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…
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