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Hi guys, I know it’s a little early but I’m planning on keeping my car in my garage during the winter months but only when there’s snow on the ground or the roads are wet from the snow or salty. Can anybody suggest any tips for storing it for maybe weeks or even more at a time? Put it up on blocks, add anything to the fluids or gasoline, etc. Thanks in advance!
 

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Search button dude. There's a million threads on this subject.
 

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I wouldn't put it up.on blocks, just air the tires up to max sidewall pressure.

FCA also says to run your a/c on high for 5 minutes before storage.

I also bought a CTEK model MUS 4.3 battery maintainer and it does a great job taking care of your battery.


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Hi guys, I know it’s a little early but I’m planning on keeping my car in my garage during the winter months but only when there’s snow on the ground or the roads are wet from the snow or salty. Can anybody suggest any tips for storing it for maybe weeks or even more at a time? Put it up on blocks, add anything to the fluids or gasoline, etc. Thanks in advance!
Change the engine oil and filter before putting the car away.

Fill up the gas tank. As for fuel additives, I don't think they are necessary. A family member's vehicle sat for 6 months with the same gasoline in the tank: Shell V-Power. While I drove the vehicle a few times, let the engine idle a while a few in that 6 months, I never added any gasoline to the tank. Had a need for a multi passenger vehicle and with family member's permission I drove the vehicle. The engine fired right up and idled ok and ran ok but felt flat, kind of doggy. Was not familiar with the vehicle but all was ok then at some point came time to add gasoline, so I filled up the gas tank with Shell V-Power.

With fresh Shell gasoline in the tank the engine was no longer doggy! Quite a change a positive change in performance. It was clear the fuel had grown stale.

I really don't think there is anything to prevent the fuel from going stale so I would just fill the gas tank with fuel from a busy station before putting the car away.

Do not put the car on blocks. You can I guess use tire cradles if you feel the need but just inflating the tires to close to their maximum inflation pressure is good enough. (This is what the factory does to guard against tires flat spotting while the car sits before it is sold.)

A good battery maintainer or charger is a good idea to keep the battery topped up.

When you take the car out be sure to adjust the tire pressures.

Try to drive the car long enough the engine oil gets hot, 212F. This can mean instead of a blast down the freeway some minutes of driving in town is called for. (My Hellcat's oil temperature really climbs in town driving. On the freeway the oil temperature drops to under 200F.)

Might mention if you can drive the car enough add some fresh gasoline to top the tank up. This keeps the gasoline from being all 6 months old.

Use the A/C to circulate refrigerant and compressor oil through the system.

Be sure you use the brakes a few times right after taking the car out but do not bring the car to a stop. The use of the brakes while avoiding stopping the car can help you avoid encountering a situation where with heat and rust the hot pads transfer pad material to the hot rotors which can result in pulsing brakes thereafter.

Be sure where you park the car the floor is free of boxes, junk, etc. Mice love "cover". If you can put out mouse traps baited with just tiny smear of peanut butter. If you have pets/kids then you will have to use pet/kid safe traps.

Regardless traps are preferred. You catch a mouse in a trap you know it ain't ever going to get in your car.

I do not like putting stinking things in the car to keep the mouse away. The idea is to prevent mice from even getting near the car rather than assuming one can drive the creatures out of the car by some smell. Really they crawl over all kinds of stuff including garbage. I would think dryer sheets, for example, would attract them not repel them.

If you think smell is a repellent get some fox or cat urine to sprinkle around and in the car.
 

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Thanks guys! As for mice, they are the worst. Been keeping traps in the garage on a regular basis and nail one now and again. Many horror stories about chewed up wiring and nightmare electrical problems. Sta-Bil is on the shopping list.

Rockster, great points as usual. Thanks. B-
 

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Battery Tender and make sure there are no mice. Don't overthink it.
 

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This year I plan on "semi" putting my car up for the winter but I'm going to still drive it when the roads are clear or we have nicer days out.

