Long Winter's Nap: Storage Tips from CorvetteBlogger
by Steve Burns
When it comes to storing a Corvette or any other car over the winter or other long stretch of time there are a number of options available. Ask 5 different people which method is best and you'll likely get 5 different responses. This how we store our cars in the CorvetteBlogger garage.
One of the most important considerations in storing a car for an extended period of time is keeping as much moisture as possible away from the car. Whether your car is in a heated garage or not, moisture is the menace that can ruin your spring and summer fun in a number of ways. Our method is designed to keep moisture away from our rides while they’re sleeping.
So here's what you'll need to store your car our way:
- Standard Tarp: 16' x 8' or larger
- 4 pieces of 1/4 inch thick OSB plywood
- Car Jacket and desiccant
- Battery Tender + tools to remove the battery
- Fuel Stabilizer
- Quick detailing spray + rags
We start the storage process by placing a standard tarp on the floor of the garage to act as a moisture barrier. We use just a standard tarp which you can obtain from your local home improvement store. Thicker is better so spend a little more here for a more substantial tarp. Next, place 4 pieces of regular 1/4" thick OSB plywood side-by-side in 2 rows of 2 on top of the tarp. You can use thicker or better grade lumber if you choose. We’re just cheap and the OSB seems to work just fine for us. Now is a good time to add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank of your car. We use STA-BIL for this job. Make sure you follow the directions and add the correct amount to your gas tank.
After you’ve got the tarp and plywood down, next comes the fun part. We use a Car Jacket from Pine Ridge Enterprises. Think of this like a giant Zip Lock bag. Unfold the Car Jacket and spread it out on the floor on top of the plywood. Make sure the Car Jacket is flat and drive your car onto the bag. Be sure to center your car on the bag so it will zip closed when you're ready. You may want to perform a “practice closing” of the bag just to make sure your Corvette is properly placed on the bag. Otherwise you’ll just have to move the car again later (after the battery is out). Now that your car is in its extended resting place give it once last wipe down with the cleaner of your choosing. The car will need time to cool off anyway before you close up the Car Jacket. We like Meguiar’s Quik Detailer for the final cleaning job of the season. This step is kind of like brushing your teeth before bed.
After your car is clean, it’s time to remove the battery. Those of you with later model Corvettes and/or cars with power windows will want to make sure you’ve got the windows cracked open slightly prior to pulling the battery. Also be sure to leave a door and the rear hatch open as well for interior access. Those of you with manual windows will have no worries here. Once the battery is out, place it in a warm, dry area (like your basement) and hook it up to a smart charger. If you can’t store your battery in the house, outside in the garage is fine too just make sure everything is safe from water contact. We like Detran’s Battery Tender. This charger only charges the battery when it needs it and lets the battery rest when it’s full.
Now back to the car. Your car is now in position on its bed of tarp and wood which is below your Car Jacket. If the engine and exhaust have cooled fully it’s now time to button things up for the winter. The first step here is to place the desiccant packs included with your Car Jacket throughout the car and car bag. We like to place packs 3 inside the car: 1 in the rear compartment, 1 on the passenger’s floor board and 1 on the driver’s floor board. Place the remaining packs evenly spaced underneath the car. Next, shut the doors (remember to keep the windows cracked), hood, rear hatch, and anything else you’ve left open and put a car cover over on your ride. Finally, double check that you've got everything you need out of your car and proceed to close up the Car Jacket as long as everything has fully cooled off.
As we mentioned earlier, there are many ways to store a car. This is just a method we've found which works will to get us through a frosty Midwestern winter. If you follow the steps we've outlined here your car should emerge in the springtime looking just as it did when you left it several months prior. The brake rotors won't even have any rust on them.