It’s that time of the year…time to start thinking about storing your beloved Corvette for the winter season. But it’s not as simple as pulling into the garage and locking the door! Performing just six extra tasks now will ensure you won’t have any nasty surprises waiting for you in the springtime.
STEP 1: CLEAN
Probably the best first step you can take is to properly and thoroughly clean your car. Start with the engine compartment; remove any dead leaves or other detritus you might have picked up on the road over a long summer. Move around to the wheels and scrub those tires, getting any mud or stones out of the treads and making those whitewalls shine. Use a portable vacuum to suck up any dirt or food particles—you wouldn’t want any unwelcome visitors like mice or bugs—then spend some time detailing the dash, console, and seats. Lastly, grab some towels and a chamois to give the exterior a good wash and polish.
STEP 2: SEAL
As secure as your garage or storage unit might be, there’s always the risk of a rodent nibbling its way inside and then, inevitably, into your Corvette. Oh, the horror when you unveil your car months later to reveal chewed wires, torn fabric, mouse droppings or perhaps even a dessicated corpse. Close any vents beforehand and make sure all windows are tightly closed. A wad of industrial steel wool stuffed into the tailpipe will cut off one easy entrance but make sure to seal it off with some electrical tape.
STEP 3: PREVENTION
Worried about insects? There are many organic, non-toxic repellents on the market which use lemongrass or mint as the base. These are great because they smell nice but bugs can’t stand them. A concoction of water, hot pepper flakes, and habaneros (used sparingly) will effectively repel rodents. A few squirts from a spray bottle with either repellent around the tires and baseboards will help. Some folks even use dryer sheets to ward off unwanted company!
STEP 4: ELEVATION
Keeping your Corvette off the floor will also deter curious passengers who might sneak into the garage looking for a warm place to hide. So jack it up! The tactic of raising the car even a few inches has the additional benefit of allowing access to the floor underneath, so you can sweep up any dust that accumulates during the off-season. Got a hardtop? Lift it with a hoist to get it out of the way and protected from accidental damage.
STEP 5: CHARGE
Over the course of time during storage, your battery may lose its charge. You can remove it altogether, but that’s not always necessary. Technology has given us a better solution with automatic chargers and maintainers. Hook it up for a fully automatic trickle charge. These maintainers can also be used to bring dead batteries back to life.
STEP 6: COVER
There are other dangers than creepy crawlies. Light and just plain old air can fade your interior or degrade your custom paint job. Combat that with a tight-fitting car cover or even a full body car capsule. Covers have the added bonus of making dust cleanup a snap. Make sure to toss in a few STA-DRY Dry Packs to cut down on moisture.
It may be sad to say goodbye to your Corvette for the season, but it would be even more heartbreaking to find a host of ills to clean up or fix in the spring. Minimize that risk by rolling up your sleeves and giving your ride the attention it deserves now.