911 win­ter stor­age

If you’re think­ing of putting your 911 into hi­ber­na­tion over the win­ter months – or even longer – there are a few things you should con­sider first, as To­tal 911 dis­cov­ers…

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Chris ran­dall Pic­tures cour­tesy of Aut­o­farm

It’s that time of year again: if you’re think­ing of putting your 911 away for win­ter, we re­veal the best prac­tises

We’d al­ways en­cour­age you to drive your 911 as of­ten as pos­si­ble. After all, few sports cars are as us­able on a daily ba­sis, but we cer­tainly un­der­stand there are times when that’s not pos­si­ble and stor­age is the only an­swer. Whether be­cause of long-term ab­sence, or just pro­tect­ing your beloved Ne­unelfer from the rav­ages of win­ter while you pa­tiently await the re­turn of bet­ter weather, tuck­ing the car away might just be the best op­tion. With those win­ter months on their way, it’s the ideal time to con­sider how to be­gin prepa­ra­tions and how to en­sure the car comes out of its hi­ber­na­tion in per­fect shape, ready to en­joy once again.

If you’re par­tic­u­larly friendly with your lo­cal OPC or spe­cial­ist they may store your car for you, but a more likely op­tion for many own­ers is em­ploy­ing the services of a stor­age com­pany. New en­ter­prises are spring­ing up all the time, and while plenty of mo­tor­ing mag­a­zines carry ad­ver­tise­ments for such busi­nesses, care is needed be­fore tak­ing the plunge. Most im­por­tant, of course, is choos­ing a rep­utable com­pany, and a chat with your favourite spe­cial­ist is a good start­ing point – they should pro­vide peace of mind by rec­om­mend­ing some­one that, chances are, they use them­selves. With that done the next step is to go and in­spect the fa­cil­i­ties, and any com­pany worth their salt should be happy to show you ex­actly where the cars are stored. Ask to see all of the stor­age ar­eas, in­clud­ing any off-site build­ings, and dis­cuss ar­range­ments such as alarm and CCTV sys­tems. Those that won’t may have some­thing to hide. Also im­por­tant is es­tab­lish­ing the services of­fered while the car is stored, such as main­te­nance pro­cesses, start­ing or driv­ing of the car, de­hu­mid­i­fied stor­age and bat­tery con­di­tion­ing – cer­tainly use­ful for mod­ern cars where ECUS be­ing shut down for long pe­ri­ods may cause prob­lems later.

It’s also worth check­ing whether the car will be valeted and how it will be checked for dam­age be­fore it is put away. Don’t be afraid to ask about their in­sur­ance, al­though it’s wise to no­tify your own in­surer that the car is be­ing stored away from its

usual ad­dress, as in­sur­ers may of­fer a tem­po­rary stor­age pol­icy. Then there’s the mat­ter of scru­ti­n­is­ing the small print. You’ll want to un­der­stand ex­actly what’s be­ing of­fered and avoid any hid­den charges, and be aware of is­sues such as no­tice pe­ri­ods. If you’re plan­ning to re­cover the car from stor­age on oc­ca­sion then ask what’s in­volved and whether any ad­di­tional charges ap­ply or if the stor­age agree­ment ends if you re­move the car for a longer pe­riod. Fi­nally, there’s the mat­ter of cost. This can vary quite no­tice­ably and will de­pend on the services you’ve cho­sen. Ex­pect to pay from around £120 per month, and a bit more for a de­hu­mid­i­fied en­vi­ron­ment.

Of course, you may pre­fer to store the car at your own prop­erty, in which case there are a few things to con­sider, start­ing with the sort of build­ing you have in mind. If you’ve noth­ing suit­able then tem­po­rary out­door stor­age shel­ters can be found for around £600, but if you’ve some­thing more per­ma­nent in mind then wood or brick struc­tures are of­ten best. Steel and con­crete can gen­er­ate con­den­sa­tion, so you should con­sider in­stalling some sort of de­hu­mid­i­fier or pro­tect­ing the car in an in­flat­able co­coon. It’s worth con­sid­er­ing whether you plan on an ex­tended pe­riod of in­ac­tiv­ity or in­tend to start or drive the car oc­ca­sion­ally, as hav­ing to move lots of stuff to get at it will be a has­sle. With that de­ci­sion made there are a few other things that will en­sure the car re­mains pro­tected.

We’ve al­ready men­tioned in­flat­able co­coons – and they are ex­tremely ef­fec­tive – but if that’s a step too far then you should cer­tainly in­vest in a top-qual­ity car cover. It will pro­tect from dust, and if the build­ing has win­dows it will also pre­vent sun­light from dam­ag­ing trim, but there’s still the risk of con­den­sa­tion. Hook­ing the bat­tery up to a con­di­tioner is also a wise move, both to pro­tect the bat­tery and en­sure tracker/alarm sys­tems re­main op­er­a­tional, as is tak­ing pre­cau­tions to pre­vent tyres from flat-spot­ting. You could re­move the wheels and sup­port the car on axle stands, use a spare set of wheels if you have them, or em­ploy the spe­cially shaped wheel cra­dles that are avail­able.

Car­ry­ing out an oil change be­fore stor­age is a wise move, too, and for longer lay-ups con­sider adding an ad­di­tive to the fuel to pre­vent it go­ing stale. Ap­ply­ing some pro­tec­tor to rub­ber trim parts and bright­work is sen­si­ble, and al­though it’s best to avoid leav­ing win­dows open un­less you’re cer­tain that ro­dents won’t be a prob­lem, block­ing the ex­haust and air in­takes is a sound pre­cau­tion. And, as with pro­fes­sional stor­age, there’s the mat­ter of in­sur­ance. ‘Con­tin­u­ous In­sur­ance En­force­ment’ means the car will need to be in­sured through­out, or you’ll need to make a ‘Statu­tory Off-road No­ti­fi­ca­tion’ (SORN). Of course this isn’t an ex­haus­tive list, and spe­cial­ists will be happy to pro­vide ad­vice when it comes to tuck­ing a car away over win­ter, but if you are con­sid­er­ing stor­age then our pointers will help en­sure your car emerges ready to en­ter­tain like only a 911 can.

THANKSThanks to Aut­o­farm for the pic­tures and ad­vice in our ar­ti­cle. Aut­o­farm are happy to talk through stor­age op­tions with you, for more in­for­ma­tion call +44 (0) 1865 331234

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