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Starting unused cars

We have some cars we rarely drive (maybe once or twice a year) in the garage. Should we start these from time to time, or can they just sit in the garage and be used once or twice a year?

If you start them every now and then, you have to also run them till thoroughly warmed up. Never start a car up and then quickly shut it down.

Otherwise, just leave them with a battery tender and stabilizer in the gas tank.

If I had cars that were used that infrequently, I would store them indoors, use a double dose of fuel stabilizer, hook them up to a trickle charger, and jack them up to get the tires off the ground when not in use. I know someone who collects cars, and he has commercial lifts installed in his garage like the ones used in tire shops. They don’t lift the cars high in the air, but they get the tires off the ground. This will prevent flat areas from forming on the tires.

Only used once or twice a year? Sell them. Put the money in a savings account.

I have not had or heard of anyone getting flat spots on tyres in a long time. It is not really a problem with modern tyres. However it can’t hurt and it will help make the car more difficult to steal. Likewise removing the battery and putting it on that battery maintainer in another location will also make it more difficult to steal. Not many of the bad guys carry around an assortment of batteries.

Starting a car is hard on it. Starting it and not driving it up to full operating temperature is even harder.

I suggest you contact your insurance company. If the car is not driven, then there is no need to keep collusion insurance active on it. You may be able to cancel it and reduce your insurance cost by over half. Don’t forget to activate it before driving it.

Roadrunner, that advice is good if it is safe to assume this is a person of average means. If, however, the OP is a millionaire or a billionaire, and he or she wants to collect cars that only get driven once or twice a year…

For all we know, the OP could be Jay Leno, or a car collector like him.

I guess I am assuming that someone with car[i]s[/i] that sit around not being driven is a person of means. You (and some others) seem to be operating with the opposite assumption. I wonder who is right.

Hmmm, point well made Whitey.

I didn’t read the tag.

Why would you think I was assuming the owner had money to spare? My suggestions are based on what I believe is the cheapest and easiest and safest choice.

I think the opposite. A “person of means” is usually rich, right?


Yeah, I reckon the OP’s first sentence gives a clue.

If a vehicle is going to be stored for an extended time, such as a year, the fuel should be treated with high dose Sta-bil BEFORE driving it, then the cylinders fogged with a cylinder fogging oil.

It is imperative that the oil be changed regardless of mileage. In time, it forms nasty organic acids.

– nevermind