Winter or Long-Term Storage of a Mazda RX-7 or Rotary Vehicle

Long Term Storage Preparation
  1. *Change the oil and replace or top-off all fluids.
  2. *Fill the gas tank & add Fuel Stabilizer (The objective is to eliminate any air space in the tank where condensation can occur). Add the stabilizer during the fill at the gas station en route to the storage facility in order to allow it to mix thoroughly.
  3. *Wash and wax the car, and clean the interior well (it's nice to start with a clean car in the spring). This is also a good opportunity to remove the floor mats and scrub them well over the winter.
  4. Remove the battery from the car and if possible place the vehicle on an auto-shutoff trickle charger throughout the storage period. The battery will not survive deep discharging during the winter or over long periods of time. Note: place the battery cover and hold-down nuts in the trunk for easy retrieval.
  5. FC3s ('87-'91) vehicles: 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. This will prevent the pads from fusing to the rotors during storage, leaving pad-shaped corroded patches on the rotors. Use wheel chocks or place the car in gear.
  7. *Cover the brake rotors with a light coat of oil in order to prevent rusting.
  8. *Outdoors OR indoors, lay a sheet of plastic or tarp on the floor and drive the car onto it. Concrete (gravel, dirt, etc.) allows moisture to condense on the surface, and exposes your undercarriage to condensation.
  9. *Park tires on "Carpet Squares" to avoid dry rotting (Note: Some recommend putting the car on jack- stands to avoid "flat spots" on tires. Some recommend reducing the air pressure in the tires for the same reason OR putting the car up on blocks to save the suspension.
  10. Carbureted Vehicles: open the carb barrels and pour a 2 oz bottle of 2-Cycle Engine Oil into them (1 oz in each). Rotate the engine by hand a few times to spread the oil around. This will cause a smoky startup, but is worth it to prevent engine damage. Note: this would be done BEFORE you bag up the carb and tailpipes!
  11. Place a plastic bag over the intake snorkel, to seal off the intake system. Likewise, bag the tail pipes with a zip-tied plastic bag at the rear of the pipe so no air can pass. This is in order to prevent moist air or critters entering (and condensing) inside the motor from either end.
  12. *Place moth balls (or fabric softener sheets) in the engine compartment. This will help prevent rodents/critters from nesting or chewing the wire harness, etc.
  13. *Cover the car even if it is being stored indoors.

Removing the Car from Storage

  1. Remove the car cover and replace the battery. Now you'll be happy you cleaned the car before storing it!
  2. Remove the plastic bags from the intakes & tail pipes.
  3. Remove moth balls or fabric softener sheets from engine compartment.
  4. Check tire pressure and all fluid levels. Look for fluid spots under the car. Fluid loss during the winter/storage usually indicates a problem unrelated to storage.
  5. Check for animal damage. Owners have reported rodents gnawing through hoses, oil-lines and harnesses, and nesting in glove compartments or on top of the throttle body during the winter.
  6. With the EGI fuse removed (so that the car will not start), crank the engine five to ten times in order to lubricate all the internal engine parts with oil.
  7. Replace the EGI fuse and start the car. Although RX-7's may start on the first try, it usually takes several attempts, and will typically stall a few times. Do not push it. Once started, the engine will initially lumber at a low rpm. Do not race the engine; allow it to come up to speed by itself.
  8. Bring the engine up to operating temperature, and check again for fluid losses. Now it's ready to drive.
  9. Note: The brake rotors may corrode over winter. This is not a problem. The brakes will initially make an unpleasant noise, but the rotors smooth out after just a few miles.

Frequent Start Up Option

If possible, we personally prefer that the car be stored somewhere that we have frequent access to it. This also allows us the opportunity to start the car up on a regular (weekly/biweekly/monthly) basis. This is much healthier for a rotary engine, as it prevents the internal components from 'seizing' in place, thus avoiding the potential for blowing the engine at the time of initial start up. We have seen several spring rebuilds resulting from poor winter storage.

With this option there is no need to remove the battery, bag the pipes & intakes, remove fuses or add 2-cycle oil to the engine. However, all recommendations marked with an *asterisk are still applicable.

If starting the car on a regular basis, ensure that the vehicle reaches operating temperature prior to shutting down the engine and adequate ventilation.

Banzai Racing Inc. is not responsible for any adverse effects due to this or any modification/suggestion