Six Steps To Protect Your Corvette In Storage

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.

38 thoughts to “Six Steps To Protect Your Corvette In Storage”

  1. One advantage of starting your car every 4 weeks or so is you can get all the pieces moving . Run the fan , the water pump gets a workout etc . One item that does not like to sit is the air conditioning turn it on for 5 minutes or sooner that later it will be in the shop getting a rebuilt or new compressor for $600 or more [ leaving it unused for months at a time is a recipe for un needed expense on any car ] .. Just moving the car back and forth a few feet is better than nothing . lets the brakes get some use .
    I left my 66 sitting for a year and the clutch froze . I googled the problem and discovered how to unlock it . Jack up rear wheels . Put trans in 4th gear start engine and rev to 1800 rpm . Hit the brakes , the clutch disk has frozen on the flywheel and the sudden force will ‘ un lock it ‘ . May have to do this 4-5 times . If I had used the car periodically and exercised the clutch this would not have happened .

  2. My 1959 corvette has been sitting in a temp controlled garage for 1-2 yrs with no starting. Battery is disconnected. Do I need to worry about starting it with same oil and gas?

    1. It would be wise to drain and replace both the oil and fuel after sitting for an extended period of time, especially if no fuel stabilizer was used. It is common for the carburetor to be gummed up from todays fuel, and could require a cleaning.

  3. I put my C5 in a 10 x 20 storage unit but take it out for a drive once a month if possible (good weather, dry roads). I put dryer sheets in the car and moth balls on the floor to discourage critters. Put stabilizer in the tank. Keep the tires slightly over-inflated. Other than that, no special prep.

  4. Thank you for suggesting cleaning your car before storage. Some great tips you gave here which is helpful for the people. Can you tell me what is the best way to prevent flat spotting the tires, or is that not a problem? Thanks in advance for your answer also for the sharing article.

    1. Luckily, modern day radials have less issue with flat spotting than older bias ply tires, but the best prevention tends to be using a “cradle” type flat stopper such as 102953 or 101923.

  5. Thank you for suggesting cleaning your car before storage. My husband is wanting to get new mats before he stores his car. I hope he finds some he loves.

  6. I just brought my C3 back from 7 years storage. Never started, tires on hard floor. I did not have any problem starting the car back up, and it has run fine now for a month. Experience:
    1. No brake pedal, took to shop and had to replace all of the calipers. Two had been bought with lifetime warranty, now the other 2 are.
    2. Replaced battery. Maybe keeping it charged for 7 years would have worked, but plan was that the battery was old when stored, replace on startup.
    3. Tires had been kept inflated, but car never moved. Tires were so flat spotted I could hardly drive it, then one blow out within first 50 miles. All 4 tires replaced. I will definitely take better care of the tires if I have to leave the country again!

    1. Anybody have any suggestions as to why the battery would be draining in 2-3 days? If I drive it daily there is no problem. I even installed a disconnect, but seems like there is something drawing very hard when you disconnect the cable. Have not ruled out the battery itself, but it is only about 3 months old. Looking for ideas?

      1. The same thing was happening with my 2002 C5. After replacing the battery that was just 1 year old the same thing happened again, dead battery. after reading one of the blogs, I checked the first Item on the list and sure enough I could not believe it. The culprit was the trunk lights staying on 24-7 due to a faulty trunk light switch which is built into the trunk latch mechanism.

      2. Disconnect the Negative battery cable from the post, take a test light and connect the alligator clip of the light to the negative cable and probe the negative post, test light should light if you have a short, if test light comes on have a friend start removing fuses one at a time until the test light extinguishes, short will be in that circuit. look at the wiring print and see what items are in that circuit, usually the clock or cigarette lighter is the culprit.

      3. Tim, just saw your email now. If you found a resolution I would be interested. Mine was doing the exact same thing. Narrowed it down to the chime module. If I pull the fuse to park the car for 2 plkus days there is no problem when I put the fuse back in. I had it parked for over a month in June/July. Replaced the fuse & started like a dream. Doug.

    2. Just disconnect the pos. Terminal of the battery but make sure it has a full charge first! If u have easy access to your car and the time to spare then check the battery every other month to keep it charged!

  7. I have a C2 that I have owned for 15 years now. I also highly recommend changing oil and tranny fluid and fogging the motor if you are not going to use the car for a prolonged period of time.

  8. Temperature and humidity fluctuations are a huge problem. The ideal temperature for preservation is around 64 degrees. The Philadelphia Museum of Art likes a range of 68-degrees to 72-degrees. That’s a four-degree variation over a month’s time. The same with humidity. In an ideal world your cars should be stored in an area that has between 45% and 55% humidity. What’s more important though is that the humidity be consistent. Wild fluctuations will cause more damage than any given level.

  9. Is it not a good thing to start your car at least once a month and bring it to operating temperature? I’m concerned about seals as well.

      1. Not really. The problem is starting the car creates condensation. You need to drive it at least 20 miles to eliminate all of the moisture. Everything has to come up to temperature.

      2. Yes, driving the car would be a huge bonus. For the people who can’t though, starting the car when possible is much better than just letting the car sit.

      3. Problems with starting engin is condensation/water in the combustion areas AND exhaust!! Unless you have stainless system, it will rust from the inside!!
        No problems having an engin not working for 6 months, just keep the battery charged!! And change the oil to new and frech before storing!!

  10. Great article, as for the tires, over the last 16 years, I have placed 12 x 12 inch, 1/2″ thick plywood on the garage floor, followed by 4 layers of thick carpet remnants, for under the tires and have never experienced any flat spots, plus this is a very inexpensive step in preventing flat spots on your tires!

    1. I go into the garage about once a week to admire the beast (one reason I don’t cover it) during winter months,
      and simply roll it forward a couple of feet. The next time, I roll it backward. Never had a problem with flat spots.
      Dryer sheets do work to keep varmints away.

      1. I do the same, start it once a month, pull it up or back a few feet and bring up to temp. I also use a Battery Tender trickle charger and Sea Foam the fuel.

  11. stabil into the fuel tank and run motor with stabil in tank for 10 minutes. best to put car on jack stands to avoid flat spots at tires

  12. Great article! What is the best way to prevent flat spotting the tires, or is that not a problem? My mechanic says that my tires are too far out of balance to balance, probably due to flat spots due to storage. The tires were on the car when I bought it, so I don’t know what the previous owner did in terms of a storage procedure. Thanks

    1. Some sort of thick padding has been known to do the trick. As Michael Mikolajczyk posted above, he used 12 x 12 inch, 1/2″ thick plywood on the garage floor, followed by 4 layers of thick carpet remnants, for under the tires and hasn’t experienced any flat spots from storage.

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