:40 PM
This is the first time I'll be storing a car over the winter.
I've done some research and compiled a list/recommendations I was planning to follow.

Most of the information is from other sources on the net. I will be leaving the car on the winter steel wheels in the garage, and won't be starting it unless I can take it out for a Ĺ hour drive or so (good weather permitting). I will also trickle charge the battery.

Any Comments/Suggestions would be helpful from members who have stored their cars before.

Winter Storage Procedure

Put in fresh oil/filter and change the anti-freeze (does depend on the car/system). It's also a good idea to bleed the brakes so there is fresh brake fluid in the system.

Fill the gas with fresh fuel from a top quality station using high octane (no alcohol if you can help it). Top it off, but not to the top of the neck, leave room for it to expand and contract with the temps. Use a gas preservative such as stabil.

Put plenty of air in the tires (over inflate slightly). 5 to 15 pounds should be enough.

Make sure the car is thoroughly washed, including the underbody.

Wash and wax your car right before storing it.

Store the car only when it is dry.

Make sure the car has had a good run on the highway before storing it. By getting your car up to operating temperature it helps to burn off contaminants in the oil and it also gets rid of moisture in the crankcase and the exhaust system.

To stop moisture from getting under the car put a couple layers of plastic sheeting under the entire car and several feet either side/ends. This plastic is cheap and a good vapor barrier.

Close all the windows and put the system on max a/c to close the outside vent. If the garage is heated, then the window can be left open a small crack to allow air circulation.

Put a large bag of desiccant gel inside the car. This absorbs excess moisture in the air. Put them in a pie tin on the floor of the car. You can also place an open box of Baking Soda on the floor of the car to absorb moisture. The Passenger Side floor works fine.

Treat all rubber with a good rubber cleaner/conditioner. Meguires makes a good one. Clean your interior and vacuum it out, use leather cleaner/conditioner and vinyl cleaner/conditioner as required. Do NOT use water on the carpets/seats right before storage, mold and mildew will follow. Do NOT treat inside surfaces with Armor-All (or similar) products before storing your car. They contain a lot of water and chemicals that can encourage mildew and mold. You may get a musty spell concentrated over the winter.

Take out the battery and store it inside, and trickle charge it once a month. If storing the battery outside the car, place it on wood blocks.

If storing the car on the wheels, place cardboard or old carpet pieces under the tire to separate from the cold concrete. If you put the car on jack stands, use them under the suspension so all the bushings and springs are the way they are supposed to be, and not drooping down. Drooping from the weight of the wheels etc is hard on the suspension, and exposes parts to rust that normally are hidden.

If the car is manual, leave it in gear. Use wheel blocks to prevent it from rolling.

If the car is stored on its wheels, it may be helpful to roll the car slightly once a month.

Never set the parking brake. The brake shoes or pads could stick to the drums or rotors or the cables could rust or freeze up during storage. Use wheel blocks.

Put steel wool or rolled up scotch-brite pads in the tailpipes.

IMPORTANT!!!!! It is far better to let your car sit for four or five months without starting it, than to start it once a week, or once a month and let it sit for 10 minutes. NEVER start your car unless you plan on driving it on the highway for at least 1/2 hour and get it to full operating temp. Doing otherwise will just load the engine and exhaust with moisture to start rust etc.

crusher
09-22-2003, 01:29 AM
WOW!!! good write up. Thanks

Jeff

fitz318is
09-22-2003, 02:49 PM
Great write up!

Just a couple of additional things that I do:

1. Get fogging oil from Canadian Tire and fog the engine, this coats the inside and prevents rust inside the engine.
2. If you get wind and snow blowing into the garage when its open like I do (two car, single door), take the vapor barrior and tape it along the bumper with electrical tape (electrical tape because the glue rubs off easy) this keeps the moisture from getting under the car and seizing your breaks (ask me how I know)
3. Fill your tank all the way up it prevents condensation inside that would lead to rust but like in the above list use stabelizer.
4. I leave my car on its suspention, not jack stands, it was designed to be on it.
5. Change your rims and tires to somthing you dont care to much about if you can. Either way, fill them to almost there max pressure, this will prevent flat spots, just remember when you drive it the first time to take some of that air out.

Every year it starts up like it was never stored.

dtthiaga
09-22-2003, 10:32 PM
Several years ago, I read an article that talked about the fogging oil. They recommended that you run the car, and spray the fogging oil into the engine (through the throttle body or Carburetor) until it stalls or you get a puff of smoke.

I just didnít find any body doing this lately. Do you change your sparkplugs after this??? Does the oil get deposited on the spark plugs???

They are only a few dollars, so itís a small price to pay for protection, come spring time.

fitz318is
09-23-2003, 01:37 PM
Just like you said, spray into the TB until it really stumbles, you have to hold the air duct at the same time or the car will stall before your done. Then I actually take out each plug and spray inside the cylinders.

