Technical Article

Winter “T” Storage

Below are the suggested steps that can be used to store your “T” for the winter. These suggestions can be applied to many vehicles that need winter storage.

Things you will need to buy are oil & filter, Marvel Mystery Oil, fuel stabilizer, WD-40, antifreeze, cooling system flush and cooling system treatment, mothballs and Beer!!!

  • Pour the coolant flush into your radiator. Take the fuel stabilizer and a rag with you to the gas station. Drive your “T” for about two to three miles and stop at your local gas station. Before topping off with 93 octane, pour in the fuel stabilizer.
  • Drive back home and change the oil and filter first.
  • You are ready to flush the cooling system. Drain the radiator and engine block. Fill the radiator with water and run the engine for about five minutes. Drain the radiator and block again. Install the proper mix of antifreeze and water along with the coolant treatment.
  • Drain the transmission and refill.
  • Drain the differential and refill.
  • Lube the front end, steering rack, drive shaft distributor shaft and water pump.
  • Remove the air filters. With your oil can spray into the carburetor the Marvel Mystery Oil to fog the engine. You will need help to hold the idle up @1500 RPM’S as you do this. Let the engine run for about one minute and turn the engine off. Remove the spark plugs and shoot Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder. Reinstall the plugs to proper torque.
  • Loosen the generator and back off the fan belt.
  • Remove the battery from the car. Put the battery on a slow charge for about six hours. Store on a block of wood and recharge the battery in about two months.
  • Spray the distributor cap and ignition wires with WD-40. Also spray the fuse box.

Other General Storage Notes

If possible, store your car in a garage with a dry concrete floor. Dirt floors are bad because they will emit water vapor that will collect under your car and will cause condensation damage leading to rust. If your only alternative is a barn, use a plastic tarp to serve as a vapor barrier between the earth and you car! Use a soft cotton car cover for inside storage. Blue tarps are a no no! Also be sure and store your car away from fertilizer and other chemicals. These items are very corrosive and will play havoc on your body and electrical system.

Body Prep

Be sure to wash and wax your car body (and chrome) to ensure a protective coat for the winter. Buff all wax off now and use only soft 100% cotton rags.

Interior Prep

Clean and vacuum the interior carpets. Treat your leather seats with leather conditioner and vinyl trim with vinyl protector. Ensure that the hood is in the upright position and that the side curtains are in place. This will keep these components in the open air to prevent mold and mildew as well as keep unwelcome rodents from nesting in your car over the winter. Mothballs in small plastic dishes will also prevent rodents and other critters from taking up residence. Silica gel drying agent (purchased from a hardware store) set in a plastic pan will aid in controlling any moisture buildup that may occur during storage.


If you have the original bias-ply tires, please take note: Your sidewalls will probably be cracked from dry rot. This condition can be a dangerous situation that could cause your tires to fail without warning leading to catastrophic results. Replace them ASAP! Over inflate your tires by 5 PSI because when your car sits idle your tires will loose air. There is no need to block your car if you have recently purchased radial tires because they are made from modern rubber materials (flat spots will not develop).


If you block your car do so under the suspension (springs or A-Arms) not the chassis. Allowing the suspension to hang loose puts it in an un-natural position that could lead to problems later. Set the gearbox in 1st. gear and block the rear wheels. Do not set the hand brake as it could cause the brake shoes to rust to the drums making Spring start-up rather challenging!

Misc Items

Plug the end of the exhaust pipe using a wood dowel or duct tape to prevent infestation. It is also a good idea to seal the engine air intakes. Don’t use rags because they make ideal nesting materials for your rodent friends!

One last thing is to make a list of what you’ve done, and what should be un-done when you awaken your car in the Spring. This will help make the experience all the more enjoyable!

We hope that this exercise has been helpful to all. If you have any questions, Ralph and John would be glad to answer them. For those of you who missed the Tech Session you missed the free containers of Meguiar’s Quik Detailer and Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather/Conditioner, products that can be used in the suggested steps for getting your car ready for winter storage.