The Ultimate Guide to Classic Car Storage

In the ultimate guide to classic car storage, every detail counts when you are putting your vintage vehicle to rest for a long period, especially over winter. Storing your beloved automobile correctly is the key to ensuring it will emerge in the spring, still looking good as the day you put it away.

 As someone who’s dedicated countless hours to storing and emerging with classics in pristine condition, let me help you understand the nuances. From selecting the ideal breathable cover to dissuade dust, meticulously maintaining fluids and tire pressures, to the ritual of occasionally igniting the engine to assure everything remains operational—each step is vital.

 Achieve this, and you’ll ensure that when the time comes, your prized classic car will emerge, ready to turn heads and capture hearts just like the first day you saw it.

Classic Car Maintenance

Maintaining a classic car is quite different from upkeep on a modern vehicle. The analog richness of classic car maintenance holds its charm over the more digital systems associated with modern vehicle maintenance, offering up challenges and rewards that are distinctly its own.

Accessibility and Enjoyment

The unique appeal of a vintage car or truck goes beyond the simple act of driving—it’s the combination of accessibility and fun that makes classic car maintenance a labor of love. Whether it’s a routine chore or a pleasant pastime, owning and keeping an older vehicle in good shape regularly is part of the nostalgic joy.

Typical Maintenance Tasks

Whether it’s tire rotation, changing the oil, or maintaining the engine, classic car maintenance tasks often culminate in the best part: taking it out for a drive. And with each check of the belts and hoses for signs of wear, or every washing and waxing session, you’re not just preserving the car; you’re engaging in a timeless tradition.

Classic Car Storage And Maintenance Tips For Ontario Car Enthusiasts

Classic Car Ownership as a Hobby

Owning a classic car is much more than a hobby. It’s about the sweet satisfaction that comes from tinkering under the hood, the thrill of cruising through town on a sunny day with open windows, and the excitement you see on people’s faces as you drive by in your prized possession.

Winter Storage Challenges in Canada

We face unique winter storage challenges in Canada. Our cherished classic cars aren’t always driven year-round due to harsh winter conditions that aren’t conducive to keeping an older car in excellent condition. Hence, they emerge once more, looking as good as any day they were put away.

Morison Insurance Tips for Storage and Maintenance

The brokers at Morison Insurance, who specialize in classic car insurance, have compiled a list of classic car storage and maintenance tips to help car lovers protect their vintage vehicles and keep them in perfect shape for the next sunny day.

Preparing Your Classic Car for Storage

Once you’ve picked the ideal spot from this ultimate guide, it’s time to prepare your classic car for long-term storage.

Disconnect or Remove Battery

One of the first steps should be to either disconnect or completely remove the battery. A car’s failing battery left hooked up with the vehicle in storage for a long period will eventually drain and die, leaving you needing to charge the battery first before it’s ready to roll again.

Fill Tank & Change Oil

Despite seeming counterintuitive, filling up your car with gasoline before storing it is an important step in preventing corrosion. And remember to change to fresh oil—dirty, old oil sitting in the system of a classic can cause corrosion.

Inflate Tires

To avoid tire deformities, inflate your tires to the recommended PSI. If you’re planning not to use your car for a long time, consider putting it on jack stands or removing the wheels to preserve their quality.

Open Windows

After you’re done cleaning, and before placing a cover over your vehicle, roll the front windows down slightly to prevent stale and musty air— just enough to let the interior breathe without inviting in the elements.

Clean Storage Space

Before you put your classic car away, ensure it’s left behind in a clean storage space. There’s no point in putting all that work into cleaning your car only to leave it in a dusty environment.

Cover Exterior

Once it’s time to tuck your classic car into its long slumber, make sure it gets a comfortable blanket—a car cover to keep it protected from dust, dirt, and moisture. Remember to plug the car’s tailpipe to keep rodents out and mark it with a flag or ribbon to remind you to remove it later.

Top Up Fluid Levels

Finally, ensure all fluid levels are topped up—from brake fluid to antifreeze and windshield washer fluid. Keeping these at the correct level helps to prevent condensation build-up and ultimately prevents rust from claiming another vintage prize.


When faced with a blinking check engine light, immediate action is of the essence to prevent what could be a minor issue from escalating into a major headache. Drawing from a personal episode en route to St. Paul, this warning light should be seen as a distress signal that your vehicle is experiencing a potentially critical issue—from misfires to catalytic converter failure—that demands prompt professional attention. 

It’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a call to protect the wellbeing of your car and finances. The steady glow of the check engine light suggests a need for a check-up. Whereas a blinking light means stop and seek expert help now. 

By promptly responding to these illuminated warnings, you play an active role in the health and longevity of your vehicle. Ensuring that a leisurely drive isn’t turned into an urgent ride to the service center. Whether it’s a recent model or a treasured classic. Understanding the signals from your vehicle’s check engine light can save time, money, and ensure peace of mind on the road.


How do you store a classic car long term?

The ideal scenario is to store the car on a concrete floor in a dry. Climate-controlled garage with an air-filtered HVAC system. If that’s not possible, be sure to choose a dry space.

What is the best humidity for classic car storage?

Independent of outside temperature. This is because rust and corrosion on bare metal all but stops below 60% RH. And because leather and wood (and rubber) can dry and become brittle and crack below 40% RH. So, 50-55% Relative Humidity is an ideal target for climate controlled car storage environments.

How do you store a car for 20 years?

How to Store a Car Long Term

  • Fill Up the Tank. When a gas tank is left empty, it can rust due to moisture. 
  • Change the Oil. 
  • Protect the Engine Cylinders. 
  • Maintain the Battery. 
  • Wrap the Wiper Blades. 
  • Plug the Exhaust Outlet. 
  • Elevate the Vehicle. 
  • Clean the Interior.

Should I store my classic car with a full tank of gas?

Choose a clean, dry garage or storage facility, as damp air can cause rusting. Ideally, store your car in a climate-controlled facility. Fill the gas tank completely full. An empty or low gas tank will lead to internal rust as condensation and moisture builds within the tank.