The plugs are fine because the stuff just burns away, but you could use it as an excuse to get new ones. In the spring I spray some TB cleaner in the TB and work it with a tooth brush just in case some of that stuff is left over.

blacknblue-e30
11-11-2003, 01:19 AM
that was really really helpful, nice info

BladeRunner
12-23-2003, 10:44 PM
Great stuff guys gotta compile these into one document, Guideline for Storing Your Vehicle. fitz318is great stuff, well written few mistakes and easy to follow. If the rating system of the forums is working i'm giving this one a 4 at the least.

sadda///M
01-31-2004, 02:48 AM
They're good tips for those who are winter storing their cars.


"If the car is manual, leave it in gear. Use wheel blocks to prevent it from rolling." It's in gear so you dont need wheel blocks.

bmdoubleya
03-07-2004, 05:01 AM
Great tips thanks

I would like to say that I have stored my car for 2 winters now and done nothing you said to do and the car still starts right up.

raffa
03-16-2004, 12:42 AM
cool

BladeRunner
03-17-2004, 01:04 AM
raffa haven't seen you here before, any videos I and many other would love to see what an M30/S38 can do?

MCK
10-18-2004, 07:06 AM
That would be pretty much the same for summer storage?

sonic07
10-27-2004, 02:27 AM
That would be pretty much the same for summer storage?

wow.... do you guys store the car for summer too in Australia ?
when do you get to drive it ....spring & falls ?

MCK
10-27-2004, 03:34 AM
wow.... do you guys store the car for summer too in Australia ?
when do you get to drive it ....spring & falls ?

Nah man we drive our cars here all the time....Im just going to America, to work on the slopes in Colorado for 6 months so thats why I am storing my car.

Im also hoping to get some parts over there.

Betray
10-27-2004, 03:45 AM
winter sucks

sonic07
10-27-2004, 04:00 AM
Nah man we drive our cars here all the time....Im just going to America, to work on the slopes in Colorado for 6 months so thats why I am storing my car.

Im also hoping to get some parts over there.

Alright mate .... no worries ....

1BADRIDE
10-29-2004, 12:03 PM
Holy crap... wouldn't it be easier to get some good snows and drive the car?

ara325
10-30-2004, 04:01 PM
Holy crap... wouldn't it be easier to get some good snows and drive the car?

That's what i do *th-up*

bimmer_02
12-24-2004, 06:47 PM
question: the new bmw's come with galvinized metal (not sure of spelling) that doesn't rust. so then if the car is repainted, it still wont rust cuz the actuall metal is anti-rust, right ?
or does the paint have something to do with the whole not rusting thing ??? :)

ara325
12-26-2004, 01:31 PM
question: the new bmw's come with galvinized metal (not sure of spelling) that doesn't rust. so then if the car is repainted, it still wont rust cuz the actuall metal is anti-rust, right ?
or does the paint have something to do with the whole not rusting thing ??? :)

Do they really come with galvanized metal?...I know that galvanized aluminum doesn't (shouldn't) rust...usually found on kids' swing sets.

NB Euro Direct
01-10-2005, 12:45 AM
well you might wanna use foam
foam the engine and oil lines and gas lines
it's actually really good

the nice tires you use leave them standing up between 2 pieces off wood so they don't deform by staying on the same place the whole time and pressure points are 3 instead of 1 and rotate them every so often
wax the car prior to storage
buy some of that chemical they give you with your leather jackets to prevent moles from going there

Frank Hayes
02-11-2005, 11:15 PM
One last important thing which doesn't seem to have been mentioned is a cover for the car. What's the point in cleaning and waxing and polishing if you don't cover it all up for the winter, did I miss that somewhere in the threads. Go to Crappy Tire and get a $50 cover, even if it is oversized, trust me, it'll save a few accidental scratches in the depths of the winter. When you go into the garage in the freezing months, you're not quite as careful as you would normally be so purchase the insurance, it's well worth it.

T.Dot_E30
11-14-2005, 11:33 AM
Bump for a good article.

Some ppl might find it useful





That's what i do *th-up*

Ara is that why you bought a winter beater this winter?

ara325
11-16-2005, 07:54 PM
Bump for a good article.

Some ppl might find it useful







Ara is that why you bought a winter beater this winter?

Yes, actually this is the first year i've had a winter beater. I've driven my Bimmers every winter (except for one year) since my first one in '97...or was it '96? Anyway, this worked out real well, b/c i got the Bonneville as a hand-me-down and have spent about $750 to get it on the road.

T.Dot_E30
11-16-2005, 08:15 PM
Yes, actually this is the first year i've had a winter beater. I've driven my Bimmers every winter (except for one year) since my first one in '97...or was it '96? Anyway, this worked out real well, b/c i got the Bonneville as a hand-me-down and have spent about $750 to get it on the road.

lol good stuff man, ur gonna miss doing rwd drifts :D.

Did you get those problems sorted out that u were having with the e30?

ara325
11-16-2005, 08:31 PM
lol good stuff man, ur gonna miss doing rwd drifts :D.

Did you get those problems sorted out that u were having with the e30?

