Last updated: March 28, 2000

Storing an RX-7

From: Ken Walanski (
Date: 1/19/00


I've used the approach described here to store 1st, 2nd and 3rd Gen RX-7's during ten Chicago winters. None of these cars has ever had a winter storage related problem after five to six months in hibernation. They have all started and run well in the Spring.

Immediately Before Storage

  1. Change the oil and replace or top-off all fluids.

  2. Fill the gas tank completely so as not to leave an air headspace which can promote corrosion at the upper portion of the gas tank. Note, I've never used a gas-stabilization product.

  3. Wash and wax the car, and clean the interior well (dirty cars are horrid in the Spring). I also remove the floor mats and scrub them well over winter.

  4. Remove the battery from the car and put it on an auto-shutoff automatic trickle charger throughout the entire storage period. Otherwise, the battery will not survive deep-discharging during winter. I put the battery cover and hold-down nuts in the trunk, so I can find them.

  5. Remove the EGI fuse as a security measure, and put it in a safe place. The car will crank but not start with the EGI fuse removed.

  6. Do not engage the parking brake because the pads can corrosively fuse to the rear rotors during storage leaving pad-shaped corroded patches on the rotors. Use wheel chocks or leave the car in gear.

  7. Cover the car even if it is being stored indoors.

Note: Some recommend putting the car on jack stands to avoid "flat spots" on tires. Others have recommended reducing the air pressure in the tires or putting wood planks under them for the same reason. While these can't hurt, I've never done either, and have never had a "flat spot" problem with a tire.

Removing the Car From Storage

  1. Remove the car cover and replace the battery.

  2. Check tire pressures and all fluid levels. Look for fluid spots under the car. Fluid loss during storage usually indicates a problem unrelated to storage. For example, my water pump once spontaneously failed while in winter storage and left the obvious indicator on the garage floor. A healty car should have no fluid loss during storage.

  3. Check for animal damage, especially if your car is stored outdoors. One owner had a critter eat through an oil line during the winter (this damage was coverd by his insurance carrier). I once had a mouse nest on top of the throttle body!

  4. With the EGI fuse removed so that the car will not start, crank the engine five to ten times to lube it well and wet all the internal engine parts with oil. I believe this is of critical importance.

  5. Replace the EGI fuse and start the car. Although I've had RX-7's start on the first try, it usually takes several attempts before the engine become self-sustaining. I don't think any have gone more than 3-4 trys before starting. Don't push it. Once started, the engine will initially lumber at a low rpm, and perhaps even stall. Let it. Don't race the engine; let it come up to speed all by itself.

  6. Bring the engine up to operating temperature, and check for fluid levels again. Now you're ready to drive.

  7. The brake rotors will corrode over winter but this is not a problem. The brakes will initially make a terrible noise even when not engaged. The rotors will be smooth after just a few miles, just take it easy initially. Also, the suspension system will creek and groan for a few days until it settles in.


Editor's note: I can only think of one thing to add to Ken's excellent write-up:

The problem with putting it up on jackstands is that the shocks will be extended as the wheels "droop". This may allow a rust ridge to build up on the rod where it goes into the shock. This may not be an issue on a car that is only stored for a winter, but for longer term storage could become a problem. When the car is dropped down, the rust ridge could be forced into the shock and ruin the seal around the rod.

If the car is to be left long enough to where it could develop this problem, it is also likely to flat spot the tires. Maybe buy a set of el cheapo tires? Or buy 4 donut spares from the junkyard.



Eastwood makes these nifty dessicate tubes that screw in in place of the spark plugs. A dessicate is a drying agent (e.g.- those little packets that come in boxes of electronics). These are supposed to draw the moisture out of the air inside the combustion chamber / cylinder bore. They turn color when they are used up so you know when to change them (if sitting for really long periods).


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