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Keeping a classic outdoors in the winter


Gentil79
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As long as the car doesn't let water into the cabin, then there's really not much to do. I leave most of my stuff sat on the driveway for months on end, every winter. If it's a crisp, dry winter's day then they might get started, warmed up and taken round the block a couple of times before being left to sit again. Keeping them off wet, salted roads is the single best thing you can do to preserve an old car. Equally, putting a car cover on one is the single worst thing you can do. 

Most* cars were designed to be weather-proof after all!

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1 minute ago, Austin-Rover said:

As long as the car doesn't let water into the cabin, then there's really not much to do. I leave most of my stuff sat on the driveway for months on end, every winter. If it's a crisp, dry winter's day then they might get started, warmed up and taken round the block a couple of times before being left to sit again. Keeping them off wet, salted roads is the single best thing you can do to preserve an old car. Equally, putting a car cover on one is the single worst thing you can do. 

Most* cars were designed to be weather-proof after all!

Agreed. Exterior car covers are the spawn of Satan and should be banned. 

I tend to air the MR2 frequently when laid up in the drive over winter.

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2 minutes ago, Ash said:

What do the exterior covers do which is bad ?

They're not compatible with wind, so they move across the paintwork scratching it, get stuck to sometimes hard to find and irreplicable trim and I've seen them turn paintwork milky before now when moisture gets under one. 

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Over here we have sometimes winter days (series of a few days at a time) with heavy rains and no wind, then sometimes something else

Would a hoodie still help preserve the car better (consodering both rust and paintwork) if put on for those few days, then taken off if the weather changes ?

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2 minutes ago, Ash said:

What do the exterior covers do which is bad ?

Mine used to blow around the neighbourhood and attach themselves to neighbours fences/trees/house fronts which made them love me more than they did already.

If I was lucky and they remained attached then they just flapped around and made a shit tonne of noise for everyone to enjoy.

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1 minute ago, Ash said:

Over here we have sometimes winter days (series of a few days at a time) with heavy rains and no wind, then sometimes something else

Would a hoodie still help preserve the car better (consodering both rust and paintwork) if put on for those few days, then taken off if the weather changes ?

You'd be better off to wax it well and occasionally rinse any debris off it

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3 minutes ago, Ash said:

Over here we have sometimes winter days (series of a few days at a time) with heavy rains and no wind, then sometimes something else

Would a hoodie still help preserve the car better (consodering both rust and paintwork) if put on for those few days, then taken off if the weather changes ?

The biggie is to run your car around the block fairly frequently if you're laying it up for a while. In theory, it'll keep the brakes free, stop the tyres from developing flat spots and allow any water which has been sitting out of sight to run off.

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I plan to run my Tempra approx once a week depending on weather. I am considering to get the hoodie to reduce the quantity of moisture that gets to get in (into the seams around doors, engine hood etc), before i take it off to drive anyway

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If your location allows it, build a simple car port.  It works better than you might expect.   Keeps the rain off, allows plenty of ventilation, the ground stays dry, and you can work under it.  As long as the location isn't too exposed it can be quite lightly built.  Mine is made from standard fence posts and boards, with plastic roofing sheets, took a couple of days to build and I am glad I did it.  I'll try and get some pics if it stops raining.  

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I'm also not a fan of car covers, I put the P6 under one briefly and was mildly pissed off to say the least, so that's not used any more. 

I bought a blow up Carcoon in the summer and have housed the MX5 in it over winter as a test, we shall see how it looks when I unpack it in the new year. In theory it is pretty promising as it keeps air moving around constantly and doesn't contact the paintwork. I will let the results speak for themselves in 2023!

IMG_20221113_143413.thumb.jpg.595b9a39d392b83fb6296e305fd9cefb.jpg

(it isn't fully inflated here, the drying vent was open so the internal pressure dropped) 

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I'm another who hates car covers with a passion. They're okay for stuff like my Dolomite scrapper I'm ripping parts from or for 24-48hrs when you've had to leave a project car outside. Any more then they just ruin cars.

The MG Midget in restoring is a great example of the damage car covers do. Rust blebs and micro blisters all over the top. Underneath where there was airflow and no car cover is in excellent condition!

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9 hours ago, Mr Pastry said:

If your location allows it, build a simple car port.  It works better than you might expect.   Keeps the rain off, allows plenty of ventilation, the ground stays dry, and you can work under it.  As long as the location isn't too exposed it can be quite lightly built.  Mine is made from standard fence posts and boards, with plastic roofing sheets, took a couple of days to build and I am glad I did it.  I'll try and get some pics if it stops raining.  

