How Do I Keep My Old Car Not Running?

It’s a 1986 model with less than 30,000 miles, and I’d like to run it as little as possible, to preserve it.

Worries include thready fuel, how rarely the car can be run without killing the battery, how much turning the tires need, and, worst of all, what unknown worry should one be torn by if he weren’t too ignorant to be afflicted by it.

What’s the point in owning it if you’re not going to drive it and enjoy it? What kind of car is it?

With old cars/trucks I’m always more concerned with preserving the body; The engine, trany, rear end etc. can always be rebuilt much easier than restoring the body. IMO anyway. So I would just drive it when the weather is nice and enjoy it.

What nature of vehicle is it? Unless it’s a museum piece, you’ll be better off driving (and, presumably) and enjoying it regularly.

“Thready fuel”??

There is a product called the “battery tender” that will monitor and trickle-charge your battery for you as needed without attention. I have seen them in motorcycle magazines but they are also probably available for cars. There is another product called “Stabil” that you can buy at just about any auto parts store, Wal-Mart, or K-Mart that you can use as a fuel stabilizer. The best way to store it is probably on jack stands. This way the wheels are not bearing weight and you can rotate them by hand if you want to. However, I think the best strategy to prolong its life is to drive it once a month for at least 30 minutes. You want to get things moving every once in a while and you don’t want the seals to dry out. Putting it on jack stands will make this into a major chore. You should change the oil once a year even if you only put 500 miles per year on it.

My advice would be to drive every 2 weeks or so, get it properly warmed up and put it through the car wash if the streets are dirty. That way, if you drive 30 miles every 2 weeks, you will put on only 780 miles a year, and you can then justify one oil & filter change. Not driving it, and having the seals harden keeping the battery charged, etc. is far more trouble than taking it out every 14 days.

I just say to disconnect the battery when you don’t want to use the car. I know you don’t want to admit what kind of car it is. It’s a Crown Vic station wagon I guess.

What people collect is valuable in the eye of the collector. When the first oil shock hit in 1973, the curator of the Detroit museum bought 3 fully equipped Mercury Marquis! He publicly stated that the world would never see cars like this again (thank God), and they would become very valuable. These cars had forgettable styling, low quality, were rust-prone, and had extremely poor gas mileage and poor driveability. But, as the TV ads showed, an expert could accurately split a large diamond in the backseat while the car was in motion.

I’m not sure where his cars are now, but cars with elegant excess, like the Cadillac Eldorado immortalized by Linda Lovelace in Deep Throat will retain their value.

Thanks for the help. Hardening seals was the unknown worry. (It’s a Rolls-Royce I’m hoping will appreciate until I’m too old to drive, which may be any week now.)

What year and model?