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Storing cars for four months

My son is stationed in Rapid City SD and will be deployed for 4 months beginning in July. He will be leaving his 2016 Dodge Challenger and 2020 Subaru Forester in storage and we were wondering if the cars will be okay if they are not started for that period of time.

I assume he is on a military base . Then there should be a Motor Pool with mechanics who can give him good advice as Military vehicles can set for longer periods of time . Also there are hundreds of You Tube videos that will show what should be done. After all vehicles set on used car lots for months before they are sold.

Might as well pull the battery as it will be dead after 4 months if you dont .

My brother’s girlfriend has a condo and a car in the Great Lakes area. She spends 6 months of the year in England and leaves the car with her brother in the barn on his farm.

The brother changes the oil before storage, washes the car and puts the battery on a battery tender. He adds Stabil to the gas tank as well.

The winters there go from 32F to as low as -30F. The car always starts when she gets back from England.

Your 4 months is easy, and I would use a battery tender if possible. Otherwise remove the battery, put it in the basement and use a battery tender there. Even a fully charged battery will run down over a 4 month period. After re-installing the battery you will have to reset the door locks, clock, etc. to their original setting, in my case manual.

Not starting them is better than starting them and not taking them for a good drive and complete warmup. He can stop his liability insurance and save that money.

I’d leave the battery in place. Put a battery charger on it or jump it if it fails to start the car, but it probably will.

I’d cram copper mesh into the air intake to keep mice out of there. Some also do that at the exhaust pipe.

Yes there is a big air force base near Rapid. For my time in the Reserves, we needed to run equipment on a monthly basis. Start em up and run for 30 minutes. Always ready to go. For four months I’d pull the battery and a little gas additive and not worry about it. You don’t want your car covered in cosmolene (or whatever it is) so don’t worry about asking the Master Sarge what to do.

In 4 months, the tires are likely to develop flatspots. Taking the weight off the tires would be helpful.

Alternatively, if the cars can be moved - even 1 foot every month - that would prevent the flatspots from becoming permanent.

I have cars stored for years sitting on their tires. I haven’t had a flat spot issue since the days of nylon tires. Supporting the car without weight on the suspension has an additional risk of warping the structure of the car as it will sag to fit the supports over time unless you’re super diligent about leveling the supports. It’s always best for long term storage to be resting on the natural suspension, as flat as possible. YMMV.

Sure! my motorhome is in storage 6 month a year and I never had problems when its time to go on vacation.I just make sure the battery receives a slow charge from time to time.

If I knew I was going to leave my vehicle parked for 4 months, this is what I would do. This of course assumes that I had a nice enough vehicle to care about storing my baby as comfortably as I could while I was away.

  1. Change the motor oil… (Not mandatory, but…engines like it)

  2. Put a fuel Stabilizer into a fuel tank that is at least 1/2 full or better… Simply pour the correct amount into the fuel in your tank…then go for a short drive to get the additive into the fuel rail and injectors. Today’s fuel breaks down into something more like varnish than fuel and this happens way too fast for my liking.

  3. Put the vehicle up or at least partly up on jack stands…the idea is to unburden the tires and suspension components during hibernation as neither like to sit for long periods of time without moving.

  4. A nice car cover…or to plus one this idea…some people prefer to use the “car bubble” or a vehicle tent like container. Protects against rodent invasion that a cover alone does not…

  5. A battery tender

That’s about it…with all that done, you could store the vehicle for more than 4 months easily…

*** A bare minimum or economy storage setup would be the Battery Tender and the Fuel Stabilizer only***