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Storing car for winter

I am storing a 1998 Volvo S70 for the winter in a heated barn with cement floor. What should I be doing to the car in preparation for storage?

Add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and fill the tank. Disconnect/remove the battery.


Yeah. What Tester said. No worries

Is the barn free of rodents, and other pests? Some precautions to protect against mice nesting and eating wiring maybe worth considering.

I would add that you should contact your insurance company. Likely you can de-activate the collusion insurance as you will not be running into another car with that car while it is in storage (save $$$).

I would also suggest taking the battery out of the garage and brining it inside. In the event someone gets into the garage to steal your car, it is not likely they will happen to have a battery of the correct size with them.

Not a bad idea to put the battery on a battery tender, a special batter charger make to keep the battery charged, but not overcharge it. Sometimes called a trickle charger. They are cheap but can help extend the battery life.

If you have any choice whether the barn is heated or not, I would choose an UNHEATRED barn; it will slow down the rust over the winter. Agree with others that rodents will find every opportunity to get in. Sp protect any openings.

If you choose unheated, make sure that the barn is well ventilated or your brakes may rust, not so much as to damage them but possibly to where the rotors will lock to the pads and it will take a little push on the gas to break it loose. After that, the brakes will be noisy for a short while until they scrub clean. After all of this, as I said, there will be no damage.

I have one car that does this, the other does not so it apparently depends on the rotor metal used. I ventilated my storage garage at both ends and the rotor rusting stopped.

There is no need to remove the battery. If you disconnect it, give it a little charge once in a while; once a month would be ok. If you have power in the garage you can also leave the battery connected and the car ready to go if you use a battery tender or maintainer, not a charger. An easy way to run a charger intermitently is to use an inexpensive 24 hour timer but I can’t say how long to charge each day. The minimum time setting would be a good place to start.

Fuel injection makes a gas stabilizer for that period of time unnecessary as the system is sealed and the volatile part of gas can not evaporate off; I never bother with a fuel stabilizer even though I have some on hand and it is cheap to use.

Park the car with a full gas tank and a recent oil change and warm the car up thoroughly just prior to parking to especially warm and dry the exhaust to preclude internal corrosion.

If you live in a winter salt area, don’t get the car salted up during a winter ride.

Cars don’t need exercise; just leave it parked for the winter.

I park a car during the summer and another during the winter; have for years. I can tell you that if you park the car, deterioration stops. Don’t believe anything that you might hear about seals, gaskets and hoses drying out from disuse; it is simply not true in my experience. I have one car over 20 years old that I bought new and is stored winters to make me believe that.

No! There is a difference between a trickle charger and a battery tender or maintainer. A trickle charger is simply a small, low capacity battery charger that charges continuously. My maintainer charges until the battery voltage rises to a certain level, then shuts off the charge until the voltage drops and then repeats. Another good option is a float charger which maintains battery voltage at it’s natural level, not the higher surface charge voltage. Harbor Freight has inexpensive float chargers.

You can Google “Float Charger Wiki” for more although otherwise a good article, is contrary to what I said about a maintainer and a float charger. I said that a maintainer and a float charger function in different ways.