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Preparing to abandon my car for a few months

I’ll be traveling this summer and will leave my 1995 Ford Taurus in my home state. Aside from disconnecting the battery, is there anything I can/should do before I leave so that the car will be drivable when I get back? (I did this a few summers ago and did nothing to prepare; when I got back, the car did start, but a few days later it died and I had burned out the alternator. Would like to avoid doing that again!)

Thanks for any suggestions!

Why would you disconnect the battery? Can you find someone to “car-sit” it for you?

I think your previously burned out alternator was a side effect, and not related to the car sitting - just an unfortunate happenstance.

If you can’t find someone to take care of it for you, just make sure all the fluids are topped up, and treat (stabilize) the fuel. I would suggest a battery tender to keep that particular part charged while you’re away, and if you put a tender on it, then there’s no reason to disconnect it.

When you come back, verify all the fluids are OK, and fire it up.

A few months is no big deal. Were we talking a year or more, there would be more things to consider. There are hundreds (thousands??) of people that do this twice a year…once when they head South for the winter, than again when they head back North.


Car sitting leads to thing like unpaid parking tickets, random dents and limited benefits.

Cars can sit for months with no real effects.

Disconnect the battery.

I’d make sure the tires are filled with air. Fill the gas tank with non-ethanol gas (and add some Stay-Bil), change the oil if it’s about time anyway. Disconnect the battery and also put a battery charger on it when you get back. If the battery is low on power you can overwork the alternator.

The few months that your car sits idle is a very short time, too short to worry about special preparations. As you did last time, simply disconnect the battery and enjoy your travels.

The alternator problem that you had was surely unrelated to the car’s inactivity. We would not expect the problem to recur. So you can leave home without any further precautions and you ought to be worry-free.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback! I’ll disconnect the battery and not worry about it. :slight_smile: