View Full Version : Winterizing a car

10-10-2007, 04:36 PM
Hey guys,
I have a 2003 cobra convert in a non heated garage in New England. What do you guys recommend for winterizing a car? Last time I put my car away for the winter the following spring my brakes locked up and I was out $700 dollars to fix my cars brakes. I was just wondering what some of you guys recommend to do in order to winterize a car and have it running like a charm in the spring.

10-10-2007, 05:52 PM
Stabil fuel nenever had a problem with brakes yet(knock on wood)

Moth balls but I'm going to try irish spring this year it is supposed to work as good and smell a whole lot better.
Oil change and check anti-freeze strength for the winter.

10-13-2007, 02:20 AM
Here's a checklist for winterizing your car that was posted awhile back. Hope it helps.

10-13-2007, 04:03 PM
Great tips on storage a few of those I do but only remember them when putting up the car.

10-15-2007, 01:34 PM
Here's a checklist for winterizing your car that was posted awhile back. Hope it helps.Thank you, this did help, but what is the purpose of the mothballs on the aluminum foil? Is this to stop rodents entering the vehicle?

10-15-2007, 06:20 PM
You know I miss a lot of fun by living where it only gets down to less than 32 degrees once ever two or three years! But then you don't have to put up with the several days in a row of 100+ during the summer, do you?

10-16-2007, 08:55 PM
Well I'm right next to you here in Connecticut and this is what I do. And as for the brakes locking up, was the e brake on? if so leave it off. I park my car with a full tank of gas all the way in the back of the garage, the farthest point from the doors and moisture. I cut out carpet squares 1 foot by 1 foot, stack them two or three high and park the car on top of them so they are under each tire. Maybe it prevents flat spotting, I don't know. And then I place mouse traps all around the base of the car for the winter and check them weekly. Just real paranoid of mice getting to the car. So far so good. And Larry, down in Texas....I'd love to trade you some cold days for the hot days :)

10-22-2007, 02:03 PM
Thank you, this did help, but what is the purpose of the mothballs on the aluminum foil? Is this to stop rodents entering the vehicle?

To be honest, not sure what they're for. I just happened to save this when it was posted on one of the threads. I don't really get to store mine all winter, (Just gets driven alot less), but thought it was something good to have.

10-23-2007, 01:42 PM
If you are going to store your car for a period of more than two months, the following are recommendations to follow.
* Fill the tank with gas and add a gas stabilizer to keep your gas from becoming stale.
* Change the oil and filter.
* Thorough wash the exterior of the car, wheels, and tires. If possible, remove each wheel and thoroughly clean them. Especially the back side
where dirt and road debris accumulates. Polish the wheels and reinstall. Polish/wax the exterior. Clean/detail the engine bay. When the car
is sufficiently cleaned and the paint treated to a good coating of carnauba wax or polish, consider covering it with a quality car cover from
California Car Cover or Big Sky Car Covers, or another high quality cover.
* To prevent tire flat spots, use jack stands to raise the car off the floor. Set the stands under the control arms so that the weight of the car is
still on the suspension, and just high enough to keep the weight off of the tires. Putting the jack stands under the spring perches is
recommended by many. If jack stands are not available you can use wood blocks. Just remember that the suspension likes to be loaded. It's
heavy. Many recommend that you just inflate the tires to the max and put carpet squares under each tire.
* Check the tire air pressure and be sure all four tires are the same correct pressure. Note that regular air can leak during storage due to faulty
valve stems, wheel irregularities, etc. Costco warehouse stores use nitrogen to fill tires. It is the only place that I know of that has nitrogen
due to the expense of the equipment I guess. However, nitrogen is preferred for a number of reasons. The most important IMO is that it is
heavier than air and is less likely to leak out (larger molecules). So if you have a Costco in your area consider replacing the air with nitrogen.
You'll have more consistent air pressures without leaking.
* Disconnect the negative battery cable. When you're ready to take it out of storage hook it back up. Some prefer to use a battery tender.
* Place a few moisture absorber packs (desiccants) in the interior to absorb any moisture. Large packs are usually available at most do-it-yourself
building supply or hardware chains. A couple of bags on the front and rear floors, as well as a few more in the trunk, and you'll have dampness
protection for the entire winter season. As an alternative, kitty litter can be used in small containers.
* Get some Arm & Hammer baking soda to put in the cabin. Open the tabs and place the entire box on the floor. I'll put one box on the rear
floor and one on the front floor. This will prevent any musty smell.
* Cover the car with a high quality car cover. The cover will keep the paint surface clean and protect it from scratches if you (or others) will be
working around the car.
* Inflatable bubble covers are also available. You basically drive your car into the bubble and inflate it. Users state that air is continually kept
flowing through the bubble and this totally keeps out all moisture. So rusting of the brake rotors, for example, is not an issue. I don't know
anything more about this method so you should research it before using it.
* Change your oil again when the car comes out of storage.
* When starting the car after long term storage, hold the accelerator to the floor (which will turn off the fuel injectors) while starting. Turn the car
over for about 10 seconds to get the oil flowing to the top of the engine. Then start the car normally. It is also recommended to pull all the
plugs first so the starter isn't working against compression. It is my understanding, though, that if you have a BAP it can render this trick
useless, reportedly due to the upgraded wiring coming directly from the battery.

