View Full Version : FAQ: Storing your car for a long time.. by LoKi

12-01-2004, 11:31 PM
By LoKi

storing for the winter? yea.. maybe i posted this one is a little too late.. but still. now i do this one entirely wrong.. but still.

i like to go start my car once and a while. i let it run for about 15-20 minutes while i do other things, like carry in wood for the woodstove.. or shovel snow..

now my dealer told me that starting it once a week was good for it. but after reading this, i'm not sure i agree with him. but again.. i wont be storing it for a long period of time. maybe only 4 months. and as soon as i take it out, another oil change and a fill up of some good high oct.

right now i had a new oil change, and all fluids topped up. but i let the gas go down to under a quater tank.. because i don't agree with putting in fuel stabalizers.. plus the gas station is within walking distance from my house.. heheh :)

anyway.. here is the info i found. if you have anything to add, please do.

this is a topic that doesn't get talked about often, although most of us who live in harsh climates do put our cars away for the season.


First, take your car on a long drive and warm it up good. Then go someplace and have the oil and filter changed. Have them air all your tires at 35 psi, top off all your fluids, then go fill up the fuel tank with premium fuel. Stop by a lawn mower shop on the way home and buy enough fuel stabilizer to treat the fuel in your tank.

Take it home, park the car in the garage, roll up the windows tight, lock the car, disconnect the battery and DONíT HAVE ANYONE TOUCH THE CAR, START THE CAR, DRIVE THE CAR until you come home and this is valid for up to five years.

If your Uncle Henry insists Iím wrong and he should be allowed to go over to your house, start and run your car for awhile to "lube it up" then ask him to take it for a long spin. Unless the car is driven at highway speeds at 50 mph or more, you will add water to the oil. And oil and water equal sludge. So as the engine cools off, moisture inside the engine condenses to water and falls into the oil. Unless you get the oil temperature over 212 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or so, you will add more water to the oil when the engine is shut off and cools down. If the engine oil gets over 212, then the water is boiled out of the oil. That wonít happen if you run or drive the car for 10 minutes.


well.. its probably a good idea to put fresh fluids in it before you store it.. but if you think about it...

winter only lasts like 4 months for you guys down south.. for us 'lucky canadians' we get about 6 months of winter.. ha!

so i really can't see it being a problem, as long as its stored somewhere dry.

the biggest thing to worry about is keeping it up off of the ground, and away from moisture that can get it from underneath.

i knew some guys who used to store their rides for the winter by putting a tarp over it in the driveway.. or parking it on the lawn with a tarp on it.. just to find that in the spring, it would be all rusted underneath and the tires would be half rotted off .. hahah!

i'd get a complete fluid change as soon as you put her back on the road though

LoKi The Infidel
12-02-2004, 09:16 AM
wow LoKi. thats some sweet info.

btw, its a good thing to open the doors and air the car out once a month.. it can get pretty stale inside, and cause a slight 'off odour' in your interiour. easily avoidable, if you have access to the car during storage.

if you can take the wheels off and leave it on jack stands, DO IT. much better for the tires this way so you don't get flat spots from sitting too long in once place...

also, heed the warning about moisture in your oil. if you do start your car once and a while, let it run till its at normal operating temp for about 15 minutes. burns gas, but if you are gonna do it, do it right.

and check your warm engine bay for squirrels or other rodents that like to nest. they also chew brake lines and electrical *had a friend find out the hard way*.

cheers :)

12-02-2004, 03:57 PM
wow, that was some good info. No more starting the GTS in the middle of the winter!!

John L.