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Safety Recall - Car must sit for 6 months

My daughter recently received a recall notice for the driver’s side airbag of her 2013 Acura. Unfortunately the parts will not be in for up to six months and she has been told not to drive the vehicle for this time period - she has received a loaner vehicle. I am concerned about letting the car sit idle for this long and wonder if there are any precautions she can take to ensure the vehicle is “maintained” so to speak during this time period since it can’t be (safely) driven. I have read about adding fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank and filling the tank completely; perhaps a trickle charger on the battery; tires to full pressure.
I don’t think starting it once a week for several minutes or so is very good as the engine doesn’t get hot enough to fully warm up and drive of any condensed water in the exhaust system. Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

Isn’t it at the dealership? My inclination would be to drive it to the dealership and tell them “this car is now in your custody. If anything happens to it, it’s your fault. I expect it to be in the same condition when I pick it up as it is now.” Let them deal with the fallout.

If that’s not an option, definitely hook a trickle charger to the battery - if it loses battery power there’s a long list of things you have to do to get the car ready to go again. Put fuel stabilizer in the gas, then start it and run it up to temperature, then 5 minutes beyond that, then turn it off and leave it on the battery tender. You don’t need to worry about starting it if it’s sitting for just 6 months. That won’t hurt it. You’re just starting it at the beginning to get the fuel stabilizer into the lines and injectors.

If Acura does not want the car driven and provides a loaner it seems they would want the car in their possession.

If it were mine I’d drive it a few times a month and enjoy the loaner the rest of the time.

The reason they’re telling you not to drive it is not because it’s unsafe. The reason they’re telling you not to drive it is to protect themselves against possible litigation should you be involved in a serious accident.

I would unplug the driver airbag and drive it as usual… simple as that. On the other hand…add some Sta-Bil to the tank and be sure to drive it enough so that the mixture will reach all parts of the fuel system… 15-20 min drive should be fine after adding the fuel stabilizer.

If it were me…id have unplugged the bugger and just keep goin


I also encourage using Sta-Bil in the gas tank, as well as a trickle charger on the battery.

Additionally, I would start it up ~once a month, and let it idle for about 20 minutes with the A/C running. Shorter idling would be counterproductive, and it is important to use the A/C periodically in order to prevent its seals from drying-out.

I wouldn’t touch the airbag. Anything I did would move liability to me. And there’s a loaner. Use it and put Stabil in the tank, drive hers once a month fo a half hour.

Thats TRUE…hell its under warranty. Why bother with any of it?

+1 for @“the same mountainbike”. It’s all about possible litigation if the air bag deploys and someone is injured. Your daughter can drive the car if she wants, just not often. If she or you don’t want to drive it, then add sta-bil to the gas tank if it is low on gas and fill it up. That will mix the sta-bil with the gasoline. You might use the trickle charger too, but if the car is driven every couple of weeks, that isn’t necessary.

If the car is in her possession, I would suggest that she take it out for a drive about once a week at a low risk time and low risk area. For example a 3 mile drive around the neighborhood on Saturday morning. What she needs to do is to avoid an accident that would deploy the airbags.

She could also wear a face shield and helmet while doing this drive. it does not have to be bullet proof.

If anything results from leaving it 6 months it should be up to the dealer to fix it. If anything happens when you drive it you loose. Throw some stabil in it, maybe a battery tender and don’t drive it.

“If anything happens when you drive it you loose”

I disagree!
If the car is under warranty, anything that comes loose would be covered.
Otherwise, that car company would lose customers.

I agree, don’t drive it.

yeah, parts would be covered, but not your face.

I meant something happens and the airbag does whatever, the owner was informed not to drive the car, let it sit.

“I meant something happens and the airbag does whatever, the owner was informed not to drive the car, let it sit.”

But, what parts of the car do you think would become “loose” just by letting it sit for an extended period of time? I can understand that some parts might–possibly–begin binding-up from lack of usage, but I am having a hard time understanding what might become “loose” if the car just sits.

Well our recall didn’t say not to drive it but to contact the dealer if we wanted a loaner or an alternative. In Minnesota there really is a minute chance of a malfunction but they did offer a rental car. They also sharpened their pencil a little on a new one and want us to come in and discuss further. Of course since our last visit I put $1300 of new tires on, a $120 battery, a trans fluid change, and an oil change yesterday, so I expect to recoup my expenses. We’ll see. Maybe I could get a rental Jeep for the summer.

I would do exactly what the dealership says, since they are giving you a loaner. If you mess up they may refuse to replace the air bags gratis when the parts come in, and might try to charge you for the loaner too. I’d just do what they say.

For the exterior finish, parking inside a garage will be better than outside; if outside try to park in the shade, and keep it hosed off and towel dried once a week. I’d probably wax it too, before putting it in sleeper mode.

If it were my car I wouldn’t do that much otherwise. I wouldn’t put in any gasoline stabilizer, for fear it would damage something in the fuel system. Instead I’d start it and let it idle for 15 or 20 minutes once a week, checking the dash gauges to make sure nothing untoward was happening. I’d either trickle charge the battery or charge it up fully with a normal battery charger once a month. I’d probably put the car up on jack-stands on all four corners, to prevent the tires from developing flat spots.

Honda expects replacement airbag inflators to be available this summer. Normally VOR (vehicle off road) vehicles are moved to the top of the list, manufactures don’t want to pay for thousands of rental cars for months. You should expect this repair to be completed in July or August.

There is no special preparation necessary to leave a vehicle parked for 4 months. This is common with new and used car inventory and dealers don’t place cars on jack stands while on the lot.

I have been replacing Takata airbag inflators on vehicles that the owners stopped driving for 3 to 4 months while waiting for replacement parts, these cars are not falling apart for lack of love.

I have vehicle that are not driven for 6 months at a time. I put a car cover on them and recharge the battery for an hour before I drive them again.

I don’t understand the interest in starting engines once a week that are not being used or driving around the neighborhood for twenty minutes. Do people start their lawn mowers once a week in January?

Question to all the posters: Is driving a car with a disabled air bag that much more unsafe? I realize everyone has different risk tolerances so I wouldn’t expect 100% agreement one way or the other. I just see some potential negatives not driving the car for 6 months. If your car’s in the possession of the dealer, how much do you trust the dealer to take care of your vehicle? If it’s in your possession, you have to have a place to keep it, and (depending on whose advice you follow) you’ll have some extra work to take care of it yourself.
Maybe I’ve turned into a grumpy old man, but I think many times risks are largely overblown and we spend a lot of extra money and worry and effort to eliminate or reduce a very very very small risk.

sure an airbag can be disconnected, but if it is a problem with the explosive cylinder not airbag deployment you have done nothing to reduce the risk, and do not drive we will give you a loaner certainly implies danger. op quote “Unfortunately the parts will not be in for up to six months and she has been told not to drive the vehicle for this time period - she has received a loaner vehicle.”