Outdoor six month winter storage corvette

My 2003 Chevrolete Corvette will experience its first six month outdoor (under a carport roof) storage. What steps should I take to help it endure the occasional 30 below zero temperatures. The car will be under a car cover. I could have a sparkplug insert engine block heater coil installed, but would rather find other ways to winterize it. I intend to stuff the exhaust pipe with a heavy non cotton towel. What else, such as remove the battery or start the car every week (a caretaker will do that-I will be three thousand miles away.

This is consider more as long-term parking rather than storage. If it were my car, here’s what I would do. Lay a vapor barrier down on the ground where the car will sit. You can get this material at any home improvement center. This will prevent any moisture in the ground from attacking the underside steel chasis components. Add a fuel stabilizer to a full tank of gas. Remove the battery. And instead of a towel, cram some stainless steel wool in the both exhaust pipes and at the intake before the air filter. Critters can’t chew thru this stuff and allows air to circulate to keep condensation from forming. You might also toss a half dozen dryer sheets in the interior to repell any critters.

That’s all I’d do.


Thanks for the useful info. Is it better or worse to use my somewhat high cost car cover? What about putting it on blocks=perhaps a difficult job on a Corvette?

Low temperatures are not the enemy of a stored car. Moisture is the real culprit. As per Terster’s advice, keep moisture and rodents out. Stabiize the gas, have a fresh oil fill and filter installed. would also wax the car, so that 6 months fom now, the grime will wash off easily. At least the fiberglass body won’t rust. I would also make sure the wind does not blow anything against the body; that will dull the finish. Tape that vapor barrier down to the ground.

Low temperatures are not the enemy of a stored car.
When a hard to reach freeze plug pops or the block cracks because the antifreeze protection wasn’t up to -30 deg F protection, you might think otherwise! At least check the antifreeze protection level with one of those cheap hydrometers and make sure you have the winter blend of windshield washer fluid cycled through the system prior to storage.

Forget about blocking it up. That can do more harm than good. The car is meant to rest on its suspension. If your carport has asphalt, you might consider spreading the weight out a bit to avoid depressions from where the wheels sit. I use some square 1" thick plywood “plates” about 2’x2’ square under each wheel. It helps to reduce sink marks in the asphalt. Just get the car close to the final resting spot, place the wood behind each wheel and then back up the remaining distance so you’re on their centers.

Sorry, I take for granted that OP will test the antifreeze for at least the -30 protection. Factory fill antifreeze is normally good for -40. In Minneapolis cars often sit on the lot unsold for that long.
Where I live everything is filled for -40. They don’t even sell the sumnmer windshield washer fluid.

Only other thing I (wouldn’t) do is ‘start the car every week’. A short start/stop involves a lot of wear and condensation in the engine and exaust system, because the engine doesn’t warm up enough to clear out all the moisture. I wouldn’t do it.

As long as the car cover fits snuggly to the body of the vehicle, sure, use it. It’s the cheap ones that flap in the wind where chaffing on the body paint can occur.


One last thing.

If you can get the tires off the ground, that will prevent the tires from flatspotting. Not as big a problem in cold weather as it is for hot weather, but it would be better to prevent this from occuring, rather than find out later. Once a flatspot is formed, it can sometimes be difficult to elinimate.

Cold is good. The cold will not hurt the car at all.

Personally I would not want even a good car cover on it. They seem to cause more problems than they help.

I would not put it on blocks. The days when “flat spots” were a problem is long gone, unless you have some very old tyres. Modern tyres may get a very temporary flat spot, but it is nothing to worry about.

I would suggest a little fuel stabilizer.

I would also suggest contracting your insurance company. You will not be driving it so you may be able to cancel all the insurance other than comprehensive (protects it from fire theft etc. but not collusion.

One last thing I would do is to remove the battery. That makes it a lot harder for someone who would like to steal the car. Put it in the utility room or basement, some place away from the car.

I intend to stuff the exhaust pipe with a heavy non cotton towel. I just noticed that. Don’t do it. It will not help and it can increase moisture.

Well, the guy is coming here asking what to do to store the car in -30F so I don’t assume anything. This isn’t a new car off the lot. One of the most neglected maintenance routines is coolant and the corrosion inhibitors/freeze protection can be compromised in only a few years use.

When you remove the battery do not place it on a concrete floor. Place it on a small wood board or the like. There is some evidence of batteries being harmed by prolonged contact with a damp concrete floor. It evidently slowly discharges them. You may want to hook up a trickle charger/battery minder to it.

There is some evidence of batteries being harmed by prolonged contact with a damp concrete floor.

If it was manufactured in 1960 that might be true. Modern batteries use plastic cases that are not affected by damp conditions like the old days.