I GET A LOT of people asking what’s the best way to store your car and my standard reply is, “How long for?”
That’s because the answer is different depending on whether we’re talking a few months or a few years.
For a few months, the procedure is simple. Change all the fluids. You’ll be smart to do that all over again when you come back to it.
I also drain the carburettor (assuming it has one). This might seem like a pain, but modern fuels go off very quickly and the tiny quantity in a carburettor can quickly dry out and start to block jets.
I’d rather have to deal with a few dried out carburettor gaskets than have to rebuild or replace it.
Don’t forget to pump up the tyres – over-inflate them – to reduce the likelihood of flat spots. Your final act should be to disconnect and remove the battery as a safety precaution.
Long term? That’s a whole different story. I like to drain all the fluids - and I mean all. So that includes, fuel, oil coolant (which goes alkaline and eats through components) and brake fluid (which absorbs moisture and eventually turns to a destructive gel).
Again the battery is removed altogether. Plus, if possible, I like to back off all the tappets, so you don’t have valve springs sitting under compression with valves left open.
The final trick is to jack up the car and put it on axle stands. This preserves the tyres, bushes and suspension.
It’s a lot of work, but take it from me, it more than pays for itself.
Mick owns Glenlyon Motors, an expert workshop and car storage facility in Brunswick, Melbourne. Call him on (03) 9380 5082