Is it ok to abandon my A4 during the brutal NE winter?

winter

#1

I have a 2007 Audi A4, with about 100k miles, that I have been through thick and thin with. I will be traveling for about 4-6 months starting in December, and then, in all likelihood, I will move to Hawaii. But I am not ready to part with her yet, and I guess there’s always the chance I could lose my mind and return to Philly, so I’m thinking about leaving her in my parents’ carport until I settle somewhere. Will I do damage to the car by letting it sit all that time? Does the fact that this car uses fully-synthetic oil somehow mean that it will be ok sitting? Thanks for your help!!


#2

I’d add a double dose of Stabil to a fresh tank of gas, and hook up a battery tender ($60 or so) if electric power is available - is it? Don’t start it every so often, that can do more harm than good unless it’s driven on the road for 30 minutes or so. I’d also make sure the coolant is at the proper strength.


#3

Why pay for insurance and registration for all that time. Plus giving your parents the added responsibility of a vehicle to worry about. Check with a firm like CARMAX which will make an offer on the vehicle.


#4

Right From The Horse’s Mouth…
My 96 Dodge Caravan, Which I Purchased New, Sits Outside Every Winter For 6 Or 7 Months In Temperature To As Low As -30F.
I drove it today and it still runs and drives as new. Great vehicle!

I put the tire pressure up to spec, make sure the oil is clean, and charge the battery every couple of months so that it doesn’t lose charge and freeze. That’s about it! No additives, no putting it up on blocks, etcetera. It fires right off in the late spring like it had sat just over-night.

Since you won’t be here, you’ve been given good advice about the battery tender and checking the anti-freeze/coolant protection temperature and since I don’t know how much ethanol is in your gas, stabilizer (for ethanol/gasoline) is probably a smart idea.

As for insurance…
I call my local agent and she suspends everything but comprehensive insurance and it costs a very nominal fee to insure until I call her to reinstate everything else (collision, liability, etcetera) on the policy, every spring.

Have fun in Hawaii. I’ll add you to my list of people I envy when I’m running the snow-blower with frozen fingers.

CSA


#5

Two opinions. I tend to agree with storing it for the six months. That six months is nothing, if properly stored. If you decide to move to Hawaii, you can sell it then.

We stored my son’s Protege for 2 years while he was in UAE, and he has driven it another 150,000 miles or so since then.

We took the battery inside and put it on the tender inside. Make sure you have any codes you need to restart things like radio or etc.

In some states, you can drop insurance to minimum liability for that length of timee.

Costs of storage are nothing compared to losing a good ride if you decide in the end not to move.


#6

In my opinion it is OK to abandon any Audi at any time. :wink:


#7

I Forgot To Add That I Agree With Advice About NOT Running The Car During The Time It’s Off The Road. I’m Sure You’ve Seen Water Dripping (Running) From Car Tail Pipes When You Are Following Them. Combustion (Inside An Internal Combustion Engine) Creates Water. Water In A Dormant Engine/Exhaust System Is Not A Good Thing. Steel Corrodes.

This also causes me to advise that when you park it, be sure that it has been driven for a good length of time, right up until it’s parked, probably a half-hour. That should “fry” any water out of the exhaust system and engine.

If for some reason (emergency) the car needs to be started and moved during it’s hibernation then I’d be sure it runs long enough to get up to full operating temperature and then some. Never start it and shut it right down. This can even be more problematic if the car faces down an incline, as the exhaust system can hold more water.

CSA


#8

For battery tenders: They work fine, IF your battery is in good shape. They monitor voltage, and will trickle charge if that voltage drops below a programmed level, then stop.

If you have a bad cell, or questionable battery to start with, however, the tender can’t tell that, and will continue charging until the battery completely fails (or dries out) - mostly because it will never reach that programmed voltage. I’ve had it happen to a couple batteries that weren’t quite up to spec.

IMO, you’re better off having someone plug it in overnight once every couple/three weeks, then unplug it in the morning. That’s plenty to keep it topped up, and not enough to boil it dry.


#9

That’s really not very long. I’d be mostly concerned about the battery draining down and the fuel going stale. The car doesn’t care if its 20 below out or 40 above or if it rains or snows.

I disagree on the insurance aspect. I would keep liability on it in case it is stolen and you become liable for injuries. It takes all the issues out of arguing who was responsible (you or your parents) and what policy would cover (home owners or auto). Keep collision and comp on it if you care about it. Broken windows can be very expensive to replace.


#10

That’s really not very long. I’d be mostly concerned about the battery draining down and the fuel going stale. The car doesn’t care if its 20 below out or 40 above or if it rains or snows.

I disagree on the insurance aspect. I would keep liability on it in case it is stolen and you become liable for injuries. It takes all the issues out of arguing who was responsible (you or your parents) and what policy would cover (home owners or auto). Keep collision and comp on it if you care about it. Broken windows can be very expensive to replace.


#11

Thanks CSA and everyone else for the tips!!! I will definitely NOT have my parents start it up now and then (as we had planned), and I will look into insurance options. This is all super helpful!!!


#12

This Is Where It’s Helpful To Have A Human Insurance Agent In A Local Brick And Mortar Office!

I’ve had the same agent for decades. I really doubt that you’re the first client your agency has had that wants to temporarily store a car. She/He should be able to help you. Where I live, everybody except me flies off to warmer locations for the winter. Since my wife still works we escape for only a week or two.

CSA


#13

Don’t forget the coolant! If the coolant hasn’t been changed in years, I would make sure you get the coolant changed and that it has the correct level of antifreeze for the temps it will be experiencing. It might be best to just charge the battery and disconnect it. Then if possible, either use a battery tender or charge it every couple of months.


#14

Don’t let th registration lapse unless you check with your state DMV first. You might have to pay taxes on the car as if you just bought it. I don’t know that this is the case, but it is worth checking if you plan to drop the registration later.


#15

You’d likely have fewer problems after the winter storage if your parents would start it up drive it 10-20 miles, once per week.


#16

Good luck with this. There are times I feel like running away to Hawaii, too, and I live in a place I love (San Francisco.) Hawaii is a very special place with the most perfect climate I can imagine. You can even choose how much rain you want by moving a few miles one way or the other.


#17

My agent’s assistants tried to convince me to put comprehensive on mine when it is out of country. But, for the reason stated, what happens if someone steals it, I recommend minimum liability if the car stays there. In my case, I get liability because then I have the paper in the car in case I get checked before I get home. I do call ahead of time to have full coverage put back on, but that does not get me the paper until I get there.