How to winterize your Corvette

It’s that time of year for most automotive enthusiasts in the Northern States, and one of the most common questions we get here at the shop… How do I winterize my Corvette? Whether it’s because of an incoming cold season or you’re simply needing to stow away your ride for several months, here are the tips and tricks we use here at the shop for mid-term hibernation.

A quick note… these tips are for storage of 3-9 months. If you’re parking a car for an extended period past that, check out our article here on how to put a car away for an extended undetermined amount of time.

So now that that’s carified out of the way, let’s get down to it. We use the P’s of storage:

  • Prevent
  • Preserve
  • Protect

We suggest driving your ‘Vette year-round, but not everyone can get behind that idea!

Prevent – The 3 P’s of Storage

When we talk about preventing issues with the car, we’re looking forward to that first key turn and making sure it’s as uneventful as the day the car went undercover. Specifically, there are several mechanical systems that we can take steps to prevent issues with.

Prevent Tire Flat Spotting

In order to do this, we suggest increasing tire pressure to the maximum listed on the sidewall of your tire. Additionally, if we can get those tires into a rounded chock, like those available from RaceRamps, we highly suggest you consider doing so. Dry rotting over a few months isn’t much of a concern, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Prevent Rodent Damage

Nothing, and I mean nothing short of a natural disaster is as bad on a Corvette in storage as rodents. From electrical damage to corrosion from waste, through to damage to carpets and upholstery, those 4 footed monsters (from chipmunks to rats) will destroy an otherwise healthy car in DAYS. We suggest using rodent repellant under the engine bay, under the hood, and also in the interior of the car. We like to put them on the inside of the barrels of the wheels on all 4 corners of the Corvette as well since it’s usually how they access a car.

Prevent a Dead Battery

We don’t disconnect a battery for mid-term storage, but we do always put them on a Battery Tender brand battery charger. We won’t belabor the point of different brands and features and simply say that we’ve never had a Battery Tender let us down, and if you choose the correct application for your Corvette, it will be a trouble-free start-up in the spring.

Preserve – The 3 P’s of Storage

Preserve your Fuel

First and foremost, top that fuel tank all the way up. Any air space is just a space for condensation, and condensation is what we’re wanting to keep OUT of our fuel tanks. During that last fuel stop, add a fuel additive like Sta-Bil. Personally, we use the marine stuff, as we feel like it handles moisture better, but that’s just our personal bias. Drive it 15-20 miles after that last top-off as well to ensure the stabilized fuel has been pulled through the entire fuel system

Preserve the underside of your car

A cold concrete slab is one of the worst places to keep a car, but yet it’s what most of us have. If you’ve got a heated garage or storage, it’s less of an issue, but the moisture that comes up through the slab causes the bottom side of a car to rust. It’s why dirt floor bars preserve a car so well… that dust is a giant dehumidifier. Using a few layers of Visquene (the plastic you use in your crawl space to prevent moisture) will do the job, as well as the more expensive rubber car mats. don’t waste your time with blue tarps or carpeting. You need a solid vapor barrier here.

Protect – The 3 P’s of Storage

Protect your paint

We’re just going to be point blank here: Get a car cover. If you’re storing your car indoors, we really like simple spandex stretch covers. While you’re installing it, throw a few moving blankets over areas close to other items in storage. There’s nothing worse than hitting your stored car with the handle of your snowblower… a few moving blankets in potentially trafficked areas will save you headaches in the Spring. Storing your car outdoors? Weatherproof car covers are a whole other bag. We suggest spacing them off the car’s finish to allow the cover to breathe, and check it often. A loose cover in the wind is like sandpaper to your paint’s finish.

Protect your wallet

Don’t forget to transition your insurance to storage insurance. Most companies offer heavy discounts to fully protect a vehicle when it’s off the road. Call your agent and ask what stipulations exist for a storage policy, but you can save those pennies for some Go-Fast goodies later!

Proper protection… get it done!

More questions than answers? Reach out to us here, we’re always happy to help you however we can.