Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - OldPeculiar
SWMBO is taking her car off the road next month ( 1.3l white Maestro 45K miles) when she goes on maternity leave. We're not planning on putting it back on the road for some time as we won't be able to afford it (she's not planning on getting another job for a while) However she's quite attached to the car and wants to store it in the garage until such time as we can put the car back on the road. Would this be viable for such a quality vehicle and how long would you store it for? I think my main concern is that they'll be a car taking up space in my garage, requiring regular checking and with a chance of it not actually passing its MOT/moving when it comes to put it back on the road.

Any advice on my predicament?
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - Wilco {P}
Cars always benefit from regular use - especially when they're knocking on a bit. Any friends/relatives who might be able to continue using it? If not, and you can bear to do it, get rid. There will be plenty of other "classics" around when it's time to get back on the road.
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - Andrew-T
I would guess you might have difficulty giving that car away, so perhaps its value can only increase from now on. Keep it for 10+ years and it will be a museum piece!
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - OldPeculiar
And maybe one day it will have attained the staus and value of the Austin Princess! Like the princess you can actually stand inside the engine bay, now there's something you can't do with a modern car:)

SWMBO is rather attached to it though. She make take some persuading to part company with it.
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - 3500S
This is by no means an exhaustive list and some of this may be open to further interpretation.

Firstly, either jack the car up onto blocks, leaving all four wheels off the ground or choc the axles and remove the wheels. Tyres degrade very quickly if used to support the car weight.

Next fluids. Personally, I'm against draining the engine of oil leaving a coating but nothing in the sump, what I have done before laying a car up is changed the oil completely and left clean oil in reducing the chance of grot causing blockages.

Brake fluid, hmm, again, I've preferred to leave this in BUT change it if the car has not been used for longer than six months

Engine coolant. I've always increased the strength of coolant as it has very good anti-corrosion properties to about 60% coolant. I've then flushed this out and reset the correct levels.

I don't think it has power steering fluids to worry about.

Disconnect the battery, unless you are going in invalidate any ECU doing this, remove it, they tend to discharge over time, keep it indoors and apply a residual charge to it once a month if you need to recommission the car in a hurry.

In the case of rubber hoses, it may be worth using something water repellent (don't laugh) on them to prevent them perishing, I've used a smearing of vaseline to protect them from this. Seems to work well.

If there's a rodent problem with the garage, lay down Rentokil mouse traps, you will not believe what lives in a car. I once managed to cook a squirrel that was hibernating in the engine bulkhead/passenger cavity once recommissioning a car. Also mice like eating wire insulation as well as upholstery etc, etc.

Consider turning the engine over once a week for a few minutes to keep moving parts covered in oil and coolant flowing around the system.
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - OldPeculiar
Certainly a lack of power steering and no ECU it is a "G" reg after all!

I'll give the list of what needs doing to SWMBO and tell her if she wants to keep the car then this is what she'll need to do.

No Rodent problem. My garage is quite well kept - it's even got a carpet and curtains!

Do many people actually store cars? Is there really any need in these days of cheap second hand autos unless it's a true classic?
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - 3500S
Wish my garage had carpet and curtains, I think I'm blessed that the roof doesn't leak ! :)

I put store mine away for three months after Christmas until March something as far into late April. I've been doing that for the last four years and I have it serviced and Mot'd in April. It seems to 'preserve' the car fairly well.

That's what I do to mine, the real problem is the brakes, the discs pick up surface rust (longer periods of storage would not be good) The brake fluid also seems to attract moisture. My garage is only slightly damp and well venilated thanks to a gap in the bottom of the door :)
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - nick
A cheap secondhand dehumidifier would be a good idea, they cost buttons to run. The ultimate is a Carcoon, a big plastic bag you put your car into and a couple of small fans (like on pcs) keep it ventilated. Worth it for an E-type but it would probably cost more than the Maestro is worth. If it's a sound car, I'd keep it. At least it's the devil you know.
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - madf
Kept a 1993 1.1 EFI Fiesta for 12 months in a garage.

Washed it, drove 10 miles, then monthly checked tyres, and ran it for 30 minutes.

Full stop.

Ran perfectly after 12 months...
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - kithmo
I would guess you might have difficulty giving that car away,
so perhaps its value can only increase from now on. Keep
it for 10+ years and it will be a museum piece!

Keep a Maestro for 10 years+ and it will be a MIRACLE!
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - OldPeculiar
I think it's a miracle that it's lasted over ten years already! It's MOT'ed until July, maybe I can find someone to take it for 50 squids.

It used to be SWMBO grandad's car and she inherited it hence why she's attached to it and why it's only got 45K on the clock.

Maybe I could give it to my little sister - then my old man would have to store it in HIS garage!
Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - Altea Ego
Having run one of these for three years from 1983 (a 1.6hls) I can speak from technical experience.

I would break it down into its component parts, store it in a green wheelie bin and leave it outside the house......

Storage of a classic - errr Maestro? - Cliff Pope
Having at various times stored both classics and old bangers, I think there are two possible approaches here.

1) for a proper classic, or something you really want to preserve. Give it the full works - support on blocks, fresh oil, dehumidifier, etc as others have outlined.

2) Don't do anything special, except an oil change. Keep it in running order, and start it every month. Run it up to full operating temperature, and move it backwards and forwards in the garage or drive to keep the clutch and brakes free .

It might be worth taking it for an MOT beforehand, and getting an opinion on anything looming but not a failure yet. Some testers can be very helpful if you chat to them.


Value my car