Winterizing Your Classic Car

This time of year the weather is a big topic of conversation. It can change drastically from day to day as we drift town the inevitably cold days of winter. This generally means putting away your classic car for the next 4 – 6 months. It’s a sad day knowing you won’t have it back on the streets until spring. But as any classic or collectible car owner knows, you need to be sure your baby is properly winterized before hanging up the keys.



There are hundreds of tips and tricks for winterizing your classic car but we wanted to highlight some of the most important ones to get you started:

  • Add air to the tires and give your car a good wash and wax before putting it away. Any dirt on the vehicle could lead to scratches as you put on and remove the vehicle cover.
  • Check the antifreeze, change the oil and filter.
  • Fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer. Run the engine to move the stabilizer into the carburetor, fuel rails, etc. The more full your tank, the less room for air which carries moisture that can contaminate your fuel and even rust the tank.
  • You can either unhook the battery and store it separately in a location that will not freeze or if possible, leave it in the vehicle and connect a battery tender.
  • Store your vehicle in a dry, dark location, sheltered from the elements.
  • Don’t forget to close the windows! 

Here are some other optional tips to consider, depending on your vehicle and situation:

  • To reduce the threat of moisture inside the vehicle you can place baking soda packages in both the interior and trunk.
  • Cover the exhaust pipe and air inlets with foil or a plastic bag. This can help keep mice, insects or other pests from getting into the vehicle and causing any damage. Some people will even stuff steel wool into the tailpipe. Just don’t forget to remove it in the spring.
  • The ground underneath your vehicle will have some moisture, even if it’s concrete. If this is a concern for you, place a plastic barrier between your tires and the ground.

Once your classic car is properly winterized and put away you don't have to start it again until spring. But if you do start it, be sure the engine runs for a full 15 minutes to allow the engine to warm up. Running it for just a few minutes will do you no good and only adds unnecessary wear to the engine.

Before you know it, your beautiful classic will be back out on your driveway on a warm sunny day, just begging to go for a cruise!



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