Prep car to stand unused for 100 days?

Arthur

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If you were leaving cars unused for three months, parked in a garage, would you bother with any special prep other than closing the windows and locking the doors?

In the olden days before the Rinderpest my advice would have been disconnect the battery or put it on a decent trickle charger, get the tyres off the ground (flat spots can develop from extended standing on the same spot), and so on.

No tracker fitted so no constant phoning home to chow battery.

Very recent oil changes, so micro-corrosion from uncirculated oil in crankcase should be minimal.

But I'm wondering whether all that is really necessary these days? Yes, from an AR tech pov it's good to do the above, but I'm wondering whether it'll really make any diffs at all for a three month hibernation. I'd do it if away for 6 months or more.

Advice appreciated. With some plausible tech reason, if possible.
 
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PhireSide

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I'd try and keep the tyres off the ground to stop flat spots from developing, but I think that three months would not do any harm if they cannot be lifted. Just make sure the pressures are right so that it doesn't run flat in the time that it stands.

I'd put the battery on a trickle charge, mainly because most modern cars are never truly 'off' and there are always small systems drawing current. Think alarm system, radio, etc. My car manual states to pull the radio fuse (it has a special mechanism in the fuse box to quickly disconnect it without using a fuse puller) when the car will not be driven for more than a month.

I'd try and keep the fuel tank full to prevent surface rust on exposed surfaces inside the tank although in the Karoo this is probably not really necessary.

If the car is going to stand for very long I have heard arguments for filling the crank case with oil to prevent moisture and rust and draining it again and filling with fresh oil but I think that is a bit over the top.

I'd also close up all intakes/entrances/pipes with cloth to prevent pests from entering. Think airbox intake, exhaust pipe, etc. Perhaps, to add to this, is to do some basic pest control in the area that the car will be in. Rats and other rodents love gnawing through wires, padding (such as underneath the bonnet) and the like so keeping them away will help the chances of a nasty repair bill when you return.

Maybe stick a dehumidifier on the floor behind the passenger seat to soak up any moisture in the car so that there is little chance of mould developing over the time period.



That's about all that I can think of off the top of my head.
 

Arthur

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Thank-you. Some great tips there. Mucho appreciated, esp the moisture-suckers inside - never thought of that. Your full tank tip is a good one; was planning that for the same reason.

I never thought about the intakes. Good points.
 

Pineapple Smurf

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i start my car every 6 to 8 months and let it idle and then reverse it out a little and down the path and return so that hopefully it does not stand on the same spot again (flat worn tyre thingy theory).
i keep my battery in the kitchen and switch on the trickle charger once a week.

Been doing this for just over 2 years now and no issues on my 1998 Diahatsu Terios
 

PhireSide

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i start my car every 6 to 8 months and let it idle and then reverse it out a little and down the path and return so that hopefully it does not stand on the same spot again (flat worn tyre thingy theory).
i keep my battery in the kitchen and switch on the trickle charger once a week.

Been doing this for just over 2 years now and no issues on my 1998 Diahatsu Terios
At this stage you may as well sell it - that's quite a while for it to stand. Running costs must be uber low. Needless to say you probably aren't a fair-weather biker like I am :p
 

PhireSide

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Thank-you. Some great tips there. Mucho appreciated, esp the moisture-suckers inside - never thought of that. Your full tank tip is a good one; was planning that for the same reason.

I never thought about the intakes. Good points.
No problem. The fuel might also degrade after a while, so if that's any value to you maybe add a fuel stabilizer to the tank - I've had no problem with six month old fuel in my car (2011 Hyundai i30) but more modern cars might be more finicky in this regard

EDIT: another thing I didn't think of is to rather put the car in gear and not use the handbrake when it is stored. This will put less strain on the handbrake cable and also prevent the pad from fusing to the disc from the constant contact. Disregard if you are going to put it on stands :)
 

Arthur

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Roger that. Wilco. Electric handbrakes left in Off.

I'm not going to bother lifting the cars, so will use a few bricks and chock the wheels.
 

Ivan Leon

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Two other things to consider:

Before you fill up the tank with fuel, first put in a bottle of Wynn's Fuel Stabiliser so that the fuel itself doesn't degrade whilst the car is parked for a few months (up to 24 months max)

Wynn’s Fuel Stabiliser is a petrol & diesel fuel additive to prevent fuel from degrading when a vehicle is not in use for extended periods of time, or when stored. Ideal for recreational vehicles, generators, mowers, boats, bikes, emergency equipment, classic and hybrid cars, etc

Product link HERE.

