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Thread: Winter Storage - Best Practice?

  1. #1

    Default Winter Storage - Best Practice?

    So having a 'toy' car is a new thing for us and never had to store a car before.

    Our plan is to Tax the MCS for 6 months at a time and SORN it over winter to keep the worst of the weather off it. I've done some reading and there is a bit of conflicting advice, we'll have to put it under a cover as we don't have access to a usable garage (well for car storage anyway).

    My general thoughts are:

    1. Super thorough wash and polish before 'bedtime'
    2. Chock it (Handbrake Off)
    3. Tyres to 50 Psi
    4. Disconnect Battery
    5. Super weatherproof, breathable, fitted and soft lined car cover.
    6. Leave it full of fuel with a shot of stabiliser
    7. Start collecting silica gel sachets to leave in the interior over winter
    8. Leave note on Steering Wheel of all that needs undone before driving off in Spring

    Some sources say you don't need to overinflate modern radials, some sources say half a tank is better as you can top it up with fresh, others say full so there's less air in there to make the fuel go off in the first place.

    As the battery is in the boot, once disconnected can I power the car off the jump start points round front? Otherwise how do I open the boot again when it's an electric actuated latch? Not planning on trickle charging the battery all winter either, simply disconnecting it.

    As a car with modern oils do I really need to change the Oil every year for something like 3-4,000 miles driving max per year?

    Has anyone on here stored cars on their drive before and have any real world tips, advice and don't do's?

    We want to cherish this car for years and years to come so don't want to get this wrong! (but we're not moving house for a bigger garage!)

    Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Mark Johnston
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    St Fergus, Aberdeenshire
    Horizon Blue 2009 R56 S


    My dad had a cayman S for 4 years it was only taxed April to October. We had it on a trickle charger but on most sports car the battery is flat after about 10 days mini should be OK I would suggest starting and letting it warm up at least once a month I usually took it out of the garage and let it run while washing the car gave it a chance to warm up and made sure it was always clean when had it under a cover inside the garage silica gel is probably a good idea. We never over inflated the tyres just kept an eye on them hand brake we left off and left the car in gear

    Hope that helps

  3. #3


    I've stored a car over winter for 3 years (in a dehumidified garage), and I inflate the tyres to 50psi and leave it on a trickle charger. I used to start it every month, but I think that just puts more wear on it when you aren't using it.

    On the Mini - there's a boot release pull under the rear seats. 4k, I'd change the oil every year but I'm a bit anal about oil changes - for all the cost, it's well worth it in the long run IMO.

    Make sure you drive the car after washing it before putting it away - if you put it away with wet discs you'll ruin them (ask me how I know).

    I wouldn't leave silica gel inside - you can dry out the leather/seals. Moisture is most dangerous on bodywork. Ideally you want 45-55% humidity, but if it's outside you don't have that luxury.

    I leave mine full of fuel with stabiliser - if you leave the tank half full, you can get condensation inside with equals corrosion. Gives you a good excuse to rag it in the spring to burn off the old fuel!

    Sent from my SM-P605 using Tapatalk

    Feet were made to fit car pedals. If we were meant to walk, we'd have pogo sticks for legs

  4. #4
    Commercial Sponsor Moderator Bryce@MintCarCare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Falkirk, Scotland
    JCW Clubbie :)


    I really cannot advise against the use of car covers outside enough. The slight movement of the cover through the wind will slowly abrade the paint off sharp edges. I've seen this happen to a few vehicles including a 911 GT3 which was covered for 24 hours.

    Without a proper indoor space and a silk lined car cover (which push 2000), I would recommend a carport or even just a small gazebo that is well grounded.

    I would also recommend opening a window very slighly.
    The Devil is in The Details

  5. #5
    JCW Upgrade Blueboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Kingdom Of Fife


    Always kept my Harleys in a cocoon, great things and cost pennys to run the small fan all winter. Kept the bike absolute moisture free and ready to go come the spring. Got a friend with a small collection of old classics and he has the latest ones which are structures that stay up when the car comes out unlike the bike versions which is held up with air. Check them out

  6. #6


    Thanks for all the advice so far. Starting to look around the town for a garage to rent......
    56' MINI Cooper S Convertible - Astro Black, 17" R98 Alloys, Cordoba Beige interior with heated seats, Chromed Scoop and Mirror Caps, Chili Pack, MFSW with Cruise Control and one concession to not as out the factory - Parrott MKi9000 (fitted by me!)

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