How to tuck your Porsche in for the winter

How to tuck your Porsche in for the winter

The best way for your Porsche to survive the long winter is to drive it. No storage is ever good for a car, and your Porsche, like any car, fares the best if you simply drive it regularly.

winter preparation - Porsche 911 at Nordkap

But if you, like me, live in a country where they toss salt all over the place as soon as a meteorologist spots the tiniest snowflake, you will need to store your old Porsche for the worst winter months.

Now, there are many ways to go about doing that. You could go overboard and store it like you do not expect to see it again for years. Or you can prep it lightly and make sure that you got a car you can take for a drive in January if the weather and the roads allow. That is the approach behind these ten top tips:

 

  1. Clean it
  2. Change your oil
  3. Fill her up
  4. Pump it up
  5. Disconnect the battery
  6. Select first
  7. Cover it
  8. Roll the windows down
  9. Place some baking soda inside
  10. Let it be

 

Wash and clean

Get rid of any dust, mud or goo that might trap moisture or harden during the winter hibernation. Give your car a good wash. Consider it the year’s last opportunity to thoughtfully stroke its lines while you give out a content sigh. While you’re at it: Give it a coat of wax to give your paint some extra protection.

If you have a set of original Fuchs wheels you could give them a thin layer of Vaseline to protect them from corrosion. You could also give your clean engine and transmission a thin layer of WD-40.

 

Change oil and oil filter

Contrary to popular belief, spring is not the right time to change the engine oil of your old Porsche 911. Old oil tends to absorb water, which may lead to corrosion. So you should give your car a complete oil change before you store it for the winter; not after.

 

Fill the tank

You want your gas tank to be as full as possible to prevent corrosion and minimize the contact area for any possible condensation. Unfortunately the quality of your run-of-mill pump station petrol deteriorates quite quickly. After a few months of storage the octane rating of the petrol in your car will have dropped, and there may even be some water build-up. So come spring, that first road trip you’ve been looking forward to, might turn into a night mare of engine knocking.

You can avoid this be adding an additive to your car’s petrol, designed to give it some long storage stability. There are a quite a few competing products in the market like STA-BIL.

 

Fill your tires

If your car rests on the same spot on your tires the winter long, chances are that they will have a flat spot come spring. In order to avoid that you should fill up your tires to the maximum recommended value.

Ideally you should also roll your car a bit every month so it rests on new contact patches.

 

Disconnect your battery

If your battery stays connected it will discharge. A battery that remains discharged for weeks or even month is a destroyed battery. Luckily it is easy to avoid. Simply disconnect it at the negative pole.

If you are particularly fuzzy, you could disconnect the battery entirely, store it in a warm place and connect it to a trickle charger to keep the voltage topped up.

 

Put your car in gear

Do not use the hand brake. During a long storage your brake pads will stick to your rotors, which you don’t want to happen. So put your car in first or reverse.

 

Cover it up

A good car cover will protect your precious Porsche from moisture and dust. Use a breathable car cover, if you store your car indoors and use a weatherproof cover if stored outdoor. A car cover can trap moisture so make sure you get the right one.

 

Roll your windows down

Roll both your windows down one centimetre or so to get a bit of airflow going and to prevent condensation.

 

Bring out the baking soda

Here’s a nice tip straight from House & Gardens: If you want to preserve that fresh Porsche smell, simply place a tray with some baking soda inside the cabin.

 

Let it be

Picture this: It is January, dark and cold. Wolves roam the lands, and the Trump Presidency just began. You sit at home, in the darkness and stare out the window at the snow and the distant fires, while you ponder the unbearable harshness of being. Then an idea pops into your head: Why don’t I pick up a couple of Mickey’s Big Mouth and drink ‘em in the car while the engine warms up?

Don’t. Just don’t.

If you want to warm your Porsche up during the winter everything needs to get properly warm; including the transmission. In other words you need to go for a prober drive. If you just crank up the car and wait for the oil temperature to rise, before you shut it down again, you will have accomplished nothing but to create a temperature difference that will allow condensation and thus a build-up of moisture. It may have kept you from driving a nail through your forehead, but it will not do anything good for your car.

Go play Motorsport Manager or the new Porsche DLC’s for Assetto Corsa instead.

 

Got any tips to share? Don’t be shy, post’em here and help some fellow Porsche petrolheads out.

 

2 Comments
  • Phil
    Posted at 17:34h, 21 November Reply

    Sound advice for over-winter care of classic Porsches and for discouraging frustrated classic Porsche owners from driving nails through their foreheads!
    Thanks Holger.

  • Lou
    Posted at 00:54h, 22 November Reply

    It’s safer to chock the wheels than it is to store the car in gear. I had to rebuild my ’75 911’s transmission after it locked in gear during one winter storage.

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