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Longterm storage

Going overseas for six months. Car will be left in garage. What preventative steps are reommended?

6 months? I’d put some Stabil in the gas tank and change the oil just before I go. Change the oil again when I get back. Disconnect the battery once it is parked.

Or, alternatively, have someone drive it once every couple of weeks for about 10 miles to get everything warmed up and lubed. This will keep the seals from drying out, the rubber in the tires from flat-spotting, and keep the battery charged up.

Add fuel stabilizer to the tank according to the instructions on the bottle. See auto parts store for the stuff. You can disconnect or put the battery on a battery tender.

I suggest

  1. Contacting your insurance company. Likely you can discontinue your collusion insurance and save most of the cost of the insurance.

  2. Check the owner’s manual or the dealer, before disconnecting the battery. With all the computer stuff on modern cars, disconnecting the battery can cause various problems. Weigh the disadvantages of disconnecting the battery against the advantage of disconnecting the battery and moving it to a different location. Moving the battery to a different location reduces the chance of someone stealing your car. Most thieves don’t carry an assortment of batteries with them.

  • A battery tender is a special battery charger designed just your your situation.

Folks often put car in storage for “6 months” and 2 years later the car still sits. Prep the car for a storage period longer than 6 months, just in case.

Stabilize the fuel in the tank and run the motor for enough time to get the stabilized gas from the fuel tank into the motor.

Pull each spark plug and shoot some oil into each cylinder to coat the rings and cylinder walls with some oil for protection. With plugs out, shoot in the oil, crank the engine a bit to circulate the oil, shoot each cylinder again and replace the plugs.

If there is AC power available buy and hook up a battery tender charger. If no AC power, disconnect the battery. Or leave it connected and assume you will need a new battery when you put the car back on the road.

Pump up the tires to max pressure as marked on the tire sidewall. Keep the little compressor handy to pump up flat tires when you put the car back in service. Remove excess air pressure when taking out of storage.

Avoid putting the car in storage when it is wet, this could result in rusted and frozen brake pads on the rotors. Protect the car as needed from rodents, birds, and other pests. If the area is damp consider a cover, or dehumidifier for the garage.

Some stored cars do fine, others are a mess when folks return. Good Luck.