View Full Version : Winter storage advice

10-12-2013, 10:52 AM
In a few weeks time where I live in South West Wales the autumn and winter storms will start rolling in off the North Atlantic, and we'll be subjected to high winds and a lot of rain, and, if last winter is anything to go, I mean an awful lot of rain.

I'm fortunate enough, however, to have access to a big old agricultural shed on a nearby farm where I can park my sprinter up and keep it out of the worst of the weather - the bodywork is on the turn as it were (10 year old van) and I don't want the rust to get too out of hand.

So my question is, what length intervals would you leave between taking the van out for a reasonably extended run to keep it in shape and avoid any potential damaging consequences of inactivity? Apart from a flat battery what else might go wrong?

Thanks, Mike

10-12-2013, 12:07 PM
You want to get it up on blocks and off the tires. Do an oil change, fog the cylinders or put some oil in them. Make sure rodents aren't going to live in the thing and chew through wires.

Otherwise, take it for a spin every couple weeks.

Altered Sprinter
10-12-2013, 12:07 PM
Squirrels taking up residence in the engine bay and a bear or two, hibernating in the back of your bear cave.
I'd check on it each week and try to keep the battery trickle charged for a restart every two weeks.
Winter Brrrrr.

Aqua Puttana
10-12-2013, 02:05 PM
I agree completely with the 2 weeks. My personal opinion is that starting and driving around enough to heat everything up every two weeks given the damp storage as mentioned above is an absolute minimum. I would set that as a goal.

Two of my worst vehicles for maintenance were vans which had low miles because they were used mostly only for towing. Exhaust systems rotted out. A valve cover rusted through. Tranny oil pan needed replacement. There were many other issues too. Sitting over a northern region damp winter is hard service on vehicle. You might be better off exchanging vehicles when convenient and using the Sprinter as a daily driver every other week or so.



10-12-2013, 02:58 PM
You could drain the engine, oil potentially the most corrosive and with at least one valve open it the atmosphere especially the UK's damp environment protect the walls from ring corrosion contact.

Once drained part fill with Marine engine storage oil which has an aromatic presence and the vapours permiate inside the engine, reducing the risk of corrosion on cylinder walls.

I wouldn't bother with a few weeks of storage but extended lay ups would prompt me to do it.
I had a collection of motorcycles which I had in a wooden shed in Northern England. Going overseas for long periods on assigments meant they would be layed up for the duration.

That stated I remember as a kid (apprentice) in the 60's going with one of my employers to a derelict country house in Western Scotland . There lay a 1913 "new" zero miles Ford Model T Charabanc bus. Imported form the US and layed up for the 1914/1918 duration the poor owner never came back from serving King and Country! There it languished until as a "barn find" in 1964.
With just a few drops of oil in the cylinders and some fresh fuel the bloody thing fired up and ran like it had just rolled off the production line at Dearborne MI.

10-13-2013, 04:53 AM
I'd wash & wax, plug/cap the tail pipe, trickle charge the battery & mothball the vehicle/storage barn. Take it for a 1/2 hour spin every 2 to 3 weeks.

10-14-2013, 02:16 AM
I know that gas tanks may inherit water condensation and sour the fuel, prevented by a fuel stabilizer additive at most auto stores, and there is one for diesel also. http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/

10-17-2013, 09:32 PM
Sprinter tucked up in the winter shed...

10-18-2013, 04:30 PM
I wish I had a shed like that.
I could put my house in it to work on the roof!

10-18-2013, 06:22 PM
I wish I had a shed like that.
I could put my house in it to work on the roof!

Haha yes I know what you mean, it's more like a hangar than a shed :) It's not mine though, I do a few favours for the owner in return for the winter digs for the van - the rain and wind have arrived in a big way now so its nice to get it under cover.