Leaving the car sitting for a while

I’m a Marine about to deploy to Afghanistan for a year. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do for my 2007 Honda Accord before I leave? I’m not planning to have anyone start it while I’m gone and it’ll be in my garage while I’m gone.

My plan right now is to detach the battery and leave it. I’m going to buy an air compressor to put air back in the tires when I get back and I’ll jump start it also since I’m anticipating the battery will be dead.

Anyone have advice on how I should leave it? Any repairs you guys recommend before I leave? I just got the oil changed, transmission flushed, and throttle body cleaned since I just passed 60k miles.

I am sure you will hear form some of the other knowledgeable folks on this site, but I’d also like to suggest that you try searching the site for the topic “car storage” or “storing a car.” You may find a lot of additional information that will help you out. Good luck with your deployment - come home safe.

You’re going to want to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and then fill the gas tank before you store the vehicle. As far as the battery, if you’re not going to keep it charged then expect to replace the battery when you return. As batteries sit unused they begin to sulfate to where they can no longer hold a charge when they’re recharged. So unless you have a battery charger that has the capability of desulfating a battery, replace the battery when you return.

To keep critters from getting inside the engine, take some stainless steel pot scrubbers and stuff this in the air intake before the air filter and in the tail pipe. Place a note on the steering wheel to remind you to remove the pot scrubbers before you put the vehicle back into service.

If you wish, you can fog the cylinders with fogging oil to prevent them from rusting. Disable either the ignition or fuel system. Remove the intake hose from the throttle body. While someone cranks the engine over while holding the accelerator to the floor, take the aerosol fogging oil and spray it into the throttle body for 15 seconds.

Happy holidays! And thank you for serving our country!


Tester as always (well almost always) has done a great job of answering the questin.

Thank you very much for the detailed answer! Any thoughts on jack stands for the tires? I just bought new tires last month and I’ve read that when you leave it for a while, you can get flat spots. Any truth to that rumor?

The way radial tires are constructed doesn’t allow them to flat spot. If that weren’t true, every new/used car sitting on dealers lots would have flat spotted tires. Flat spotting occured when tires were bias-ply construction.


I would add fuel stabilizer and then drive it to thoroughly get the stuff into the entire system…injectors etc…Just add the stuff and go fo ra 30 min ride…that’ll do it just fine…

The other thing I was going to tell you to to was to jack it up and put it on stands… You simply cannot go wrong by doing this…and if you have the stands…then you REALLY have no reason not to do it… I HATE flat spots… While its true that modern tires are MUCH more resistant to getting flat spots, it CAN AND DOES HAPPEN…

If you have new rubber and want to return to enjoy that new rubber…get the weight off of those tires. Put it this way…you may or may not get flat spots if you leave it on the ground…BUT YOU DEFINITELY WONT get flat spots with it in the air…

You decide…cars at dealerships NEVER sit in the same spot for a year or longer…so… You can buy a set of four jack stands at Harbor Freight for a silly cheap amount of money…You just cannot go wrong in doing this…and its mucho cheap insurance to ensure that you will not get flat spots.


I would not use regular stabilizer. Use marine grade for ethanol.

According to the Stabil web site you can double the dose, sure won’t hurt.

Why use marine grade vs. the normal? And why double dose it?

I frequently put cars into storage and the standard “Stabil” product has always worked fine…“Marine Grade” has more to do with shelf-space and product profit margin than anything else…Jack stands? I never use them, tires do just fine as long as they stay inflated…

I’ve noticed that cars in collections shown on TV never use jack stands, even though the owners drive them. If these finicky drivers don’t nee jack stands to prevent flat spots, I doubt that you do.

I bet those cars NEVER sit more than ONE YEAR in the same spot…Those people have people working for them…starting the cars…moving them etc… This is going to be parked in one spot…and if the tires start to lose some air…A flat spot will be more than likely… Like I said…Modern tires are more resistant that the old Bias plys for sure…but a flat spot is still possible on a modern tire…

If he has brand new tires…Whats the harm in putting her up on stands till he returns? I can positively GUARANTEE you that he wont get flat spots that way… Cant say the same for leaving her on the ground…and with NEW rubber? C’mon…I’d invest the TINY amount of money in the stands…its just so damn easy…and cheap. It will also deter anyone with the bright idea of going out for a sneaky spin in your ride…must less likely to go thru the trouble of getting it off the stands to go for a joy ride (if that scenario even exists here)

Leaving it on the ground only invites flat spots… AND your suspension will also thank you… CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP insurance my man… My 914 is on stands as we “speak” she only sat for 8 mo so far…I have new rubber on her too…why risk it?


