Photo by Jonathan P. Lamas

10 Tips for Taking Your Mustang Out of Storage

April 26, 2017
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Has the Springtime warm up got you dreaming about hitting the open road in your prized pony car? Well, you’re not alone. That said, it’s important to make sure your Mustang is in tip-top shape before you get behind the wheel. Follow these ten tips before you hit the road this Spring!

  1. Change Your Oil & Check Your Fluids 

Chances are your Mustang has been sitting in storage for several months or more. While you might not think it’s a big deal, it’s best to change your oil before you start her up. Contaminants, including water and other debris, might have mixed in during this time. Play it safe and change your oil and oil filter. While you’re at it, check your other fluids as well (including your radiator coolant). Replace as needed.

  1. Dispose of Any Old Gas

Old gas in your Mustang’s tank can be bad news. For older Mustangs it can gunk up your carburetor float bowls and fuel lines. Not only that, but old gasoline will make for a rough ride. While some folks recommend adding fuel stabilizer to your tank prior to storage, it’s best to refresh your ride with new fuel before you hit the open road. If you do dispose of old fuel, make sure you do so properly.

  1. Check Your Battery

If you didn’t put your battery on a charger prior to storing your Mustang, chances are it has lost its charge. That said, don’t try to start your stored Mustang with a battery that is not fully charged. Once you’re certain you’re working with a fully charged battery, take some time to inspect your cables and terminals. Remove any corrosion or oxidation you come across.

  1. Check Your Tires

In addition to checking your tire pressure, make sure you inspect each tire for leaks, wear, and overall condition before you hit the open road. Most tires will have lost some air during the storage period. If one of them has lost all its air, but not the others, it’s probably a sign of something more serious.

  1. Check Hoses and Belts

All hoses and belts will wear out over time. Check yours to make sure they’re in good condition. If you find any that are cracked or show signs of dry rot, replace them. If a belt is loose, tighten it up before you start the car.

  1. Check the Plugs

When dealing with a car that’s been sitting for more than 90 days, carefully remove the spark plugs and spay a little lubricant (such as Marvel Mystery Oil) into the cylinders. Then let it sit overnight. This will help to loosen up any stuck piston rings. While you’re at it, replace those old spark plugs with new ones.

  1. Check Your Brakes

You definitely want to make sure your brakes are working properly before you get behind the wheel. Give each a visual inspection, checking for rust or other issues that could cause problems.

  1. Light it Up

Okay, now that you’ve checked your fluids, belts & hoses, brakes, and plugs, it’s time to check your lights. Make sure your brake lights work. Check to see if your headlights are working properly. Check those turn signals as well. If you discover a problem check to make sure all your fuses are in working order. Also check to make sure the bulbs aren’t loose or burnt out.

  1. Start the Engine

When you start your Mustang up after a long period of storage, make sure not to rev your engine. Let it idle and fully warm up for a few minutes. Then take it for a short 30 minute drive to make sure everything is working properly.

  1. Wash It

Okay, now that your Mustang is back in action, it will most definitely need to be washed! Take a little time to clean your ride, inside and out. Oh, and while you’re at it, check those windshield wipers. Do they look cracked and work? If so, now’s the perfect time to replace them.

Jonathan Lamas has a passion for the Ford Mustang that spans more than 30 years. In addition to his work as an automotive journalist, Jonathan has spent quality seat time in countless Mustangs as both an owner and an enthusiast. He's also a member of the Mustang Club of American. He's owned more than a dozen Mustangs over the years, and is the proud owner of a 2008 Bullitt Mustang.

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