Rode hard and put away wet. That seems to be the normal way we store our most precious possessions. Cars, that is. Putting your baby away for the winter and thawing her out in spring takes more than just a fresh tank of petrol if you want her to survive another season.

You might be storing your car or an engine for any number of reasons: weather, money, waiting for the body shop guy to pull your number, money, divorce, more money, or you just got tired of it for a while. Whatever the impetus, paying attention up front and doing a little work on the back end will save time and cash when it comes time to fire the old girl up again.

Before
There are a few questions you need to ask yourself before putting your project in mothballs. The most important of which is how long you are putting it up. If it's just for a few months or over the winter, you'll want to at least go over the basics.

Prep your storage area first. Make sure you aren't going to run into any issues where you need to move your car or engine to get to something important. If that means buying some new storage racks at Harbor Freight to make room where you don't use the car itself as a warehouse, so be it. Tell your spouse PHR made you do it.

Make sure you have plenty of antifreeze in the system even if you don't live in northern climes. Straight water in your system will turn good metal into rusty goo, and even Florida residents get an occasional freeze plug-popping cold wave now and then.

Fact: Mice like carpet padding. It's no fun seeing half of your interior converted to a condo for cheese feeders. Throwing your car on tall jackstands will help to keep the rodents from jumping inside. Don't forget a rag in the tailpipe and the air inlet as well. Now, leave a checklist on your dash so you remember what you did!

After
Charge the battery fully before doing anything. Changing the oil and checking the air filter, tranny fluid, brake fluid, and coolant come next. A quick leak check under the car will point out any real trouble spots.

Smell the gas. Pungent varnish odor equals bad gas. No matter how good the rest of the car is, if the gas is bad you'll need to flush the whole fuel system before firing it up. If the gas smells decent, pouring in a bottle of water remover sure wouldn't hurt.

Prime the oil system, fill the carb bowls with a little gas from a squirt container, and hit the key. She should fire right up if everything is right and the stars are in alignment. Now it's time to remove the top layer of dried-out rubber on your tires by means of a long smoky burnout. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

SOURCE
AMSOIL
925 Tower Ave.
Superior
WI  54880
800-777-8491
www.amsoil.com