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Minnesota’s only club devoted to the enjoyment and preservation of American Motors vehicles

General AMC Chat

Winterizing tips! (on-going thread)
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After working with a luricant manufactuer for many years I learnd it is best to change your oil before storage. The reson being is as oil gets used it become acidic and sitting just a few months starts corroding all metals. The only issue here is if your car leaks gas into the oil through the fuel system it can dilute your oil and you dont want that at startup in the spring.

Another storage tip I have is to lower your visors.......mice like to sit on them and chew your headliner. Like Jayson said dont put moth balls in a car, you will never get rid of the smell. There is a great product called Fresh Cab that smells like pine (an ingreedient) that is a rodent deterant.  BB
"And when October goes, the snow begins to fly"
UGH, right?!
I haven't put my cars away as of 10/21. I am still running them and driving them around. YAY!
I have a few tips I wanted to share with you of what I do for my cars. They are tucked away with my own ideas and other's advice given to me over the years of car collecting!
I have a heated garage. So here is where I start!
I polish and use a separate chrome/stainless SEALER on...especially the bumpers and any chromed pot metal to prevent rusting and pitting. You don't want rusting on bumpers, companion mirrors, etc. Just because I mentioned the exterior, I also seal my chrome on the interior every year to prevent pitting and moisture corrosion!
1. I fill up the gas tanks, put a full bottle of SeaFoam, and a bottle of HEET in the tank. I don't use Sta-bil anymore. I don't like the start-ups with the smoke it causes on small engines and my car engines. I don't get that with SEAFOAM. SeaFoam is a great gas stabilizer and all around product!
2. I make sure the car is dry all around, inside and out.
3. I put down a 10'x8' plastic tarp (from Fleet Farm) down on the ground. This prevents ground moisture from going UP in to the frame/underside.
4. I place 3 mothballs on the tarp under the engine bay and 3 under that gas tank area. Mice hate mothballs, but I do not put them in my carsl!
5. I then take a good deal of FRESH Bounty dryer sheets from the box and put two in the engine bay. One on the side of the battery and one on the intake. Two under the dash by where the wiring harness and firewall meet (drivers and passenger sides), one in the glove box, one underneath the front seats, and two in the trunk. I top it off with one in the gas filler door. BE SURE TO REMOVE DRYER SHEETS FROM THE ENGINE WHEN YOU START UP THE CAR AGAIN! Don't go longer than 6 months with dryer sheets, throw away after 6 months. They lose effectiveness! PLUS, the dryer sheets leave a fresh clean scent in your car!
6. I put a small bucket of DAMP-RID under the car's engine bay, on the tarp, and one under the rear of the car. (2 small buckets) Eliminate any moisture! I do not put DAMP-RID in the car or trunk during the winter. I don't want it to become 'dry' in the interior.
7. If the car oil drips a little (I say the car pee's), I put down either cardboard or kitty litter to absorb the oil drips.
8. I do not change the engine oil for winter storage. I use AMSOIL 10W40 High Zinc with AMSOIL synthetic oil filters throughout the summer months and just change it in spring.
9. Disconnect all cables from the battery! You don't want a drained battery, risk it freezing and then busting. You don't want any 'shorts' becoming. Eliminate fire risk! (SEE MY FORUM POST ABOUT INSURANCE TIPS FOR WINTER STORAGE...BEING A HAGERTY AGENT I HAVE A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE ON STORAGE INSURANCE TIPS)
10. Plan on running your car during the winter at least 2 times. It gets the 'juices' moving, lubing and charges your battery.
11. I suggest a 'trickle charger' for the battery. A trickle charger is 100% different than a battery maintainer. A trickle charger charges the battery up, then it shuts off the power to the battery once it is charged, so you don't risk 'OVER-CHARGING' the battery AND you don't have to worry about unplugging it. Leave a trickle charger on all winter! Think of trickle chargers as 'AUTO ON' and AUTO OFF'.
12. I even put a 1/4 cup of seafoam down the carburetor to disperse any gas trickling out of the car over storage. Doesn't hurt and it can loosen up carbon deposits too. I have heard of guys putting Mystery Oil in the same way.
13. Top it off with a good car cover, making sure the car is dust free before car cover installation!
There are probably a few more little things I do, such as dusting out the interior with Armor-All and vacuum the cars too, but this should be a good start as far as 'tips'. Share your storing tricks and tips. We all have learned from one another to keep our AMC's strong and running year after year!
Happy Storage!!

Jayson Helenske
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