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How to Store Your Mustang for Winter

What You Need to Know Before You Put Your Ford Mustang Into Storage

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For many Mustang enthusiasts and collectors, Fall means preparing our cars for storage over the winter months. After all, anyone who's ever tried to drive a classic-model Mustang in the snow knows the two don't necessarily go hand in hand.

Although the thought of parting with your favorite ride may sound depressing, just imagine how you'll feel if you don't properly prepare your car for storage! I don't know many folks who'd like to venture down that road. Remember, it's what you do today that will make your first Spring ride all the more enjoyable! So let's get started. Check off each item as you go along.

Change Your Oil and Filter

Photo © Glen Coburn
Before you store your Mustang away for the winter, give it a complete oil change, which includes changing the filter. Use a quality brand of oil that touts corrosive protection.

Change Your Brake Fluid

Flush out your old brake fluid, which can contain moisture, and add new fluid to your Mustang.

One Last Drive then Top it Off

Take your Mustang on a short drive to the gas station, then fill it up completely with gas. The goal is to circulate fuel through the fuel lines before you put it away for the season. You can also add a bottle of fuel stabilizer to the tank to keep your gasoline in tip-top-shape until next Spring.

Wash and Wax Your Mustang

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas
Give your ride one final wash and wax before you store it away for the winter. Be sure to remove any dirt, as dirt holds moisture, and moisture can cause rust. Dry it completely. If you plan to cover it, use a breathable cloth cover.

CAUTION: Do not cover your Mustang with a plastic cover, as it can trap moisture which can lead to rust!

Protect Your Leather, Rubber, and Vinyl

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas
Be sure to put a coat of protectant on you leather seats, dashboard, etc. This will help to keep these components from cracking during storage.

Lubricate the Cylinders

Remove your spark plugs and lubricate the cylinders using a small amount of conventional-engine oil or boat-storage fogging oil. Put the spark plugs back in place and reattach the spark-plug wires. Once again, the goal here is to prevent rust. Also be sure to lubricate the hood latch and your door hinges.

Drain Your Cooling System

Remove the fluid in your cooling system and radiator. Then add antifreeze with a rust inhibitor.

Remove the Battery

Take the battery out of your Mustang by removing the ground cable first. Inspect the battery and properly clean it if necessary. Then store it on a dry surface away from concrete. If you plan to use a battery-tender, prepare your set up.

Prepare Your Tires

Remove your tires, if possible, and place the Mustang on jack stands with plywood beneath each for support. Otherwise, you may find your ride has sunk into the ground next Spring. Then store your tires in a safe location for winter. If you plan to keep your tires on the vehicle, let some air out of them to reduce the strain on both the tires and the suspension.

Critter Proof Your Mustang

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas
Let's face it, animals love to set up shop in cars that are in storage. Therefore, you need to make your Mustang critter proof. Stuff some rags into the tailpipe and place additional rags in any intake vents. Also make sure your windows are rolled up. You can also sprinkle moth balls around the car to keep the critters away.
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Winter Driving and Car Maintenance Tips
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