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Storing a 96 Corvette

I need to store a 96 Corvette (automatic trans, convert) for 3 years while my daughter is assigned overseas. Her husband thinks I need to drive it every month or two. I prefer to park it in the corner for 3 years. I park my 90 vette (6 speed h’top) for a year or more at a time - no seal problems, just remove the battery and add Stabil. Suggestions please… I live in North Carolina (high humidity), big garage not air conditioned, car interiors usually get white mold after a few months. Suggestions please… Would a dishpan of kitty litter help?

You could just use it every week or so…If that is too many 'Vettes to have sitting around, I’ll be glad to take your '90 for three years;-)

Any gas stabilzer will only last 18 months at the most. And if the gasoline contains ethanol that length of time can be shortened. So there could be a problem with the fuel at the end of three years.

Other than this, removal of the battery is a good idea. Also removal of the sparkplugs and fogging the cylinders with fogging oil is a good idea. Stuffing stainless steel pot scrubbers in the exhaust pipes and in the air intake before the air filter will allow the engine to breathe to prevent condensation buildup and at the same time keep critters out of the engine. If the brake fluid hasn’t been replaced in a while that should be changed.

But the three old gas could be a problem when the vehicle is put back into service.


I’d try to remove all of the fuel from it because not only would that fuel be garbage after 3 years it will quite likely gunk up the works and kill the fuel pump.

Since siphoning can be near impossible you might remove the Schrader valve from the fuel rail test port, connect a rubber feed hose and route that into a gas jug, and then jump the fuel pump relay. This will pretty much empty the tank.

After 3 years the battery will not be trustworthy so I’d just remove it and donate it to the needy rather than allow it to sit and eat the battery cable terminals up.

Not sure about your location in NC, I use to live in the Charlotte area and know how humid it could get there, I had a single car garage that was detached from my house (not heated or cooled) with concrete floor and insulated walls and ceiling. I kept one of my cars in it, sometimes sitting up for about a year at a time and never had any problems with the fuel, fuel pump, performance, mold or condensation, but if you’re near the ocean it might be different. If you’re not planning to use the car for 3 years it would probably be best to drain the gas tank or run it dry, I let a car that I wasn’t using sit for an extended length of time and it did ruin the fuel pump. I let my motorcycle sit outside last winter after moving from NC-KY from Oct. 2010 until June 2011 with stabilizer in the tank and it cranked up first time even with fuel laced with 10% ethanol. The bike was sitting out in the open with no cover, because I had just moved and hadn’t got a garage built yet, so it saw temperature swings from near 0-90* over that period of time. You might also want to put it on jack stands a so the tires don’t get flat spots.

I agree with most of the above. Fuel kept that long will likely become a problem.

Another problem depends on your storage area. How secure/hidden is your storage location? I would also suggest removing the battery (makes it harder to steal).

I don’t recommend short drives. Unless you are going to run it to full operating temperature and run at highway speeds for maybe 30 to 60 minutes. Short drives can cause more damage than they might prevent.

Frankly I would consider selling it.

In any case check with your insurance company. You can drop your insurance and self insure, keep comprehensive (DON’T DRIVE THE CAR if you don’t keep the insurance active, one accident involving an injury could haunt you for a long time.

While accurate, the above sounds like no fun and a lot of work.

Why not drive it for 1 or 2 hours on the highway once a month? Then top off the fuel tank.

Is your garage insulated enough that a dehumidifier would be practical?

I’d use a battery tender and try to drive it on nice days once per month, using the AC and heater. I’d use non-ethanol gas and keep all the fluids fresh.

If you’re going to do as many of the above recommend (drive it every so often) you’ll need to keep it insured. In that case I’d say drive it once every six months for a full week, or whatever’s needed to empty the tank. Then each time you fill it up put in a full dose of Stabil first, drive it a few more miles, then park it with a battery tender. Repeat each 6 months.

As for the mold, I’d stock up on those dessicants, keep swapping them out as needed. Or you could try a trick that some boat owners use (that have enclosed cabins). Put a low-watt light in the interior, leave it on 24/7. The slight increase in temperature will keep the relative humidity down a bit. Of course, it can’t be touching anything.

If you drive it infrequently, check into clasic car insurance. Compare the rates to the current insurance after it is modified to show less than a cpuple thousand miles per year.

Insurance companies have special rates for stored cars, just ask them.
As I understand it, radial tires do not flat spot, those were the old nylon bias ply.

There is an age thing with the tires, so they may need a swap when she returns.

There was an item called a “Goldenrod” that was a heat stick designed to reduce humidity in enclosed spaces, safe and low wattage.

Three years is a long time, and I agree with driving it now and again if you can, I stored a 53 Chevy for 20 years with some oil in the cylinders, the gas dried up, but with a new battery and a gallon of gas-- the guy I sold it to started it up, though I recommended he clean out the tank, it was funny, the tires had a mileage warranty, do not know if he collected, they had 5K miles on them in 20 years.

However, in this case I think it a different experiment. I think you will be OK, keep the mice and squirrels out any way you can. I keep moth balls, and bounce in my MG which sits most of the year, garage has an exhaust fan with a timer. If your garage is attached, perhaps leaving the door to the house open will help the air circulation.

If you have a cat, you should not have problems with the rodents. My insurance paid for a new top.

I think it is great you are keeping it for her.