Each fall, owners of sports cars, hot rods, powersports vehicles and other warm-weather “toys” should begin preparing for several months of cold weather. Snow, sleet, ice and freezing temperatures can cause serious problems with vehicles and equipment, but following a few simple preparation steps with the help of Lucas Oil products will ensure those prized possessions are ready to go next spring.
Supercars, motorcycles, hot rods and even riding lawn mowers all have engine oil systems, fuel systems, transmissions and other components that require winter prep. While it might sound daunting, proper prep doesn’t take much time or mechanical knowledge — but failing to do so can range from a small repair bill to very expensive system failures.
It should go without saying, but finding a good location that is dry and protects from the elements is a great first start to a solid storage strategy. Garages, sheds, barns or self-storage facilities all make great storage locations. While outside storage isn’t recommended, sometimes it’s all someone has, so the use of a high-quality, waterproof storage cover can also provide very good protection.
Most drivers with classics or sports cars keep their cars spotless, but it’s important that a thorough cleaning — inside and out — is performed before putting the vehicle in storage. Dirt and debris can degrade paint, metal surfaces and trim parts, so a thorough cleaning is critical. Luckily, Lucas offers great products designed to make this process easy. Lucas Slick Mist Speed Wax and the all-new Lucas Slick Mist Ceramic Speed Wax both offer long-lasting protection from the elements. Just spray on and wipe off before placing in storage for a full season of defense against dust and dirt. Cleaning isn’t limited to the exterior of vehicles either. Lucas Complete Engine Treatment can be used to clean and lubricate the entire fuel system from the tank to injectors, and when added to engine oil, it cleans the oil system, reducing gum and varnish buildup while improving cold temperature fluidity.
As mentioned, the cleanliness and preparation of fuel systems should be a priority. Using Lucas Oil Deep Clean Fuel Treatment during that final fill up will help make sure the fuel system is nice and clean before going into storage. However, gasoline degrades over time, causing changes to its chemical properties, which can damage fuel-system components. To prevent potential issues, a bottle of Lucas Fuel Stabilizer should be added to the tank to slow the degradation of gasoline and ethanol, a main cause of gum and varnish deposits. The Fuel Stabilizer also cleans, lubricates and maintains fuel pumps, carburetors, fuel injectors and compression rings. Vehicle owners should also fill their tanks to 90% their capacity to prevent excess water condensation build up.
Although classic cars with old electronics are often known for draining a battery, every vehicle, motorcycle and piece of lawn equipment with a battery should have its battery disconnected or placed on a battery tender. That will ensure the battery stays in good shape and is ready to be put right back in action next spring.
Oil changes are part of routine maintenance, which should be up-to-date when placing something in storage for the winter. However, just having clean oil isn’t enough for those who want the very best protection for their prized possessions. By adding a bottle of Lucas Oil Low-Viscosity Stabilizer or Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer, vehicles are given an added layer of protection from dry starts and excess friction as well as heat and wear in any type of engine. It also provides added lubrication, which reduces oil consumption and operating temperatures. It’s important to note that these stabilizers are not just great for storage; they should be included with every oil change.
“Whether you’re a casual sports car owner or a dedicated classic car owner who does their own maintenance, planning for winter storage needs to start early and involve the right products. We have been trusted for decades to keep engines, fuel systems and more protected against harsh driving conditions and preparing for winter storage should be no different,” said Morgan Lucas, president of Lucas Oil. “Vehicles in storage can develop a lot of serious problems without certain preventive measures, and we are proud to say that Lucas Oil products are trusted by people around the world to keep those classics and other prized vehicles running great, year after year.”