Well, the last few days before i stored it, she was running ok. So it's an intermittent problem...i've been starting it once a week for the last 3 weeks and taking it for short runs in my neighbourhood, and she's been fine (knock on wood).
But really, lately, i've had a hard-on for an e46 M3, more like yearning, craving, constant craving...but i just bought a condo to live in, so unfortunately it's BA to the M-trois.*thmbsdwn*

X5HogTown
11-16-2005, 09:38 PM
Be sure to put the stabilizer in the tank before topping it up in order to give it a good mixing. Run the car for a good 5-10 minutes to make sure the stabilizer gets through the fuel line and injector system.

thinair
11-16-2005, 09:46 PM
"If the car is manual, leave it in gear. Use wheel blocks to prevent it from rolling." It's in gear so you dont need wheel blocks.

No, that'd be adding load on the tranny and engine mounts for no reason, especially if you have a very inclined driveway. Chalk the wheels, once the car is rested, then clutch in, engage the gear and clutch out so there is no strain on the driveline.

ara325
11-16-2005, 09:50 PM
Be sure to put the stabilizer in the tank before topping it up in order to give it a good mixing. Run the car for a good 5-10 minutes to make sure the stabilizer gets through the fuel line and injector system.

is it too late now after i've filled the tank?

thinair
11-16-2005, 10:18 PM
is it too late now after i've filled the tank?

Better late then never

ara325
11-17-2005, 07:10 PM
Better late then never
:D
true, true...thanks dude. It's funny that as I was watching tv last night, i saw a commercial for Sta-Bil gas stabilizer...i don't remember seeing that before...did you have someting to do with it?:D

Gamite
12-04-2007, 04:19 AM
forgot to sticky this thread this year. "Better late than never." :P

sreeja
12-07-2007, 02:14 AM
I just heard about this.It is nice.Is it gives a fresh look ever?I cannot believe this.

KillerPM
01-06-2008, 03:34 PM
The only suggest I can add is leave the car in 2nd gear (for all us MT guys, 1st gear for guys who have a dogleg transmission). This keeps the transmission selector rod pushed in as far into the transmission as it can be. Keeps it from getting corroded and keeps that transmission seal working better come spring.

nX07
09-19-2008, 01:04 AM
So much things to take into consideration it almost makes me want to just drive the car once a week or so in the winter lol!

propr'one
09-22-2008, 06:13 AM
^^lucky you. for me to drive my car in the winter involves a border crossing, a 5 hour long drive, re-installation of wheels/battery/lighting systems, flushing fluids and then realizing i still can't go anywhere cause i dont have winters.

but its ok, winter sucks, but i got another bmw for that.

Dammerung
01-20-2010, 01:28 PM
Where can i find trickle chargers? can i put it on the battery even when the battery is in the car?

Dammerung
02-09-2010, 03:03 AM
Be sure to put the stabilizer in the tank before topping it up in order to give it a good mixing. Run the car for a good 5-10 minutes to make sure the stabilizer gets through the fuel line and injector system.

Just a quick question. I end up driving my car once a month for a good hour. But its basically in storage for a good 6 months. should i add stabalizer? Should I fill the tank after every use as well?

AdrianL
12-25-2011, 12:59 AM
Trickel chargers can be found at canadian tyre. Put in stabilizer if it's sitting for a month or more. Less than that I wouldn't bother.

M3habib
04-24-2012, 04:23 AM
question regarding "placing plastic under the car"... this is the first iv heard of it, cant you have a big old rug underneath, would that prevent the moisture too?

Iv always used a thick piece of rug under each tire, KEEP IN MIND, if the rug gets wet someway somehow, the moisture will damage your tires more then having it sitting on concrete ;)

MrRWD
04-24-2012, 01:48 PM
question regarding "placing plastic under the car"... this is the first iv heard of it, cant you have a big old rug underneath, would that prevent the moisture too?

Iv always used a thick piece of rug under each tire, KEEP IN MIND, if the rug gets wet someway somehow, the moisture will damage your tires more then having it sitting on concrete ;)

A rug would be bad. Concrete will always let moisture come up from the ground (unless it is fully sealed - epoxy coating). This is a general practice, and really depends on the water table in your area.

Carpet pieces or large foam for the tires are important to insulate the tires from the cold concrete.

This is the same reason, most seasoned carpet installers don't recommend hardwood or laminate flooring in the basements. Carpet with an good underpad will still breathe.
For hardwood/ laminate in the basement, you need some kind of thermal and moisture break - raised floor, with that plastic dimples on the back.

Jay22
10-13-2013, 11:55 AM
When do you guys usually store your cars? This is my first year of storing my new-to-me E90 - with the E46 it was one the road 365 days a year - Im guessing mid november?>

croweprod
09-30-2014, 12:02 AM
When do you guys usually store your cars? This is my first year of storing my new-to-me E90 - with the E46 it was one the road 365 days a year - Im guessing mid november?>


For me, as soon as the salt hits the road, time to bring it in. The rust on my acura would stay pretty much the same all summer, then the first salting, and wow, the sheet metal would start crumbling!