These mechanical components are particularly prone to internal corrosion and sticking; causing power loss. In engines this is partly due to gradual deterioration of some oils through oxidation, contamination and break down in use.
Engine oil can retain water and acids as combustion by-products. These by-products can be extremely corrosive to inactive internal surfaces as they gradually lose their protective coating through oil drainage to the sump. These effects are exacerbated in used oil, which may have exhausted its additives that help prevent these effects in daily service and we recommend that an oil and filter change prior to storage unless this has recently been done as part of regular servicing.
Regular monthly running of the engine, essential in long term car storage, will re-circulate the oil to renew protection of the internal surfaces and allow belts on the engine to be run and moved to prevent them ending up with high points where sitting on the pulleys etc. Clutch, gearbox, brakes are also exercised to prevent rust bonding friction surfaces to the rust prone, cast iron usually used for flywheels and brake components.
If an engine has been sitting for a long period it is advised to remove the spark plugs, pour an eggcup sized amount of WD40 down each of the bores to lubricate the pistons on initial run up. The ignition can also be disabled and allow the engine to spin freely on the starter motor with no load until the oil ways are re-filled and pressurised, before being allowed to start completely.
The best way to run the vehicle up to temperature is not to simply start and leave idling and return to storage. This often does more harm than good. This allows damp, moisture laden air into the engine and exhaust system, eventually leading to deterioration of these components. When an exhaust rots this is usually from the inside out where this moisture is allowed to remain from short journeys without ever burning off this moisture. The best way to run the vehicle periodically is to take it for a short drive lasting for at least 10 minutes. This allows all gears to be engaged, clutch and brakes to be used. You may be now thinking that is isn’t a good idea in winter when the roads are wet, icy or even salty more often than not. At Windrush Car Storage we avoid this problem by utilising our own internal rolling road. This enables us to fully exercise the vehicle whilst ensuring pristine condition. From everyday car to classic car storage.