Suspension? The vehicle is just sitting there in a static condition. Explain how the suspension is effected if it’s not being worked. I’ve had vehicles parked for two years or more. And sure, sometimes a tire or two would go flat during that time. But I would just air them back up and down the road I’d go. No flat spots.


The suspension…the springs…they are sitting compressed and lonely…for no reason…LOL. I simply put my cars up on stands to take the weight off the springs and to prevent flat spots in the tires. Am I getting anywhere with the springs? Will they be harmed if I didnt put it up?..No Probably not…but like I said…I really don’t care/mind… Its so easy to put up on stands…and its easy to take down. Is it ESSENTIALLY Necessary?..NO…prob almost certainly not… The OP’s asked the question…and I answered in a manner of what I would do.

I have also never made a big deal to the OP telling them that they HAD TO put their rides up on stands… Not sure what all the fuss is about… I never made a huge deal of it…

There are tons of things I see written on this site that aren’t entirely needed…I dont say anything about it and it doesn’t really bother me unless the OP is going thru a huge amount of useless work for no reason… I will say something if I can prevent someone from going thru a LOT of xtra work for nothing… But none of what I said is a huge amount of work.

So who cares?..it takes me what 15min to put a car on stands? Its no big deal to me. Seems like a huge deal to you guys for some reason…

Did you know that allowing the suspension to hang can mess up the valving inside the struts/shocks? This sometimes happens when a vehicle is put on a lift and suspension is allowed hang. Then when the vehicle lowered back down the valving inside the struts/shocks gets stuck and the vehicle rides like a buckboard.


No but I have thought about that… Is this true? I pondered that a long while ago I haven’t seen any issues so far… I have Jack-Standed say…3 vehicles total in my time… The need just doesn’t arise much for me.

I will keep that in mind next time…who knows when that will be… But I guess it makes sense…

Maybe IF I find myself pondering whether to Jack Stand or not…I will just relieve weight and not actually let everything hang like that. Hmmm…sounds like possible good advice. Thanks

Bull3017… If you want to take caddyman’s advice and save a few bucks, go ahead and use standard stabilizer. Before you do, do your own research. It was designed to do a much better job dealing with the affects of ethanol. After spending hundreds of dollars dealing with effects of ethanol on stored motors after using standard Stabil, I take no chances. But what the heck, it’s your car not Caddyman’s or mine. I get no commission and his word against mine.

Be safe…

Thanks, I’ll have to do some research on Stabil.

From everyone’s posts, it seems that this is no exact science. Jack stands vs. not and marine grade vs. regular, everyone has a different experience and opinion…

I would most definitely treat the fuel (you can double treat for a year, although I’m not sure it’s necessary, it won’t hurt). I doubt there’s much difference between marine and regular products, but I’d have to check the individual products (which I’m not going to do). I’d just use regular.

I’ve had a waverunner in storage now for almost 4 years, and I pulled it out and started it a few weekends ago, just to re-fog the cylinders, and get fresh oil in the carbs. It ran just fine. Double-treated, regular 10% eythanol fuel, and ran for about 3 minutes, then turned off the fuel flow until the engine died. I don’t believe you could do that easily with a car (shut the fuel and drain the carb).

I put my car on stands. Basically, on the axles, so the vehicle is still sitting on the suspension. Why? Just in case. If you have a flat, then you come home to a destroyed tire. If not, then you’re out nothing but some time. I also have a few sets of stands I could use, so there’s no money outlay for me.

That was how I stored mine for deployments, anyway. It worked for me.

Tester’s recommendations about pot scrubers is awesome. I’d definitely do that, and sprinkle some stuff around the inside that rodents don’t like (mothballs?). Maybe spray the engine compartment with something, too, or at least spread them around there, too.

Thanks for serving.