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How to properly store a car outdoors?

  1. #1
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    How to properly store a car outdoors?


    Summer toy but no more garage room.
    I have seen vehicles that are put away for long term stores get put in couple of pieces of wood? Good idea?
    A car cover seems like a wise investment too, although some are against it because it traps moisture.
    Anything else suggested?

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Make sure the ground base is proper. Dirt and gravel are terrible. Cement would be best. Carport if you can.
    A good cover will allow the car to breath so look for that. Cheap ones stop condensation from going in or out and couple that with a dirt ground you've got problems.
    For one of my classic British cars I used a harbour freight portable garage with the optional vent system and a heavy duty tarp covering the ground so it's not on bare dirt. I don't see much of a difference between that one and the one I store with more care in a barn even after about 4 years. Ideally both would be in a garage but that's not happening until next year.

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  3. #3

    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    from reddit -

    Car cover

    Heater/thermostat

    Jack the car off the ground (avoids flat spots on tires and keeps air circulated to avoid moisture/rust)

    On my previous (2008'ish) car, I used old snow tires to let those get flat spots

    Fuel stabilizer and fill the tank

    Disconnect the battery or trickle charge

    Plastic wrap the windshield wipers

    Change oil shortly after coming out of storage

    Socks/rags in exhaust (prevents animals making a nest in there, just remember to take them out at the end!)
    if you like the car, store it inside a garage even if it's paid. I've stored stuff outside and it just gets weathered down...east coast rain/condensation seemed to get onto everything metal and start the rust process. west coast it gets dusty and insects/cobwebs make their way into it.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    If not concrete then gravel over thick plastic

    Isn't a tent garaged only like $200 ? NOTE make sure something flapping doesn't touch the paint it will wear through

    Spray fogging oil everywhere

    Vermin Control Metal / screen over orifices like intake and exhausts, SOME cars have screens over passenger air, or do it

    If you could start it up like once during the middle of the winter, really warm it up full operating temperature

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  5. #5
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    For regular asphalt driveway don’t put anything under right?
    Some say put it on jack stands if possible, but it could be bad for the suspension to stay extended for too long?

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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    If the only option is to leave it outside, I wouldnít do anything to it. Itís better off being exposed to the elements and natural wet/dry cycles. Covers trap moisture, and even the ones that breath, will delay the dry time.
    Concrete pads always have high moisture content, and condensates more with temperature change than most other materials.

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  7. #7
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    I agree with the above statement.. if it's just for this winter (it's already short) don't go too crazy and let it be. If you can throw a few dryer sheets around the car and engine bay just to detract from rodents. I'd even take the battery out (make sure your manual locks turn so you don't lock yourself out). It'll only be 4 more months until it should be warm enough to start it up and move it around.

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  8. #8
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    For regular asphalt driveway don’t put anything under right?
    Some say put it on jack stands if possible, but it could be bad for the suspension to stay extended for too long?
    Regular asphalt is fine.
    No jack stands. It's really only for the overly obsessed worried about flat spots and possible suspension life.

    How long are you storing it for? I assumed only for a couple months so didn't suggest stabilizer or any tricks to make it in a ready state. If your going to be storing for say 3 months or more than there is more yiu should/could do.

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  9. #9
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Probably from when it snows until it doesn’t snow any more. 3-4 maybe 5 months?

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  10. #10
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    I wouldn't go crazy then. Start it every few weeks so you don't have to deal with a dead battery and add some fuel stabilizer to it and drive it around a bit to get it through the whole system. I wouldn't worry about a cover or anything. Just brush the snow off from time to time.

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  11. #11
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    I think I read somewhere that you can put moth balls in a plastic container with holes punched in the lid, placed in the engine bay, to keep critters away.....

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  12. #12
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Can you get a power cord for a Battery Tender to it?

    I didnít think radials were susceptible to flat spotting?

    We purchased a California Cover for the WRX and Iím not impressed for the money. Storing in garage for winter.