Also, make sure that you chock the wheels securely and leave the handbrake OFF, so that the rear parking brake shoes do not corrode themselves to the brake drums, due to trapped moisture residue inside them causing rust to appear.
 

Milano

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Left my Nissan Qashqai standing in the garage for 2.5 months while in Europe. Zero prep. Battery connected. No problem whatsoever. Started up first time upon return.
 

Arthur

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Left my Nissan Qashqai standing in the garage for 2.5 months while in Europe. Zero prep. Battery connected. No problem whatsoever. Started up first time upon return.
That's what I expect.

But I'm one of those strange sensitive souls that feels the pain of machines. The mere thought of a bearing surface distorted by >573 angstroms sends me into paroxysms of pain. I'd lie awake at night grieving over the micro-rust caused by residual combustion acids as the engine pines to be run. Seriously. :p
 

saturnz

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I have a car thats been standing for almost 10 years now, I stopped bothering checking up on it after the first few months.
 

SauRoNZA

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I wouldn't worry about the tyres for such a short duration, if anything I might slightly over inflate them.

I would however still disconnect the battery just in case as you have time to plan and it really can't hurt...whereas the alternative of a dead battery is more inconvenient.

Oil and stuff is much of a muchness for a once off, but again if you have the means then draining it certainly won't hurt.

And you can silicone spray anything you expect might be rusting, but that's really going too far.
 

Jewpacabra

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I'd try and keep the tyres off the ground to stop flat spots from developing, but I think that three months would not do any harm if they cannot be lifted. Just make sure the pressures are right so that it doesn't run flat in the time that it stands.

I'd put the battery on a trickle charge, mainly because most modern cars are never truly 'off' and there are always small systems drawing current. Think alarm system, radio, etc. My car manual states to pull the radio fuse (it has a special mechanism in the fuse box to quickly disconnect it without using a fuse puller) when the car will not be driven for more than a month.

I'd try and keep the fuel tank full to prevent surface rust on exposed surfaces inside the tank although in the Karoo this is probably not really necessary.

If the car is going to stand for very long I have heard arguments for filling the crank case with oil to prevent moisture and rust and draining it again and filling with fresh oil but I think that is a bit over the top.

I'd also close up all intakes/entrances/pipes with cloth to prevent pests from entering. Think airbox intake, exhaust pipe, etc. Perhaps, to add to this, is to do some basic pest control in the area that the car will be in. Rats and other rodents love gnawing through wires, padding (such as underneath the bonnet) and the like so keeping them away will help the chances of a nasty repair bill when you return.

Maybe stick a dehumidifier on the floor behind the passenger seat to soak up any moisture in the car so that there is little chance of mould developing over the time period.



That's about all that I can think of off the top of my head.

Sounds just like this episode

 

Arthur

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I wouldn't worry about the tyres for such a short duration, if anything I might slightly over inflate them.

I would however still disconnect the battery just in case as you have time to plan and it really can't hurt...whereas the alternative of a dead battery is more inconvenient.

Oil and stuff is much of a muchness for a once off, but again if you have the means then draining it certainly won't hurt.

And you can silicone spray anything you expect might be rusting, but that's really going too far.
Yeah. I barely have an hour at best, so will probably pump the tackies, chuck in a moisture-muncher, and hook up a trickle-charger. It's only three months.

I'm planning to buy a used car on the other side, and it'll stand for far longer. Will just leave it parked in the grudge.
 

Milano

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I wouldn't worry about the tyres for such a short duration, if anything I might slightly over inflate them.

I would however still disconnect the battery just in case as you have time to plan and it really can't hurt...whereas the alternative of a dead battery is more inconvenient.

Oil and stuff is much of a muchness for a once off, but again if you have the means then draining it certainly won't hurt.

And you can silicone spray anything you expect might be rusting, but that's really going too far.

Before leaving my vehicle I called my local Nissan dealership and they advised there can be issues with insurance in the event of theft so I should leave the battery connected and they'd come out and jump it free of charge if I had battery issues upon returning. Not sure how true/accurate that is, fortunately the battery was 100% anyway.
 

xrapidx

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Don't know if it's possible in your case, but I got someone to take my car for a drive every month when I was out the country for 6 months...
 
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