Beetle Winter Storage

Jody Sauvageau Winter Storage

Contributed by Jody Sauvageau, a reader of, this article talks about proper winter storage for your ’67 Beetle. (The ’67 above belongs to Mark Massey of OldVWs Restoration).

  • Start off with a thorough cleaning both inside and out.
  • Change the oil and check/top off all of the fluids.
  • Fill the gas tank and use Sta-bil to keep the fuel fresh. The sequence should be to add the stabilizer to your tank, fill with gas and the drive home from the station will be enough to get the stabilizer through the entire fuel system.

  • Check the tire pressure and adjust accordingly.
  • Use a battery maintainer/charger. This device will monitor the battery voltage and keep the battery fully charged all winter without over charging. I bought one for $20 at Sears and it works great. I actually use it year round.
  • Install a disposable Damp-Rid container in the interior. They work great at reducing moisture and musty smells in the cabin. Don’t use moth balls. I hate when I look at a car in a show and the interior smells like my grandmother.
  • Close the windows if you think you may have mice or other varmints around.
  • If you know you may have to deal with mice, one way to keep them out is to place a few bars of Irish Spring soap inside the car. I used to do this when I would store cars outside. Cut the top off of the box off so it looks like a soap dish. I would place one on each side of the engine, two inside the cabin, one in the glove box and two under the hood. I never had a mouse problem. I also used to wrap the ends of the tail pipes with aluminum foil to help keep them from nesting in there.
  • Raise the vehicle just high enough so the tires are off the ground. This will eliminate flat spots on the tires come spring. This is more for bias ply tires than radials, but still a good practice. Secure the vehicle with jack stands.
  • The use of a car cover is optional. I don’t because my cars are garaged and it doesn’t get too dusty in there. If your storing your car outdoors, buy the best type of cover you can afford. I also suggest parking on a tarp of some sort to stop moisture from the ground coming in contact with the bottom of the vehicle. Many a VW have rotted away due to this.
  • At this point the vehicle is ready for its hibernation.  When following these steps there is no need to start the car once a week or anything like that. This is actually a bad practice as it causes carbon build up in the engine and the heat riser tubes are the first things to clog.

There may be other practices that others may do, but  this has been my procedure for years and I’ve never had a problem. Have fun.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Great info!

    1. I agree! Thanks for reading Eubanks.

  2. Any thoughts on storage with the emergency break on or off?
    I’m thinking off.
    I use a battery “Cut-off-switch” instead of a charger. One flip of the switch, and I’m good for months. I have the switch located down by the heater vent and use it as an anti-thieft device when I park it at the market or the beach.

    1. That is a good question.

  3. I leave the emergency brake off, its just one less thing to get gummed up during its winter rest. If you don’t jack up your car use a wheel chock. I also pump my brake pedal every so often during storage to keep the wheel cylinders frome freezing up. The battery cut off switch is great to use but I suggest the battery charger/maintainer to get the most life out of your battery. Two things that all batteries hate are cold and heat so that’s why I use the charger year round.

    1. Thanks for adding that info Jody.

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