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  13. #13
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Yes I can get a cord to it no problem

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  14. #14
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Harbor freight has its carport canopy on sale for $99. You just need to print a coupon

    10 ft. x 20 ft. Portable Car Canopy

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    Last edited by LuvDog; 12-30-18 at 02:54 PM.
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  15. #15
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    That canopy is great. Lasted me 5 years before I punched a hole in the roof knocking snow off of it. I repaired it and it lasted another year before I have it away. I think it's still being used.

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  16. #16
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Have you looked to see what kind of storage options are available in the area? Traditional cube storage or something on craigslist? My buddy was able to find a guy local to us who has a finished pole barn. He stores his truck there for the winter for around 300$ a year.

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  17. #17
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    We have a member here that offers storage. I may go with him. But I prefer the car to be near me and accessible. We ll see. I honestly may just leave it parked and drive it around every few weeks and wash it.

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  18. #18
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonk! View Post
    I think I read somewhere that you can put moth balls in a plastic container with holes punched in the lid, placed in the engine bay, to keep critters away.....
    they love to make nests in exhaust pipes a well, my recommendation, is a kerosene soaked rag

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  19. #19
    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Quote Originally Posted by boosten lebaron View Post
    That canopy is great. Lasted me 5 years before I punched a hole in the roof knocking snow off of it. I repaired it and it lasted another year before I have it away. I think it's still being used.
    Wait, that thing can take 5+ Northeast winters? For real? I would guess one windy / heavy snow day and it’s toast

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  20. #20
    Lifer
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    I was shocked it lasted that long. It's actually a shelterlogic system rebranded for harbour freight so it does have some quality behind it. When I built it I took some steps to get extra life out of it since I thought it was only going to last a year at most. I tapped up all the joints that touched the cover so they wouldn't cut it, I bolted the anchor poles to 2x12 then secured that to the ground with stakes so I could spread the load more and I always made sure to go out after snow and brush it off. If we were having a bad storm I would go out during it to knock it off several times. I eventually stopped doing that and it always survived. It was my own incompetence that killed it in the end. I was using a shitty broom inside of it to push the snow off and the brush head fell off and the handle went right through it. Some rip stop sealed it right up again but in my mind it was ruined. Held up fine the rest of the time I had it but the second I heard someone looking for one I gave it away.
    I would have bought another but I bought land with a 2 car garage on it so I store things there now. I really can't say enough good things about those shelter kits.

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  21. #21
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    People keep tires off the ground for moisture rotting reasons, not so much flat spots. Moisture trapped between the tire and the ground is a huge issue with tire rotting. If you have moist ground in the area, concrete can be absolutely awful for tires as concrete really wicks water. You can block up the corners using brick and wood under the suspension, not frame. Doesn't hurt to put some plastic between the wood and car as wood also likes to hold moisture, but that is getting pretty intense. Keeping the car up so air moves under it helps keep everything dry.
    Dryer sheets keep vermin and bugs away, and the car will be Summer Breeze fresh, not smell like grandma's attic. If you don't cover it, be sure to put something in the windows to keep the UV degradation low.
    Don't start it unless you are going to run it. Starting it for 5 minutes here and there will only introduce moisture to the exhaust and will most likely be acidic due to the byproducts of running the car engine cold. Change the oil before storing and run it up to temperature. Getting the old oil out and the new oil in coats the engine with fresh oil with less acid. Some people will fog the engine, but I'm not a fan unless you are storing for a while.
    As mentioned plug up the exhaust, I like to use course steel wool, less attractive to mice and such and lets moisture move out easily. If you do install a batter tender, you can also add one of those ultrasonic pest things to keep mousey from getting in around the engine.

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  22. #22
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    I would highly recommend no cover. Wind plays havok and will rub the paint off high spots, EVEN GOOD covers. Take it from one who had to have a 1970 Mustang Mach1 repainted.

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  23. #23
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    I honestly may just leave it parked and drive it around every few weeks and wash it.
    bingo

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  24. #24
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    Re: How to properly store a car outdoors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    bingo
    How the hell are we supposed to beat this horse for the next two months if you support the simple and logical solution??

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