Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car storage for the winter

I am storing a 1979 MB 450 SL for up to six months in cold storage in Vermont. The gas tank is essentially full and I add a stablizer according to directions.

I’ve been told the car should be started periodically and run for ~ 15 minutes to help keep the gaskets and hoses flexible. Is this correct? Anything else I should be doing?

Do not do that. It’s bad to start a car for short periods, the car doesn’t have a chance to warm up, you get lots of gasoline in the oil. I’d just park it (you did run the engine long enough to get the fuel stabilizer throughout the fuel injection system, right?). I’d either pull the battery and put a battery tender on it, or leave it in the car with a battery tender. Are you certain the antifreeze is in good shape?

Don’t start the engine unless you’re going to drive the car. If you can drive it for 20-30 minutes periodically that would be good. Otherwise don’t start it.

Either remove the battery or use a Battery Tender to keep it fully charged. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and test the coolant for proper anti-freeze protection.

Run the engine long enough to get the stabilizer throughout the fuel system.

How long should it take to fully circulate the stablizer?

Thanks for the other advice.

10 miles (about 1/2 gallon) should be plenty, I’d think.

Drive the car for 15-20 minutes. That will circulate the stabilizer.

Many people add the stabilizer before filling the tank. Filling the tank mixes the stabilizer with the fuel, then by the time you’ve driven home from the gas station the stabilizer is circulated throughout the fuel system. Remember that next winter.