Unfortunately nope. It's a bunch of parking spots along the road, common to a few houses, where any specific spot is taken one day by you and another day by your neighbor

 

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Keep it clean, keep it watertight.

The biggest issue is water getting in and not getting out, blocked drains and leaky seals etc. If the seals are knackered and can't be replaced decent cover and regular airing is probably a decent course of action. 

If the car is parked and not out on salty roads most of your traditional winter damage is already avoided.

A damp garage or bad car cover is worse than storing a car outside I reckon.

Disconnect the battery, over pressurise the tyres,  leave it in gear, handbrake off and give it a spin around the block occasionally.

Job jobbed.

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9 hours ago, Bradders59 said:

I have a cover for the top half of the Boxster so just protects the roof. Other than that, I make sure I take it for a drive every week or so during the winter.

Not having a garage, I dont think theres much more to be done. 

I have one of those - have you found that yours becomes detached at the back when it's windy? If not, which one did you get? 

 

Mine tends to come off in the wind and end up hanging down

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Havent had it long, so havrnt used it much so far, so cant really judge to be honest. When I have used it, its been fine.

Must try and remember to have a look at what brand it is. I was given it by a member of the Boxster forum, who had paid about £90 for it less than a year previously.

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Just now, Bradders59 said:

Havent had it long, so havrnt used it much so far, so cant really judge to be honest. When I have used it, its been fine.

Must try and remember to have a look at what brand it is. I was given it by a member of the Boxster forum, who had paid about £90 for it less than a year previously.

Thanks, it'd be great if you'd have a look. Mine cost me about that and I've had it a while now, so they might well be the same cover. I can't remember the name on it, but there is a tag somewhere on it with a manufacturer name

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I do feel terribly guilty about the cars I have to leave outside. I bought a cover for my MX5 last winter but it wasn't a great success. As others have said it tends to come off in the wind no matter how much you think you've anchored it and drags itself across the paintwork. It's also a massive faff to take on and off, again trying to be careful as you do so. In any case after standing for a while with it on I discovered that the interior had gone musty and mouldy. The other thing that does a car no favours of course is parking on grass. I agree the main thing is simply to avoid salty and mucky roads.

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My '94 Tipo has always been outside, parked on a mainly loose shingle surface.  It has had some welding underneath, nothing unusual for a 28 years old Fiat.  The body panels are still in very good condition.  The car does not leak in heavy rain and gets used at least once a week/25 miles.  I'm not keen on covers.  My son's Honda NC750x had its cover on a few weeks ago when we had some powerfully gusty winds.  The cover acted like a sail and toppled the bike over, away from its side stand. My Mitsubishi Mirage broke the bike's fall with the result that it needs a new bonnet and some dents removing from the front wing.  £900 to fix it. Sod that.  I'm driving it as is.

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14 hours ago, Austin-Rover said:

As long as the car doesn't let water into the cabin, then there's really not much to do. I leave most of my stuff sat on the driveway for months on end, every winter. If it's a crisp, dry winter's day then they might get started, warmed up and taken round the block a couple of times before being left to sit again. Keeping them off wet, salted roads is the single best thing you can do to preserve an old car. Equally, putting a car cover on one is the single worst thing you can do. 

Most* cars were designed to be weather-proof after all!

As I mentioned in the video, the windscreen seals are perished and let water in. Without the cover, there would be a puddle of water on the footwells and boot.

 

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14 hours ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Agreed. Exterior car covers are the spawn of Satan and should be banned. 

I tend to air the MR2 frequently when laid up in the drive over winter.

So what would you do if the seals are perished and let water in like mine?

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5 hours ago, captain_70s said:

Keep it clean, keep it watertight.

The biggest issue is water getting in and not getting out, blocked drains and leaky seals etc. If the seals are knackered and can't be replaced decent cover and regular airing is probably a decent course of action. 

If the car is parked and not out on salty roads most of your traditional winter damage is already avoided.

A damp garage or bad car cover is worse than storing a car outside I reckon.

Disconnect the battery, over pressurise the tyres,  leave it in gear, handbrake off and give it a spin around the block occasionally.

Job jobbed.

I did mention in my video that the reason for a car cover is due to perished windscreen seals that let water in.  I also mention about leaving in gear/park and move the back and forth occasionally to reduce the risk of flat spots on the tyres. 
 

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Just now, Mr Pastry said:

Replace the seals and drill some drain holes in the floor.

Well, I can’t replace them until spring (one of them still out of stock) and I’m not going to drill floors because water can also get into places that are not visible.

it’s not always a one size fits all solution.

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