Published in May 2019 Classic & Sports Car Magazine | Written by Kenneth E Y Wong
KENNETH WONG 黃恩揚- Classic insider 創辦人，經營高級經典及跑車買賣。對處理高檔車種擁有豐富經驗。曾是香港首間經典車拍賣行的營運總監。經常參與高端古董及跑車的相關活動，貼近市場脈搏
第二是找個濕度較低的地方。最適合存放汽車的環境，溫度大概是攝氏22 度， 而濕度則為 40 至 50%，這樣的氣候對塑膠和硬膠物料最為適合。我亦建議擺放吸濕器具在車廂和尾廂內，並要定期更換。
第六個注意事項是輪胎。輪胎最重要就是不要被太陽直射，陽光有紫外線，它們會導致輪胎龜裂。用車冚蓋着車子的時候，緊記要蓋過輪胎，亦要比平常打多2 至5 磅氣吧。有些人為了保住輪胎，會用千斤頂把車子升起，讓四條輪胎剛剛離地。但這做法可能會把地面弄凹，最正確做法是先鋪上木板，再把千斤頂放上去。
最後是電池，若停車位有電插座， 最好就是買一個涓流充電機（Trickle charging）， 它會一直為電池保持電壓。如果大家沒有這個法寶的話，還是把電池拔走吧！
Classic cars may vary in value and desirability, but they share one very undesirable feature – the inevitability of corroding away before your very eyes if not properly cared for. Regular preventative maintenance can greatly extend the life of your pride and joy when it is in use.
However if you decided to store it away for extended periods for whatever reason, there are some useful guidelines that should be followed.
Tip #1: Finding the right Location
Some specialists will gladly store a car in purpose-built warehouses, which is ideal for those classic enthusiasts who have the budget to do so. For the rest of us, the prospect of a parking spot is as good as it gets.
If you have the option to pick, then store your car in a low-traffic area, ideally in a private garage or other enclosed area where it’s unlikely to get dented. A dry and damp-free space is obviously the ideal spot for extended vehicle storage with temperature under 22ºC and humidity around 40-50% which can keep the plastic and rubber trim from perishing.
If humidity condition is less than ideal, putting dehumidifier packs in the interior of the car/ trunk and replace periodically.
Tip #2: Perform all the car care and thoroughly clean all parts
The best way to prevent corrosion is to start off with a comprehensive wash and polish of the exterior, carefully remove all road grime, grease, tar, stains, and bugs from all painted surfaces, chromed parts, and wheels. Pay particular attention to bubbling paintwork and evidence of developing rust. Touching up stone chips and removing all dirt and grime for the body cavities is a good way to prevent any corrosion from taking hold while your car is out of action. Drainage holes, footwells and the areas surrounding the window frames require particular attention. Once your car is clean and dry, apply a polish to all painted and exposed metal surfaces to protect your finish from color fade caused by UV light.
Placing a sheet of paper between the windscreen wipers and the window glass can reduce the likelihood of the rubber tearing. Prevent corrosion on the hood latch and door hinges by spraying them with white lithium grease. Open the windows, doors and trunk and spray dry Teflon lube or silicone spray on all the weather stripping to keep it from bonding to the doors when the vehicle sits for long periods.
Tip #3 Cover up the car
If you’re storing your car indoors, a high-quality car covers with a breathable fabric can help protect the paintwork. But if it’ll be sitting outdoors, spend the bucks for a breathable water-resistant custom-fitted cover. Remember though, a waterproof tarp would trap moisture and create a perfect environment for rust. Make sure you cover the tires to protect the rubber from damaging UV rays.
If you have recently resprayed your car, then be aware that some coarser car covers can cause damage, as the finish may not have completely hardened yet.
Rodents love the comfy conditions inside your vehicle’s heater system, air filter box and exhaust system. To keep them out of the heater, close the fresh air inlet by starting the engine and switching the AC to the “recycle” position. Then shut off the engine and stuff the air filter box intake duct and plug the exhaust.
The undercarriage may still be susceptible to rodents and other pests crawling into the engine bay and interior. Placing mothballs around the engine bay and in various cavities helps keep most bugs and animals at bay.
Tip #4 Mechanical preparations
Regular fluid changes are considered good practice when running a classic, and they should also be refreshed periodically or drained entirely depending on the length of time the car will be stored for. Before you store a car, change the oil and filter and run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the clean oil. Fresh oil provides the ultimate in corrosion protection for storage.
Always fully fill the tank with fresh gas, then add a quality fuel stabilizer to keep the gas fresh for as long as 12 months. Old gas breaks down over time and can lead to gummed-up or varnished fuel lines, carburetors and injectors. But simply draining fuel before storage is a bad idea, as it will expose bare metal in your car’s tank and fuel system to air and moisture. This is how rust, corrosion, dried gaskets and leaks begin.
Change your engine oil and transmission fluid. Over time, acids, dirt, and water accumulate inside engine oil and transmission fluid. Because engine oil acts as a waste collector for elements that break down while you’re driving, unburned fuel, unspent exhaust gases and water vapor are trapped inside your engine.
During months-long storage, some of these chemicals eventually break down the viscosity of old engine oil and transmission fluid, and can even begin to corrode metal surfaces.
Differential oils and power-steering fluid can last for up to two years without ill effect, although brake fluid will absorb moisture over time. If the car will be left standing for a long period (two years or more), it is best to drain the brake system completely.
Correctly mixed coolant will last for years, but minor leaks can corrode the engine block so it may be best to drain it if you won’t be driving the car for a while. Rubber water hoses and drive belts can perish over time, and are especially susceptible to extreme temperatures.
However, they should not require removal if they are in good condition.
A note taped to the steering wheel is advisable to remind you of which fluids require replacing.
Tip #5: Tire care
Keep your tires out of direct sunlight, rubber is sensitive to ultraviolet light, and prolonged exposure to UV light will cause tires to crack, split and fail prematurely. In addition to avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, you can help prevent flat spots by over-inflating tires by 2-5 PSI before storage.
All tires “flat-spot” during storage. Short-term storage (about three months), the flat spot usually goes away with a few miles of driving. Some tires, especially high-performance tires can acquire a permanent flat spot when stored longer than six months. So (If possible) get those tires off the ground during storage by jacking up your vehicle and set it on jack stands. Slip a piece of plywood under the stand to prevent it from sinking into asphalt.
Tip #6: Protect the battery
If you have a wall-plug available, connect the car to a battery maintainer/ Tender/ Trickle charger. If not, disconnect the battery or activating the kill switch is the next best thing to do.
The best way to keep a classic car in good shape is actually to drive them, so I hope to see them on the road rather than becoming a garage queen.