Hi, I am currently living in the middle east and own a Toyota Prado (diesel). I sometimes go on business trips for 3-6 months (some times more). During that I time, I store my car in a garage. I was told that it is not good for the engine not to run for such a long time. So, I asked someone to run the car for 5-20 every week and it has become a problem finding a reliable person to do that. Another mechanic told me just disconnect the battery and go. Nothing will happen to the car. So, which suggestion should I follow? Thanks for your help.
Follow the second mechanic’s suggestion. No harm will come to the engine from sitting idle.
It’s actually worse to run the engine for a few minutes than it is to let it sit.
You won’t hurt anything by parking the car in a garage for a few months.
Thanks for your reply. Is 6-9 months ok? Thanks again.
I agree with McP. Only thing you might have to deal with is a discharged battery, so you might get what used to be called a trickle charger, now called something like a battery tender. For a gasoline-powered car I’d definitely recommend gasoline stabilizer, I don’t know if that’s available for diesel, if it is I’d use it.
Yes, 6-9 months is ok. You may need a new battery more often than other people, but it won’t hurt the engine to sit.
If I were away that long on a regular basis I’d rethink owning a car.
Disconnect the battery and go. I don’t even disconnect the battery on my VW diesel car as the system has no parasitic power drain when parked. I park my diesel from November to May every winter; have been doing that for at least 15 years. It starts like it was parked yesterday. My other car is parked over the summers and also has done well. In my view, a car parked in a well ventilated garage does not age.
As mentioned, make sure that your garage is well ventilated to preclude brake rotor, drum and even clutch plate rusting if you have a manual transmission.
Agreed, don’t bother to run it. There will be enough residual oil on engine parts after many months.
Batteries self-discharge quickly in hot climates so the “battery tender” type charger would be helpful. If you are nearing an oil change, do it before the storage to prevent sludge from forming in a crankcase full of dirty oil…
On additional suggestion. If you remove the battery and bring it inside, or some place away from the car, and put that trickle charger on it, you not only keep the battery in good shape, but if anyone decided they wanted it and tried to steal it, chances are they are not going to have the right battery with them.
You might want to save some money as well. Call your insurance company, you may be able to cancel some parts of your insurance. Maybe even the collusion (your car is not likely to collide with anything if it has no battery. Keep comprehensive for things like fire.