The best way to keep mice out of your car is to keep them out of the storage area, usually a garage. Keep doors and windows sealed as tightly as possible.

Keep food out of your building and cars. If thereís nothing for mice to eat, they wonít usually hang around. Pay close attention not to leave scraps or crumbs inside the vehicle. Vacuum the carpets, seats, under-seat area, console and glove box. Use probe tools to get at the petrified French fries on the side of the seat. LOL! Then shampoo the carpets so they are nice & clean and smell fresh.

Traps and poisons are a line of defense against mice. They come in a variety of models and prices. They work, but remember that bait traps are designed to attract mice and then kill them. Keeping the mice away in the first place works best. Some people prefer to put triangle shaped tube traps, that have a sticky base, near the garage door on both sides where the floor meets the wall. Rodents normally walk along these edges so places traps there works.

In most cases, mice enter a car by scampering up the tires. If the vehicle is stored without tires, it is a bit harder for them to get inside. Tireless storage will also keep your tires from ďflat spotting.Ē However, the 2003/2004 Cobra is heavy and the suspension likes to be loaded. So jacking up the car is not one of my recommendations in this case, although some people do it.

Rodents can nest several places in a vehicle: the engine compartment, the interior and the trunk. Theyíre drawn to the warmth of an engine or heater motor. They will eat electrical wires and even spark plug wires.

Mice can also get into cars through holes around cables, pedal shafts, steering columns and so on. If you can seal all these openings, mice canít enter. Leave the sun visors in the down position. If you want to keep the windows slightly open for better airflow, cover the opening with screening.

Usually, these creatures canít get into a trunk if you seal interior openings; they usually enter the trunk from the rear seat. Some cars have drain holes in the spare tire well. These holes should be taped.

Some people put mothballs on the floor around the car. The line of mothballs should have no gaps at any point. Other car owners place mothballs or scented soap in a cake pan inside the car to keep mice away. Mice donít like the mothball smell, but neither will you. If you go the mothball route, you can help to eliminate the smell by putting a scented candle under the seat on a hot day.

Zipper bags seal the whole car. There are two types. The first is a big plastic sack with a zipper. A second type is a plastic bubble supported by a curtain of air. The air pump draws little current and promotes better airflow. Both bags work well if you use them properly. The trouble is the hassle. You must be very careful not to trap moisture in the bag. While the air-curtain type wonít trap moisture, it does require electricity.

One final step in fighting rodent infestation is to make spot checks every couple of weeks. If you see droppings or notice that unpleasant mouse smell, the steps you have taken so far arenít working. In this case, the first thing to do is to get rid of the mice. Then youíll need to protect the vehicle from being re-infested. If you inspect the car on a regular basis, you should be able to remedy the problem before damage is done. 2.1.22. What things should I look for when buying a used 2003/2004 Cobra?Thanks to Jeff on SVTPerformance.com for these tips.

11-03-2007, 02:40 PM
Here in Pennsylvania,not much is needed. The weather has not been to bad the past couple of years so a good wash,wax,check all fluids(antifreeze especially),is all that is needed.I bought a nice indoor/outdoor cover and it is kept indoors except for a nice day maybe once a month I take it for a short ride.Once they salt or cinder the roads,I wait for a good rain to wash the streets before I take it out again.This helps to keep everything lubricated and gaskets from drying out. :D