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Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

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Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby KNude » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:07 am


Unfortunately I will have to store my Shark in a cold barn for two years. The temperatures will vary between about -30 celsius to +30 celsius. I would like to hear some tips on how to do this properly.

1. OIL
I will change the engine oil before storing the car. After the initial oil change I will drive about 250km to get to the barn. After the storage (about two years) I will drive another 250km from the barn to my garage before changing the oil again. So the oil won't be "used" that much, it's only for storage. Do I need to use some special grade or is this the time when I can use the cheapest suitable oil? :)

I will place passive dehumidifiers in the trunk and in the passenger compartment. Do I have to leave the windows and sunroof open for ventilation or should I avoid exposing the interiors to external air and moisture by keeping everything closed?

I'm thinking of leaving the car stand on its own wheels, not using jack stands. If the tires suffer, so be it, they're pretty old anyway. What about the springs or shock absorbers? Someone said that prolonged storage is not good for them without using jack stands.

I should probably fill up the gas tank and use some fuel stabilizer, right?

Obviously I'm going to at least disconnect the battery and maybe store it in a warm room.
Any other tips?


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Re: Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby Pod » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:57 pm

Will you be locking the barn doors and leaving the car for two years - or will you or somebody else look in from time to time?

New oil would be fine, although I think you could leave the old oil in it for the duration and perform an oil change before/after driving it home?

Certainly, if I were you, I would use axle stands, if only to avoid the possibility of flattened, perished and cracked tyres which cannot be easily pumped up again. Ask me how I know #-o

The dehumidifiers will certainly last only a short time, unless they are replaced/recharged regularly. If you leave the car airtight, then they will work (to an extent), but if you leave the windows open, you will just be "dehumidifying" the whole barn!

Fuel tank with stabiliser sounds like a good idea.

The battery certainly won't last two years in-situ. Since you will be way up North, I don't think its worth fitting a solar trickle charger. Maybe if you keep it in a warm(er) location and give it a regular trickle charge, it may be OK. You'd just as well remove it and give it away, then collect the car with a brand new one :wink:

Might not be a bad idea to drain all the coolant and washer bottles if the temperature drops to -30?

I'm assuming there is no power in the barn? If there is, you could get a Carcoon :wink:

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Re: Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby clipper47 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:23 pm

You might want to consider some type of rodent control if you are storing the car in a barn. I have been using clothes dryer softener sheets such as Bounce for several years in my winter stored cars and motor home. I place them under the dash, on the carpets and upholstery and under the hood around the wiring harness areas. I had a small mouse infestation in my garage this past winter and found it necessary to kill several mice with traps. I had no mice problems inside the car or under the hood. I have also heard that concentrated peppermint oil placed on cotton balls is an excellent rodent deterrent also.
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Re: Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby KNude » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:09 am

Thank you for the replies! A lot of good points.

I have a family member who will check on the car from time to time and also recharge the dehumidifiers.
I think I'll leave the old oil in it for now and change it only after the storage period. The current oil is about 1,5 years old but has been driven only about 3000 km.

Carcoon looks good, hadn't heard about that before. Sadly no power in the barn.

Rodent control is also a good idea I'll have to take it into account.
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Re: Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby 86_6series » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Here's discussion on the topic from AACA club in USA

I use a bag to store my daughters 72 Buick Skylark in an outdoor canopy.

Looks like this ... t/19396429

I would also stall the engine by disconnecting the fuel relay. Helps reduce varnish sediment in the injectors.

Here are some other options. the only way IMHO to keep the rodents out. ... torage_Bag

Good luck

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Re: Proper cold storage tips for the Shark needed.

Postby ///Moe » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:40 pm

1: Changing the oil is a good idea before storage. The reason car manufacturers often recommend changing the oil once a year although the car haven't been driven all that much (still got lots of km/miles left according to the service interval) is because the engine is getting hot and cold all the time, which will leave condensated water inside the engine. Especially in cars that are being friendly driven or only get used for shorter trips at a time, so that the engine won't get fully warmed up. The combination of oil mixed with water (condensation) and fuel (some always escape past the piston rings and into the oil chamber) create a chemical reaction / acid kind of mixture that will tear into the bearings and seals in the engine. New oil won't. So oil should be changed before storage as well.

