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How to Prepare Your Classic Vehicles for Storage

What's in this article?
  1. Evaluate Your Classic Car Insurance
  2. Where Should You Store Your Classic Car?
  3. Short-Term Vs Long-Term Storage
  4. Home Garage
  5. Classic Car Storage Facility
  6. Private Buildings
  7. Before Storing A Classic Car
  8. Get The Car Detailed
  9. Prep The Tires
  10. Change The Oil
  11. Fuel Up
  12. Cover The Tailpipe
  13. Disconnect Or Remove The Battery
  14. Utilize Wheel Blocks And Jack Stands
  15. Cover Your Classic Car
How to Prepare Your Classic Vehicles for Storage

Maintaining and preserving antique or vintage vehicles can be expensive and time-consuming. So if you plan to store your car for some time, prepping it before storage is critical.

Without protection and a little planning, cars can suffer from rust, water damage, strength loss, reduced fuel efficiency, and more.

If you are looking to store your beloved classic car safely, this article will give you all the advice you need to prepare your vehicle for storage safely.

These easy steps will ensure that your classic car returns in pristine condition, whether for a few days or several months.

Evaluate Your Classic Car Insurance

Before storing your car, it's important to review your antique car insurance policy to ensure that it meets all your needs and is up to date.

If you don't have it already, you may want to consider adding comprehensive coverage in case of theft or vandalism.

Ensure the policy is active before storing your car away for any length of time.

It's also a good idea to talk with your agent and do some research on the market so that you can be sure you are paying a fair price for the coverage you need while your vehicle isn't being driven.

Where Should You Store Your Classic Car?

Before storing your classic cars, explore the options. You can choose from short-term and long-term-storages, specialized classic car storage facilities, or any privately owned space.


Short-term vs. long-term storage

Short-term storage is the best option for classic cars that are taken out for pleasure drives or need protection only during winter. This type of storage provides a safe and secure environment to store your car while allowing you to access it when needed.

Long-term storage is ideal for classic cars that will primarily be put in car shows or stored away for long periods. Some long-term storage facilities even offer pick-up and delivery services. Keeping your classic car in a long-term facility ensures that it will remain immaculate until you are ready to use it.

Both short- and long-term storage facilities typically offer climate-controlled units, as well as 24/7 security monitoring. Additionally, many short-term storage facilities offer additional services such as detailing, maintenance, and repairs.

Home garage

Home garages are an ideal storage solution for car enthusiasts with extra space. They not only provide easy access to the vehicle but also protect it from the elements and don't bring the costs of renting.

Home garages offer an adequate level of moisture fluctuation, so you can rest assured that your car is safe from rust and other damage caused by extreme temperatures.

For classic cars, brick garages are the best option as they provide a stable temperature and moisture-free environment.

To ensure maximum protection, consider upgrading the locks on the garage door for added security. Additionally, allowing air to circulate by slightly opening car windows will help keep your car in good condition while stored in the garage.

Classic car storage facility

Classic car storage facilities make it easy and safe to store classic cars. These dedicated storage spaces are climate and moisture controlled, ensuring that the cars remain pristine.

Most facilities also offer 24-7 access and drive-up service, making it easy to check on or use your car whenever necessary. However, rental costs can add up over time, so it's important to consider the long-term cost of storing your classic car at a facility.

Private buildings

Private buildings are an ideal storage solution for collector cars. Detached garages and barns provide a secure, off-premise location to store valuable vehicles. Carports can offer protection from the sun and snow but not from all elements like moisture fluctuation.

Garage condos are a recent trend in storage for collectors, offering a workspace and garage all in one. These can be big enough to hold multiple cars, collections, and tools, with the option of adding a loft or mezzanine.

Before Storing a Classic Car

Before storing a classic car, it is important to take certain steps to ensure that the vehicle remains in good condition.


Get the car detailed

The first step is to thoroughly clean and wax the exterior. This will help protect the paint from fading or cracking due to sun exposure or other environmental factors.

Adding baking soda to the interior can help absorb odors and prevent mildew growth.

Prep the tires

Before storing your vehicle, it is important to clean the tires and inflate them to the recommended psi. This will help ensure that the tires are not damaged during long-term storage.

Change the oil

If a car is stored for more than 30 days, you should change the oil to prevent engine damage. You can skip this step if you only store the car for a week or two, but keeping the engine running in top condition is still recommended.

Fuel up

Filling the gas tank completely is essential to reduce the risk of rust and corrosion. If you plan on storing your car for the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. This will help prevent fuel from breaking down or evaporating while it's not being used.

It's also important to top off the coolant in your car before the cold months arrive. It will help prevent engine freezing which can cause serious damage to your vehicle.

Cover the tailpipe

Rodents can be a major problem for classic car owners, as they often nest in tailpipes and cause damage. Therefore, covering the tailpipe when the car is not in use is critical to avoid damage. You can do this by simply plugging or stuffing steel wool into the pipe. Doing so will help keep rodents out and protect your classic car from costly repairs.

When covering the tailpipe, it is important to remember to remove the plug before taking the car out of storage. It could lead to decreased performance or even engine damage due to restricted airflow if left in place. Taking a few extra moments to check that the tailpipe is clear before driving can save you time and money in the long run.

Disconnect or remove the battery

When storing the car for the season, it is important to always remove the battery from the vehicle and store it somewhere safe, dry, and off the floor. If this isn't possible, leaving the battery inside the car and hooking it up to a battery tender or trickle charger is an acceptable alternative.


Utilize wheel blocks and jack stands

Wheel blocks and jack stands are essential tools for vintage car owners who want to keep their vehicles in top condition. Jack stands can lift the car off its tires, which helps prevent flat-spotting.

Additionally, wheel blocks and jack stands will help protect your vehicle's suspension system from wear and tear caused by sitting in one position for too long.

Cover your classic car

A car cover protects the paint and body from dirt, dust, and other environmental elements.

When selecting a cover for a classic car, look for one custom-made from breathable material that won't trap moisture or cause condensation to form on the car's surface. In addition, the inside of the cover should be made from a soft material, such as cotton or flannel, to prevent damaging the car's surface or paint.

Besides protecting your classic car from dirt and dust, using a cover will also help keep it cooler in hot weather. It helps reduce wear and tear on your engine by preventing it from overheating due to direct sunlight exposure.

Besides transporting classic vehicles, A-1 Auto Transport offers enclosed transport, freight shipping, and more.

Get a free quote from A-1 Auto Transport today.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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