As another amazing NNJR Concours season comes to a close, we had the pleasure of hosting our final workshop at ID Signs in South Hackensack, NJ. Jose DeLaCruz, the owner of ID Signs, put together a fantastic buffet for the crowd. This amazing epicurean delight was more fitting of a wedding than a Concours workshop. Jose is the consummate host and has one of the best facilities to run an indoor event. The topic du jour was winter storage and car care.
This was the second year for the event which continues to draw one of the most inquisitive and involved crowds of our workshop season. With over 50 Porsche enthusiasts on hand we began our event. Hank and I divided the day into two sections, drivers and sleepers. I took the driver portion of the event with Hank taking the sleepers. As you might imagine the driver portion focused on the necessary steps involved in taking care of your car if you plan on driving it through the winter.
Clear bra is always a popular topic when discussing paint care. Maintaining clear bra, which is a porous plastic film, is just as involved as maintaining your clear coated paint job. There are several products out there that are effective tools in preserving your cars clear bra for many years. The average life of a clear bra is between 3-5 years. But with proper care you can extend the life of the film well past that.
The questions kept coming and some of the other issues addressed were suspension and undercarriage care for those cars that see an extensive amount of salt. Next up was interior maintenance for a car that endures winter driving. As you enter your car with salt and debris on your shoes, pants and jacket, you inevitably transfer small abrasive particles onto your interior surfaces. The particles over time with abrade your interior and cause premature wear on bolsters, stitching and carpet. To avoid this, you must keep a constant focus on these surfaces and extensively vacuum the interior as often as possible. Buying an inexpensive pair of plastic winter mats will go a long way in preserving your vehicle’s carpet.
Next up was Hank who addressed the issues associated with storing your car for the winter rather than putting on the road. Hank jumped right in with laying out a proper storage plan that will ensure your car survives the winter in top form. When you decide it is time to put your car away for the season, the first thing you should do is stabilize your fuel. Any good fuel stabilizer will do, but Hank was quick to point out that marine quality fuel stabilizers are a far better choice when warding off the evils of E85 and its desire to absorb water.
Next step was filling your tires to the maximum sidewall pressure to avoid flat spotting in your garage. The crowd came to life when the topic of detached garages and storage areas that are susceptible to rodent intrusion. Hank, tongue in cheek, proposed the most effective way to ensure a rodent free storage area was to get a cat. If that option is not feasible, the use of good rodent repellant would be a viable second choice. The use of mothballs is questionably effective and will make your car smell like your grandmothers attic. Checking your car on a regular basis would be a smart way to keep an eye on potential rodent squatters.
The conversation moved onto the use of battery chargers and running your car to remove moisture from the oil. Battery chargers are a great idea and there are several options in the marketplace to achieve your goals. As for running your car to burn off moisture, we highly discourage this unless you plan on driving your car for a long enough time for it to properly reach and maintain temperature. Once the car is parked and the oil cools, the moisture will quickly return and prove to be a never ending exercise. Plus taking your car out in winter will subject the car to salt and potential stone chips from the unforgiving winter roads. Leaving your car sit with the above mentioned precautions will ensure a safe startup in the spring and will curtail unnecessary winter driving.
As a means of celebrating our successful NNJR Concours season, we gave away three Griots Garage orbital buffers. We look forward to hearing the results from the winners as they try their new machines out for the first time. Looking forward towards the 2013 season, we will be hosting a Dent Man workshop at Flemington Porsche in February. This will provide club members the ability to have one of the foremost dent specialists, Bill Rochford, work on your car at a discounted rate.
Please keep an eye on Porscheforus and the Concours Forum on the NNJR website for details. In March, we will be hosting the highly anticipated Gathering of the Faithful that will be held at the amazing facility of John Vogt and High Marques Motorcars in Morristown. Lastly, I would like to thank all of our Concours supporters, both NNJR members and Club sponsors for their ever growing support of our Concours Program. It continues to impress both Hank and I, the level of interest from new members and veterans alike. We look forward to an amazing 2013 and will keep the surprises coming with new workshops and judged event venues. Stay tuned.