Winterizing Idle Vehicle

I have a 2012 Outback which will be sitting idle in my garage for 5 months during the New Hampshire winter. Any info you can offer will be very much appreciated:

  1. Do I leave it with a full tank of gas including dry gas in it?
  2. Is it better to leave a battery tender on (we’ve heard both sides, one says yes, the other says it can blow up).
  3. It is due for a 30000 mile oil change. Should I get that done before we go or after we get back? It’s right at the 30M mark.
    Anything else we should be aware of? Thank you. We both enjoy your show! Dot.

You will get lots of opinions, as there is no “one way” to handle it.

If it were my car, I would:

  • Simply fill the tank. No dry gas and no fuel stabilizer. 5 months isn’t that long.
  • I might charge the battery around the 2-3 month mark. But I wouldn’t lose sleep if I forgot.
  • I’d change the oil now so the engine sits with fresh oil in it.

That’s basically what I would do as well. Since the vehicle is in a garage…leaving it for only 5 months is a piece of cake.

I would do the same as JoeMario has suggested, but I would add a couple of additional precautions:

I would inflate the tires to ~5 lbs over the recommended pressure, in order to be sure that the car was immediately drivable upon your return.
And, I would place rodent poison in a few containers around the car. Otherwise, 5 months of undisturbed time would allow hungry mice to have a banquet of the insulation on the wires under the hood.