Storing your Corvette away for the winter is more than parking it in the garage and forgetting about it until spring. The car has to be prepared correctly to prevent things such as moisture and rodents from damaging your pride and joy.
Your car should always be stored in an insulated building with a concrete floor, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get. Try to stay away from uninsulated garages because in colder climates the severe changes in temperature in unheated garages promotes moisture and moisture causes problems. You can help to prevent this by placing pie pans containing charcoal briquets around on the floor. Also, commercial absorbents used for closets and damp rooms will help but remember you will have to change these approximately every 30 days.
Never use a plastic, rubber, canvas or waterproof cover. These all trap moisture. Always use a quality Corvette Car Cover from Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632.
Follow along as we prepare our car for a long Winter’s nap.
01: Start by washing and waxing your car completely. Detail the exterior just as if you were preparing for a show.
02: Fill your cooling system with antifreeze at the recommended percentage for your area of the Country. A cracked block is no fun!
03: Fill your master cylinder with a quality brake fluid. We recommend DOT 3 Brake Fluid.
04: Pull each spark plug and squirt some oil into the cylinder. Then replace the plug. Also pull the distributor cap and spray CRC 556 or WD 40 into it and then replace it. This will stop moisture from forming in the cap. I would also lubricate all of the linkages, throttle, kickdown, etc. A good grade of white lithium grease will do. If you have any chrome in the engine compartment, make sure to polish it before you finish.
05: Make sure you either fill the fuel system or drain it completely.
06: Remove the battery. Now is the time to clean away any corrosion that has formed. Also check your battery’s hold down bracket and replace it if needed. Do not store your battery directly on a concrete floor. Always place it on wood. If you can, store it at room temperature and use a Battery Butler occasionally to keep it charged.
07: Vacuum and thoroughly detail your interior. The one thing I do recommend is not to use any vinyl dressing. This will sometimes create mildew in a damp environment.
08: Coat all of the weatherstrips with Weatherstripping Conditioner. This will help reject moisture and also keep them soft. Spread it on a rag then wipe it onto each weatherstrip.
09: If you have a standard shift car it is a good idea to disengage the clutch. This will keep the clutch disc from sticking and staying engaged when you restart the car in the spring. Here we place a 2×4 wrapped in a towel against the lower front of the seat cushion and then place another 2×4 of the correct length against the clutch pedal and back to the seat 2×4 to disengage the clutch.
10: Place 2 or 3 moisture absorbent packages on cardboard pads in the interior. Also place a plastic bowl with mothballs in it in the interior. The absorbent packages will stop moisture and the mothballs stop mice.
11: Now jack up the car and place the jack stand with protective pads (rubber pads or carpet will work) under the front and rear suspension points. By doing this you keep the suspension loaded and the car will be sitting just as it would if it was resting on its tires on the ground. Now is also a good time to lube the entire front and rear suspension and to check and fill the transmission (if it is a standard shift) and the rear end. You may also want to take some duct or masking tape and close off the exhaust tips. This may stop some unwanted guests from making a home in your exhaust system.
12: If the car is an automatic, it is a good idea to place a drain pan under the transmission. During a long period, the torque converter will drain and the fluid will overflow and you do not want 5 or 6 quarts of transmission fluid on your floor.
13: Remove your tires and wheels. If you have disc brakes, cover the rotor and caliper with a clean towel and spray generously with CRC 556 or WD 40. This will help keep out moisture. It is also a good idea to rotate the rear axle once a month. By doing this you are turning the rear gear and pinion into the Differential Gear Lubricant and helping to prevent rust on the exposed gear surface.
14: To store your wheels and tires, start by cleaning and then dressing them with some type of protectant. Apply a coat of wax or polish to your wheels. Find a cool dry place away from any high heat and lay a piece of carpet or cardboard on the floor. Now start to stack your tires. Use either brown craft paper or plain cardboard between each tire. Never use any type of printed paper (newspaper) because the print can bleed through onto your white letters or whitewalls. After you have stacked your 5 tires (remember the spare), cover them with a large plastic garbage bag (a 55 gallon type works best). This will keep light off of them and prevent fading.
15: Covered and ready for its winter hibernation.
Storing Your Corvette for the Winter
Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632
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