Preparing a vehicle to sit undriven for a while


#1

I’m going out of town by bus and won’t be returning until October. I’m concerned about letting my 2002 Honda CR-V sit for that long period of time without being driven and in the weather. I was told I need to fill my gas tank up so it won’t rot, change the oil, don’t put it on jack stands since it’s bad for the suspension, and maybe buy a car cover. Is there anything else I need to do?


#2

I’m not a fan of car covers, they trap moisture. I would add a full dose of Stabil before you fill up with a fresh tank of gas. If you can get electricity, I would buy a battery tender (about $50) to keep the battery fully charged, but that’s optional.


#3

Forget the cover, just wax it. Pump the tires up to max pressure. You can buy a little solar powered battery maintainer. Check eBay…You want 200ma-400ma output…Don’t over-fill the gas tank…with todays sealed fuel systems, that not a big issue anymore…Adding the stabilizer is…Putting a sun=screen in the front and back windows helps…Don’t shade your charger!


#4

texases: “I’m not a fan of car covers, they trap moisture.”

Maybe the ones sold 20 years ago, but most of today’s car covers are made of breathable material. I would wax the car AND use a decent car cover.

I don’t see why jack stands would be bad for the suspension. You can use them on the secure body/frame components designed for jacking up the car. However, jack stands shouldn’t be necessary for a mere five months.

In addition to a car cover, I would use a single dose of fuel stabilizer, making sure to follow the directions on the bottle, and I would also use a good trickle charger.


#5

It’s only five months. You could do nothing and the car would be OK, except maybe for the battery.

I agree with the suggestion for fuel stabilizer. Add it to the tank according to the directions on the bottle, fill the tank as you normally would, drive the car a few miles to get the stabilizer all the way through the fuel system, then park the car.

You could disconnect the battery to prevent it from being drained, but make sure you have the security code for the radio before you disconnect it.

A car cover is a personal decision. I don’t really think it’s necessary. I’d just put a sun shade in the windshield.


#6

Using fuel stabilizer and doing something with the battery (putting a tender on it or disconnecting it) is most important.

I’d wax it instead of using a car cover. A car cover can be abrasive if it starts moving around in the wind.

Some people put steel wool in the exhaust pipes to keep critters out. (Leave yourself a note to remove it if you do this.)

If no one will be driving it, you should be able to suspend your collision insurance and save some money. Check with your agent to confirm that.