2: I don't think leaving some dehumidifiers inside the car is a bad idea. I usually leave the windows closed when I park mine for the winter, but I think leaving a small gap to let the car ventilate some, will be good for it. The only risk is that mice and other living things will have easier access to the car if the windows are left open. But I think the interior will smell better if it's able to "breath" during storage, especially if the car is exposed to a lot of heat during the summer.

3: I'm against putting a car on jackstands when storing it for a longer period of time. The intention is good, letting the wheels, springs and shockabsorbers rest during the stay. Personally I don't believe the springs and shockabsorbers take any damage from being stored on it's wheels. The springs may sag some, but no more than they would if the car was to be used everyday, and the shockabsorbers see a LOT more stress when driving on a bumpy road than they do when they sit still, so I doubt they will be harmed much. I'd be more concerned about the bushings, if you leave the car on jackstands. Bushings are bolted to the car when the suspension is in it's natural (driving) position. When you lift the car off the ground the bushings will get twisted, which isn't bad in it self. The bushings get twisted all the time when you drive and the suspension move up and down, back and forth. But leaving them twisted like that for a longer period of time will put a tremendous amount of stress on them. It's like tensioning rubber one way or the other, and leave it like that for two years. The rubber will get stretched and maybe even tear.

Tires should be filled with more air than usual, that will keep them filled for longer and they will be more round, minimising the risk of them becoming badly shaped. My own experience with this, when I've gotten vibrations in a wheel after years in storage, is that the wheel will return to it's normal shape after some driving and the vibrations will go away. Some tire brands are more sensitive to this than others. If a tire have been left completely flat for some time, it may not be healthy anymore.

4: Yes, fill up the gas tank!
Leaving it empty will create space for condensation inside the fuel tank. Fuel tanks are often bare metal inside, so leaving it empty will leave the metal exposed to air and humidity that may cause rust inside the fueltank. The fuel will also more easily get contaminated.

5: Other points..
Clean the car inside and out, also underneath and in the wheel housing before storing it, this will prevent rust. Make sure that the brake discs are completely dry before leaving it, they'll rust extremely fast if they are left all wet (have a look at them shortly after washing the car and you'll see). Leaving them like this will cause them to continue rusting and you'll likely have to change them after two years have passed. You can spray them with some kind of lubrication to leave a protective layer over the bare metal and prevent this, but remember to cleen them before driving the car again or they may not provide enough stopping power. Coolant shouldn't be drained as this will cause the coolant passages to corrode and the gaskets to dry out, just make sure the freeze point is within the temperatures the car may be exposed to. Antifreeze protects against corrotion as well.

I'm not a fan of leaving these cars with the battery disconnected for a longer period of time, and not having the ignition key turned every once in a while. I believe the batteries on the SI-board may drain and become damaged. A trickle charger should be used if possible, but I don't think the battery will survive being constantly charged either. If you have the opportunity to charge it once a month or so, I think you'll be good. I don't think the battery will last for more than a few months without being charged, if connected. If you don't have the opportunity to charge the battery every once in awhile, i think it's better to disconnect it and maybe even removing it from the car. Leaving the battery to drain, connected to the car, may damage the car's electrical components over a longer period of time. I my self have experienced cars that have stood for a while that only had 2-3 volts left on the battery literally screaming when I opened the door. You could hear the electronics inside the car create this high pitched sound that wouldn't go out before recharging the battery. A aftermarked car stereo for example may do all kinds of wierd things if the volts drop to a minimum.

You should also consider putting a cover on top of the car, the one's designed for indoor use, that breath. This will keep the dust away and help protecting the paint.

There's probably more to be said, but this post is long enough already.
I think I have covered the most important things about storing a car for long.
Others may have other opinions about this than me, but yeah..

Good luck with the car! :-)
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