Help us Army folk (car storage)

I?m a lieutenant in the Us Army and I?m about to be deployed to for another year in Iraq.

I was wondering what I should do to my truck, motorcycles, and other motors for a year or more of storage?

I have a 2001 Ford Explorer, 1990 Harley FLHTCU, 1990 Honda CBR 1000 and a bunch of mowers and tractors.

Thanks for the help.

I don’t have all the answers, but you have several options. First option is to have a good friend or relative drive your vehicles every 2 weeks or so. We did that when we were out of the country for 5 years; our son gave the cars a regular workout. A lawn mower is best preserved by draining the gas tank, taking out the spark plug and puttin a little lube oil (teaspoon) in the cylinder. Crank the engine over several times to distribute the oil and put the plug back in. No need to tighten, just snug.

Cars do not need a great deal, but some people also put some oil in the cylinders. Remove the battery. Have the oil & filter changed, coolant checked, and tires properly inflated. Best to store a car in inside in an unheated garage to minimize rust. Wash cars, flush away salt from under the fenders. Fussy people also give the car a wax job, rub silicone on the rubber door seals and trundk lid. Lube door hinges, hood latch, and other items requiring lube. When storing a car inside, crack a window open just a b it to let fresh air in, but not enough to let rodents in. No need to put your car on blocks.

Motorbikes would need a similar engine treatment, as well as the tractor.

There are various schools of thought about outside storage. If you put a cover over the car. it should be tight and open at the bottom to allow ventilation. If you trap moisture, your car will rust. If the cover moves to much, it will chafe the finish. My brother in law has a farm with many sheds. A Corvette owner always stores his car there during the winter.

Cars often sit a year on a dealer lot before being sold, with out damage.

Hope this helps.

Doc gave some good advice. I’d add stabilizer to the gas tanks of the road vehicles. And be sure you do not leave the parking brakes on. You don’t want them rusting on you. Also, if you’re parking anything outside, cover the openings with wire mest from the hardware store. Critters love to nest in unattended air cleaner canisters.

And sincere thanks for serving our country.

I don’t think a year is going to hurt things too much. I would try to run the fuel levels low or near out and mix some fuel stabilizer in.
The batteries are your questionable area. Chances are that a year of sitting will probably do them all in, especially the motorcycle ones, which have a higher than normal failure rate as compared to auto batteries, etc.
Either buy a box of battery tenders that can be left connected or write the batteries off and buy new ones when you return. The former is probably not feasible and the latter is best; maybe even give or sell the current batteries to friends and relatives.

(Hats off to you for your military service and be safe.) :slight_smile:

You have received some good advice. A year is not all that long for a car. But it is necessary to take care of the things listed. Don’t forget to notify your insurance company. They should be able to keep it insured for far less than normal assuming it is not being driven.

Thanks for serving and come home safe physically and mentally.

I would store them in a good place.and have good friend drive them once a month to keep the oil on parts. your valvle seals could dier out
and engine will need heads remove to fix this $1000. mowers just remove fuel change oil and remove plug spray dw40 into piston to keep alum piston from freezing in place. have blade sharpened this is so you would have to do on your return also the trans clutch needs lubed or they will dier out so move the suv. your batterys all go back if left with a charge for a year. I will take care of the motorcyles. I know what you
are going through my brothers son is capton and I have two boys that put 21 years in full time and got out three years ago and my grandson got back last year. they all went to rotc and militery school. they started rotc in high school so at 39 years old they retired. full pension
good luck us army in pittsburgh we have old lime stone caves and they are great to store cars in even the goverment stores items in them they are large inside you need to drive inside to get to your spot. look for a place like this if you leave the cars with some one check ins
I stored my daughters boy friend car at my house. the car was not to be driven a new camero, she wanted to wash it the day before he returned
and hit the gas with door open it would fit out the door with his door opened a whole year we only needed one more day. $1400 fit it. I was hoping he did have his weapon with him thank you we always pray for all the men and women if you see cap mel lowe tell uncle chuck said hi

I use steel wool to plug up the exhaust pipes on bikes and cars. Keeps the mice and wasps and so on out of there. You might want to put a note on the dash of all the things you did so when you come home you don’t try to start it with an air cleaner full of steel wool. And don’t use WD40 in the cylinders. It acts like a solvent. Plain old motor oil, and not much, is fine.

Good advice from the group. Combine the various pieces of advice, and you shouldn’t have any worries about your vehicles.

Be safe, and I’ll also add my thanks for your service.