I am storing a 2004 Mazda RX-8 for a relative and have just found out that I should have been starting the engine at least once a week in order to keep the seals from drying out. The car has not been started for approximately 2 months. The temperatures during that time have ranged from -5 to +30 Has the engine been damaged? What can I do to minimize the damage?
2 months in nothing. The engine could care less about temperature unless the coolant is improperly mixed.
There is no damage.
These cars were slow sellers and many sat for months on brand new car lots.
I agree with Andrew J. You may want to place a battery charger on the battery to get the charge up on the battery. If the battery charge is too low you should remove it from the vehicle and let it warm up inside before charging it. Never charge a frozen battery.
Some museums have found that their museum cars “keep” the best when they are driven, for a few minuets, on a regular basis (perhaps, once a week, or once a month?).
2 months is too short to worry about the engine. But…do you have the battery hooked up to a trickle charger?
How much longer do you expect to store it?
This car may need to be stored for several more months. --perhaps as much as a year. I hadn’t thought of the trickle charger. Good idea!
Put some fuel stabilizer in the gas and drive it until that has worked through the system (15 minutes) then put it to sleep. DO NOT start it every week or two. The seals will NOT dry out any faster. If the time period is going to be a year, change the oil so it’s full of clean, fresh oil. Pump the tires up to maximum allowed pressure. I would disconnect the battery and charge it every 3 months or so…
This is great information! You have all been very helpful. Thank you!