My daughter is going to live in Spain for the next 10 months. She is leaving her 1996 Subaru Legacy in our care. My question is how should we care for it to ensure that it is in good shape when she gets back?
location? will it be insured to drive? if you can drive it then do so at least 20 minutes/week and follow any maintenance…if not driven…change oil/filter, fill gas tank and add stabilizer, add a few pounds to tires…35psi…assuming it will be garaged during this time period. there are other things you can do…remove battery or put on trickle charge…others will add their suggestions…
I would cancel the collusion insurance, add a gasoline stabilizer to the fuel, park it in a safe location, ideally dry, out of the sun and not seen from a public area, remove the batter and store it inside your home. I would also put the battery on a battery maintainer (special charger).
If you don’t drive it you don’t need collusion insurance and that will save you some real money. The sun can age tyres and other exposed parts. I will not do any more damage than it would do if it was just being used normally however. Removing the batter makes it more difficult to steal as few crooks carry around extra batteries. Batteries will last longer if kept charged and the battery will be ready to go in 10 months.
It also is a good idea to not put the brakes on. Use another method to prevent the car from rolling. The breaks can stick on due to rust.
For only ten months, the simplest thing to do is just drive it 20 miles or so on the highway (to really warm it up) every 2 weeks. I would also add some stabilizer to the gas tank.
We did this for 4 years when we were overseas; our son took the cars out regularly and enjoyed the free wheels.
Disconnect the battery and add some air to the tires. Remove the insurance.
My dad has an 1989 4runner with 150k miles that has sat for periods of 3-10 months per year and since 1996(works abroad) and it works perfectly fine.
People really over think vehicles sitting.
Andrew has the basics and if you follow them you are not likely to have any problems. He covered all the really important stuff.