Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Antique Dilemma

I inherited a 1951 MG from my (still living!!!) father. I live in Cleveland and have a detached, non-insulated, occasionally mousy garage. How do I keep the mice and bugs out of the car (interior and engine)? And how do I get it ready for winter?

I think that the only way you are going to keep the rats out of the car is to keep them out fo the garage. I don’t think there is a way to keep them out of a car only.

Make sure that you have new anti-freeze in the cooling system and that about all you can do.

The uninsulated garage is not a problem, but the mice are. Placing D-Con in the garage may keep the mice away. I’ve also heard about electronic devices that emit a high frequency noise that drives away rodents. You may consider adopting a cat that likes to “mouse”, although cats I have had over the last 20 years consider themselves above this duty.

As far as the car is concerned, be certain that the coolant has a 50-50 mixture of antifreeze and water, fill the gasoline tank and add stabilizer, remove the spark plugs, squirt in a little oil, then crank the engine and replace the plugs and disconnect the chassis (ground) terminal of the battery.

My only other suggestion is to move to a better climate where you can enjoy the car year round.

Be sure to keep food sources out of the garage. Bird seed is a common attractive food for mice. Since my dad started keeping his in a small galvanized trash can he has no more mice.

Be sure to keep the battery fully charged. Once a month, hook it up an automatic charger overnight. If the battery is discharged, the electrolyte could freeze and wreck the battery. Or, you could pull the battery and put in on a piece of wood in a warm basement.

Mice are usually not much of a problem, but rats are. Ask me how my MGA knows. I now use D-con in a small container on top of all my stored car’s engines.

That said, you should immediately ship the car to me where I will keep it in a heated mouseless-ratless garage in the winters and love it forever.

TIA MG McAnick

If you know there are mice in the garage, you have to do whatever it takes to get rid of them. They will RUIN the car in no time at all. They will nest in the interior, they will chew the insulation off the wiring under the hood, they will turn a nice car into a piece of junk if you let them.

Don’t let them. Have you thought about a cat? If not, you might want to consider having an outside cat.

As far as getting the car ready for winter, there’s not too much you should need to do. The coolant should already have antifreeze in it. If it doesn’t, drain and refill with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.

Make sure there’s fuel stabilizer in the gas tank, and that the tank is full, before you park it for the winter.

What do you plan to do with this 1951 MG? Are you and old car lover, or are you just taking this car because dad can’t take care of it anymore?

Or, you could pull the battery and put in on a piece of wood in a warm basement.

Well that piece of wood, will not hurt anything, but it will not do anything either. In the old days when batteries were made with hard rubber cases, there was something to those instructions, but today they use plastic cases and the problem, as small as it was is now gone.

I do agree that a battery tender is a good idea. I also suggest that the battery be stored out of the car and away from the car. If someone is interested in stealing it, the lack of a battery will make it that much harder. Thieves seldom carry spare batteries.

We plan to use and love this car - have already been riding around in it weekly! Found a friend who knows how to repair it and we are learning as we go…

haha - we plan to keep it!!! Will get some D-con.

There are also traps you can use. They are black boxes with holes on either end and a bait inside. There is also adhesive paper inside that will trap the varmints when they step inside. Two traps are better than one; you might use both and consider other alternatives, too.

I’m envious. My dad left me a '60 T-Bird in an era when no one wanted a '60 T-Bird, NOT EVEN ME.

The MGTD is probably my favorite MG ever, and I’ve had the MGA I have now for over 40 years. That’s no record. One of my customers has had his MGA for 50.

Go to Home Depot and/or Lowes, and ask for ultrasonic insect and vermin repellers. Since the car is going to be parked a lot, you can shove in several of these. We use them in our house here in rural Mexico. They not only keep most mice and rats out, but also scorpions, and at one time there were some toxic lizards who came in the house, ran over to the repeller and froze. In some cases, our cousin would find them dead in front of the ultrasound.

They do not draw much power.

D-con in the garage, Ultrasonics in the car.