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Old 09-11-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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What is the best way to store a car over winter?

I am going to put the Focus away for winter this year. Anyone have any tips to store it properly? I already have a cover and am planning to take my RS wheels off. Should i put the car on stands so the suspension doesn't compress or just leave it on the factory wheels? It will be stored in a standard storage unit that is not temp. controlled, but well protected from the outside. Thanks!


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Old 09-11-2006, 05:22 PM   #2
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If your not going to take it out at all in the winter, id put it on jackstands, that way the tires dont get flat spots, and that way the suspension doesnt "lean" whe you take it out in the spring.

id also make sure that its 100% clean, underneath, engine, and inside. Give it a good couple coats of wax the day you put it in the garage. make sure to start it up every other day so that it can at least stay in running condition, and so the gas doesnt get old. When you put it away, make sure that you have about a 1/4 tank of gas, so it doesnt get old.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:24 PM   #3
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Support the car by the pinch weld or crossmembers. The reason to remove the wheels is to keep the tires from getting flat spots. Mine had flat spots after sitting 7 months.

Store it with as little fuel in it as possible. You really shouldn't have a problem with fuel- mine had 1/4 tank in it while I had it stored. I also stored mine out in the elements, and I didn't disconnect the battery or anything. Another word about fuel, I just finished resurrecting a 1987 Maxima that had been stored for 2 years, and it ran on the fuel that was in it- stinky, but it ran.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:42 PM   #4
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Put some red "isoheet" into the fuel tank a couple of fill ups before you store it to remove any water in the fuel tank. Put some Stabil into the fuel tank the last time you fill it before putting it into storage. Remove the battery and put it somewhere you can give a charge once a month or so, assuming the storage locker does not have an electrical outlet which would allow you to charge it in the vehicle once a month or so during storage.

Here a few other hints targeted at motorcycles, but which you can adapt to your Focus:




Since it is much more common to store motorcycles over the winter, there are lots and lots of hints and proceedures. Just do a google on "motorcycle winter storage" and you will get loads and loads of hints, suggestions, and proceedures.

One hint is to cover open bits, such as exhaust pipes, with something such as a duct-taped tennis ball, aluminum foil, or something else. I once stored a motorcycle in a storage locker over the winter. When I started it up in the Spring, there was this horrible, almost machine gun sound and stuff flying around me. turns out some mouse or other rodent figured that my muffler was a great place to store seeds and when I started the bike they all came flying out, hitting the steel storage locker door, and bouncing all around. They were mostly sunflower seeds, so I assume the critter got them from a bird feeder somewhere.

So anyway, blocking off the exhaust and intake with something is a good idea.

That said, lots of people just park it, do nothing, and get away with no problems. So the answer ranges all the way from "do nothing," to a complex proceedure which includes removing the spark plugs to spray engine fogging oil into the cylinders.

But you really should at least disconnect the battery, as most public storage facilities require the batteries of vehicles in storage be disconnected for safety and insurance purposes.
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:14 PM   #5
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we try to leave the doors/hood/trunk popped on our mustang so that it doesn't ruin the seals around them. also try to find something to keep mice out of the car so that way you don't come back to an eaten interior.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:31 PM   #6
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I would store it on a full tank of gas because with heating and cooling youll always be getting fresh air into the fuel tank and it will always have moisture in it. Given a place to do so, it will condense and sink to the bottom of the tank where it will be sucked up the next time you start it. Putting it on jack stands or swapping back to the stock wheels/tires isnt a bad idea too, especially if you have expensive tires on it. And disconnecting the battery is always a good idea since newer cars put such a drain on the batterys (especially those with air ride and/or a digital dash) that it can become dead and freeze.
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