Lotus Elan

Best way to store car over winter?

PostPost by: richardf » Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:43 pm

Help,

I'm new to classic lotus's (or should that be loti?). Got my Elan +2s/130 about a month ago (fantastic looking & handling car), and am wondering if it is worth running over winter or should I store it in the garage?

If I store it what is the best procedure for doing it?

Sorry about all the questions.

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Richard
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PostPost by: jcocking » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:16 pm

It is always better to run a car if the conditions allow it. Cars detoriate if they sit for any period of time. A member of the Lotus community wrote a very nice winterize check list. It can be found at http://www.lotuselan.net/uploads/elan_winter_checks.pdf

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PostPost by: Si_130/5 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:35 pm

Hi Richard,

In addition to all the useful advice in that link I recommend you NEVER use a car cover. Don't keep your pride and joy in a damp garage and ensure there is good ventilation by keeping a window open. Failure to observe this rule could lead to the paintwork micro-blistering and the price of rectification is horrific, usually far exceeding the value of the car.

Hope this saves your paintwork,

Very best wishes,

Si
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PostPost by: gav » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:02 pm

Si

Please excuse my ignorance but what do breathable car covers do to bodywork? I've never come across problems before.

Thanks
Gavin
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PostPost by: bengalcharlie » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:45 pm

You could consider putting silicone brake fluid in the car, it allows the car to sit for years without seizing up the brakes.
You could also use this for the clutch

cheers

Robin

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PostPost by: Si_130/5 » Sat Nov 26, 2005 8:47 pm

Hi Gavin,

They probably keep the damp against the body so it finds its way under the paint the same as ones sold as 'non breathable' but the marketing ploy allays fears in the minds of the cautious and makes them more disposed to buy.
In truth Gavin perhaps I am a little cynical on this matter as a wonderful car I've been looking forward to buying for some time has suffered due to this very reason. Perhaps you have had no problems using one labelled 'breathable' but if one of our cars is left in a garage which is damp over the winter with no air circulation (and no car cover) micro blistering is a likely result.
Put a car cover on the bodywork in these conditions whether it's breathable or not and there is only more likelihood that moisture will enter the matting.

No offence intended,

Si
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PostPost by: gav » Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:17 pm

Si

Thanks for the information. Don't worry, I took no offence but was genuinely interested.

I have a Sprint which was resprayed about 5 years ago. It is stored with a cover (hence my question) but is pampered - I wired 3 x 6' oil filled electric greenhouse tubes to a thermostat really to control condensation. They sit under the car. The garage is well sealed and because I keep it above dewpoint, I have never had problems.
It does however cost me in power but it isn't a great deal in the overall scheme of things. My missus is now applying pressure for a greener solution so here comes solar power...

Thanks again

Oh and on Robin's point on the silicone brake fluid, I have heard that they affect the seals which can prevent the brakes them from working properly. Classicar Automotive have information on this. I strongly suggest a chat with them before pursuing this route. They do seem well genned up.

All the best
Gavin
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PostPost by: richardf » Sun Nov 27, 2005 9:35 am

My car is in a double garage with no doors on so it's a sort of car port (it's a listed building so I cannot put any doors on). I have bought a breathable lightweight car cover from Classic Additions, should I use it?

Thanks

Richard
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:40 pm

I can't afford one but has anyone had experience of the temperature/humidity controlled plastic bubbles which are supposed to be THE answer to winter storage?

On the general subject of covers I would think anything which traps moisture against the surface of the paint has got to be a bad idea
John

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PostPost by: Si_130/5 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:02 pm

Hi nebogipfel,

I've just found this link with useful info about damp and car covers;

http://www.carcoon.co.uk/Carcoon_info.htm

Imagine - using a bubble to keep your Lotus bubble-free. I'm also beginning to think these are a good idea. Does anyone use one of these?

Si
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:54 pm

I have used a carcoon and they are superb with one drawback which I will come to. There are a couple of types...the stand-alone balloon and the frame type, which is better as you can simply drive into it, or lift the sides to work on the car. The main advantage I was looking for was keeping damp out of the electrics. Every time I got into the car after it was laid up for a few weeks something didn't work, but with the Carcoon the constant supply of air over and through the car keeps it all working perfectly. You can even drive a wet car with damp carpets in and a week later it's completely dry Outdoor ones are also obtainable, which would be suitable for an 'open' garage.
The drawback? I have a couple of pussycats...fine Burmese beasts with razor blades for claws. One day they decided that my carcoon would make a splendid bouncy castle for them, and undetered by its rapid deflation went on to play hide and seek, or rather, rip and shred for a couple of hours. You can get a carcoon into a large dustbin liner for easy disposal. I will get another though!
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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:12 pm

jcocking wrote:It is always better to run a car if the conditions allow it. Cars detoriate if they sit for any period of time. A member of the Lotus community wrote a very nice winterize check list. It can be found at http://www.lotuselan.net/uploads/elan_winter_checks.pdf


Guilty as charged!

In case anyone thinks its a bit over the top (some already have!)
In summer my car gets driven and the last thing I want to do is join the greasy finger brigade. As a result it only usually gets attention as detailed on that sheet for roughly 2.5 days a year - unless I rip a hole in the sump like I did this year.

Any changes are always welcomed in case I missed something :D
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PostPost by: steveww » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:43 pm

Easy winter maintenance. Move yourself and car to South Africa for the winter. Warm sunny days, no rain and some great roads in the Drakensberg Mountains :wink:

Seriously. I am fortunate enough to have a dry garage for my pride and joy. I have some heaters in there to keep things snug and cover the car with a cotton sheet to keep the dust off.
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PostPost by: purplepete » Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:48 pm

Richard,
It might be worth your while to ring the planning dept at NWDC,and ask what they would allow in terms of a"temporary" means of blocking up your doors-theyre generally fairly laid back,and if you lay it on thick about your precious classic car,and the security implications of having it on view,you might find that you can get away with quite a lot!
carcoons are supposed to be the dogs whatsits,but otherwise just drive the car and enjoy!
pm me if you need any assistance-I'm only 5 miles away!

peter.
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