Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Keeping car in running order when uninsured?

My wife’s car is going to be off the rod for about 4 months so I have cancelled her insurance.
How can I keep it in running order during this period without taking it on the road?

Full tank of gas, hopefully in a garage. A battery tender. 4 months isn’t a long time to store a car.

Should be fine for four month, but you will need a battery tender to maintain the battery and the computer system in the car.

Fuel stabilizer wouldn’t hurt.

Copper wool in the air intake and exhaust pipe.

You did not say what year this vehicle is or where it will be kept. If you normally have full coverage I would not cancel the insurance just in case of storm damage . Have you considered having a friend or relative just taking it for a 30 or 40 minute drive once a month?

I’d fill it up with ethanol free fuel, add fuel stabilizer, run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilized fuel throughout the fuel system, connect a trickle charger to the battery, and maybe get a cover for it if it will be sitting outdoors.

How many used cars sit on a car lot for 4 months? Proactive would be stabilizer for fuel and a battery tender.

For only 4 months, nothing more than just keeping the battery charged should be required. If I had that situation myself I’d back it out of the garage and start and idle the engine in the driveway until it reached normal operating temperature, then pull it back in once a week to avoid any water vapor in the engine starting a corrosion incident and minimize tire flat spots. But I doubt that’s necessary for a 4-month hiatus from the road. Years ago I stayed at a co-worker’s house (as a sort of house-sitter) while he was away for 9 months on a temporary business-related relocation, and he asked me to start and idle his ancient and beloved Volvo once a week like that. It must have worked, he said his Volvo started up and ran fine with no issues when he came back.

To be more precise, the OP should cancel the collision and liability coverages but keep the comprehensive coverage.

I’ve left my '87 Toyota pickup parked, outside, for more than a year at a time. I do nothing but detach the battery. I need a booster battery to start it but otherwise it works well. I pass the emissions test easily; the compression is what the shop manuals says it should be. I’ve done this for 15 years and had no related problem.