Storing a car

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Feb 2, 2005
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A friend of mine will be working in Thailand for 5-6 months. He's leaving in April. He had planned to sell his car (2001 Jetta VR6) but didn't get around to it in time and probably won't manage to do so before he leaves. He's thinking about renting a storage spot and parking the car w/ a car cover for the duration of his trip, which could be extended up to a year. Aside from pulling the battery, is there anything he should do to insure the car starts up again without trouble?
 
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Some of the diy car repair shows on TV recommend pulling the plugs and squirting something into each cylinder. Like WD-40 or something. They also recommend putting the car on jackstands, to get them up off the wheels. Dont know if that will be practical for him. As far as the gas tank, I would think it would need to be full, with a fuel stabilizer in it. Other that that, I dont know. I am sure you will get more advice soon.
 
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I would put some D-con mouse poison in the engine compartment somewhere and also on the floor of the car. Mice can do a lot of damage by chewing wires.
 
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Speciality Formulations a site sponsor makes a product that is added to the cars oil. It helps to prevent corrsion of stored cars. I belive it was intended for Hot Rod's, Muscle Cars and Roll Royce Phantom gray ghost and Phantoms etc....... It would be best if he had someone like a family member that could occasioanaly take it for a spin or at least start it up once in a while! Seals drying out and corrision are the two bigest factors. I have found the seal issue to be the most pronounced! For the fuel the right amount of Stabilzer will go a long way. Gasoline is only good for about 3 months then it starts to go south!
 

bfg9k

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The issue of mice was the biggest reason I recommended he not park the car in his parent's driveway in a very wooded section of his hometown [Wink] I will definitely tell him to use some mouse bait as well. I had not thought of the fuel stabilizer. If there's an issue with rust buildup, would a squirt of an antioxidant like Lube Control into the cylinders be warranted?
 

bfg9k

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That Specialty Formulations product looks like the perfect thing to use...I will tell my buddy to order a pint [Smile]
 
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Winterize it like a boat...fog the engine, stabilize the fuel, remove battery, jack it off the floor, good wax job then cover it.
 
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Keep the mouse bait OUTSIDE the car. 5-6 months isn't that long really. Change the oil, put STA-BIL in the gas, wash it, an extra 5 psi in the tires, and fugghedaboutit. If it's in a pretty enclosed space, buy a bag of generic charcoal to put on the seat and slit it down the middle and pull it open a little. Back it in in case you have to jump it later. I didn't even take the battery out of my dad's old Town Car after ferrying it to FL last year and it fired right up after 6 months and two hurricanes raging outside. One tire was a little low but that's all.
 
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Disconnect battery Fill tank add fuel stabilizer. Run or better yet drive the car for 15 minutes. Change oil and filter Add a few bars of Irish Spring soap to inside. Add 5lbs more air in tires. Cover car and relax. 6-7 months isn't that long. I do all the above except the soap every year as my vette sits in my attached heated garage. Connect a trickle charger to battery a couple of weeks before startup. Never had a problem in spring. [ March 03, 2005, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Colt ]
 
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This might seem stupid, but... Have you thought about offering to help him out by firing up the car and taking it around the block every five or six days??? To me, that would be the BEST solution. When I was in the military and gone for long durations, I'd leave the keys to my truck with someone I trusted and have them run it once a week or so.
 

Kestas

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All good advice for the anal-retentive, but some of it is overkill. I've been storing cars for over 30 years and I don't fret too much over it. After 30 years I do what is most easy and effective. - Disconnect the battery during storage - Trickle-charge the battery every 3 months (or get a battery tender). It is actually written in my service manual to do this. - Keep the brakes from rusting by storing the vehicle in a garage. - Run the car every month or so to keep things lubricated, seals wet, and the brake surfaces rust-free. - Be mindful of the mice! I use mothballs to deter them.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by AstroVic: This might seem stupid, but... Have you thought about offering to help him out by firing up the car and taking it around the block every five or six days??? To me, that would be the BEST solution. When I was in the military and gone for long durations, I'd leave the keys to my truck with someone I trusted and have them run it once a week or so.
If you're going to run it weekly it better be more than around the block. Short trips will only give you a condensation problem. Get the vehicle to operating temp for awhile to burn off the moisture. If not...let it sit.
 

bfg9k

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quote:
This might seem stupid, but... Have you thought about offering to help him out by firing up the car and taking it around the block every five or six days??? To me, that would be the BEST solution. When I was in the military and gone for long durations, I'd leave the keys to my truck with someone I trusted and have them run it once a week or so.
Driving it occasionally did occur to me, but he's more comfortable having it sit in storage vs. risking an accident and having to deal with it from Thailand. I actually offered to drive it daily in place of my 98 Subaru, but he wasn't too keen on that [Big Grin] . I've printed out this thread to give to him, so if he doesn't manage to sell it in the next 3 weeks I'll post a followup on what we did to store it. If anyone is looking for a killer deal on a VR6 Jetta 5-speed near Boston, le me know.
 
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