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Storage Shield Prepare your Classic Car for Winter Storage

Winter Storage

Classic cars are more about craftsmanship and style than efficiency and speed. These timeless vehicles not only appeal to car enthusiasts, but to lovers of engineering, design, and history.

Classic cars hold significant value and should be preserved in first-rate condition. If you’re planning to keep your car in self storage for the winter months, it’s crucial to find the right long-term storage solution.

The key to keeping your car safe and maintaining its condition is to locate a dependable and secure storage facility. Make sure to inquire about whether the facility offers a tenant protection plan that includes vehicle coverage. It’s important to note that a tenant protection plan is not the same as insurance – it offers even better protection.

A tenant protection plan serves as a contractual agreement between you and the self-storage facility. In this agreement, the self-storage operators agree to compensate tenants for any damages that may occur to their belongings. As long as your vehicle is kept in a locked storage unit, it will be covered up to a predetermined dollar amount.

By opting for a Storage Shield tenant protection plan, you can safeguard your classic car against unexpected events and potential losses.

Prepare Your classic Car for Winter Storage Checklist

Find the Right Self Storage Facility

It’s important to use a facility with up-to-date security and climate control to keep your vehicle in top condition.

Climate-Controlled Self Storage
Extreme changes in temperature and humidity can cause harm to the paint, upholstery, and tires of your vehicle. Even the engine can be affected. Climate-controlled self storage ensures that your car is kept in optimal conditions.

These units maintain an indoor temperature ranging from 55° to 85° F and a humidity level of 55%. For added protection of your classic car, it is recommended to cover the floor with plastic sheeting as a vapor barrier. This prevents moisture from reaching the underside of the car.

High-Level Security
Self storage security measures are continuously advancing. Most properties offer keyless entry systems that enable convenient access to storage units through mobile devices. It is important to look for facilities equipped with electronic keypads at entry gates, as well as video surveillance.

Bright lighting and perimeter fencing are a must. A vigilant on-site or resident manager is another deterrent to criminal or illicit activity.

Prepare Your Investment for Long-Term Storage

Classic cars need extra protection and maintenance to preserve their condition. Below are a few tips to avoid deterioration and keep your car pristine.

Clean and Detail Your Car
Before storing your classic car, it’s essential to give it a thorough cleaning and detailing. Remove any dirt, debris, or grease from both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. This will prevent any corrosion or staining during the storage period. Additionally, consider applying a protective wax coating to the car’s exterior to shield it from dust and moisture.

Protect the Interior
To prevent any damage to the interior of your vehicle, invest in breathable fabric covers for the seats. This will protect against dust, sunlight, and potential fading or cracking of the upholstery. Consider using moisture-absorbing products like desiccant packs or even an electric dehumidifier to keep the interior dry.

Check the Tires
Inflate your classic car’s tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. This will help prevent flat spots and potential damage to the sidewalls. Consider using jack stands to relieve the weight on the tires. Consult your vehicle’s manual for proper lifting points.

Change Fluids and Top Up the Fuel
To prevent degradation, change the oil and filter before storing your classic car. Old oil can contain contaminants that can harm the engine over time. Additionally, top up the fuel tank to prevent condensation from forming and causing fuel system issues. Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration and engine damage.

Take Precautions Against Pests
To prevent pests, take measures such as placing mothballs or cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around the vehicle. Additionally, thoroughly clean the car’s interior to remove crumbs or debris that may attract rodents or insects.

Disconnect and Store Battery
Battery acid leaks can cause catastrophic damage to older car engines. If you’re storing your car for the long term, consider removing the battery. If you decide to leave the battery terminals connected, the car will continue to use energy, depleting the battery. At the very least, disconnect the battery and hook it up to a battery tender.

Use a High-Quality Cover
Regardless of where you store your vehicle, you need a quality custom cover with a breathable fabric that won’t trap moisture. This could damage the paint.


By following these essential steps, you can ensure your beloved classic car remains in optimal condition while in self storage. Take your time, follow these tips, and enjoy peace of mind knowing your cherished vehicle is in safe hands.