I'm going to change the oil, filter, fill up the tires (I'm putting my winter tires back on), make sure all other fluids are good and just clean it out real nice.
 

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I store mine on carpet pads I get from a local store. Fill the gas tank. Through out the winter I will start it and let it run for about 15-20 mins. Here in Michigan we use salt on the roads in my area so no driving it for until that is all off the roads.
 

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I store mine on carpet pads I get from a local store. Fill the gas tank. Through out the winter I will start it and let it run for about 15-20 mins. Here in Michigan we use salt on the roads in my area so no driving it for until that is all off the roads.
There is some belief that starting/running the engine a while every once in a while during storage is better than not running the engine at all.

Even if one can't get the oil (and engine) up to 212F or hotter to boil out any water that accumulated in the oil from the cold start and cold idle time running the engine circulates the oil and wets the various seals and such.

Synthetic oil is not particularly seal friendly but the oil has an additive or two in it to address this. But the oil needs to circulate and contact the seal for this additive to be effective.

The fuel pump stirs up the fuel in the tank and as the engine runs any "stale" gas in the fuel lines is consumed.

One can also use the A/C which circulates oil through the A/C system which can only help the compressor and the various seals avoid the ravages of lack of use for long periods of time.

When I lived in the mid-west after a few months with just the Boxster -- on summer tires no less -- I bought a 2nd car for my "winter" car. My Boxster was confined to the garage. However, often in the winter the roads would be clear and I'd use this time to take the car out for some use. So it would spend a week or two in the garage then get out for a nice extended drive. Even if the roads were not that clear sometimes I'd use the car. Every once in while when the air temperature was above freezing I'd take the car to a nearby DIY car wash and use the rinse setting and rinse the car down thoroughly, and spray the underside. I'd do this with the other car, too.

A thorough rinse removes any salt. After the rinsing I'd be sure to drive the car long enough use the brakes enough to get them hot and dry dry dry. You do not want to put the car away with wet brakes.
 

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I used to be a firm believer in storing a car with a full tank of gas. This goes back to the days when gas tanks were metal, and would rust on the exposed surface inside. The more gas, the less area to rust. With the plastic tanks used today, rust is no longer an issue.

I prefer to store it with a half tank or so, along with some Sta-bil added, then when it comes out of storage, I am not stuck with a full tank of old gas. I can put in some fresh gas right away. Having a 50/50 mix of old/new gas is way better than 100% old gas.
 

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I used to be a firm believer in storing a car with a full tank of gas. This goes back to the days when gas tanks were metal, and would rust on the exposed surface inside. The more gas, the less area to rust. With the plastic tanks used today, rust is no longer an issue.

I prefer to store it with a half tank or so, along with some Sta-bil added, then when it comes out of storage, I am not stuck with a full tank of old gas. I can put in some fresh gas right away. Having a 50/50 mix of old/new gas is way better than 100% old gas.
There is something to what you say. But a full tank of gas ensures all the in tank hardware is submerged in gasoline which keeps the hardware -- I'm thinking the fuel tank level float and the in tank fuel pump and its fuel lines -- "wet" and less likely to suffer from being exposed to "air".
 

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On the starting up thing I like to start mine periodically not just for the engine but for all the other parts as Rockster said above, like a/c compressor and seals and stuff. But don't just crank it up, put in gear and try to move it around in the garage a little. Even powerbrake it a little to help it warm up. Get the oil up to 180 degrees or so and that's fine. Doing this once every 3-4 weeks is better than leaving the car sit for 6 months untouched imho.


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And a full tank would help minimize condensation?
The fuel tanks in modern cars do not "breathe" so condensation which requires air move in and out of the tank (with "fresh" air having moisture available to condense) is not an issue.

As I mentioned above I would prefer to have the car if it needs to sit any length of time to do so with the in tank hardware submerged as much as is possible.

Have to note that new cars are shipped with minimal fuel in the tank and sit sometimes for a long time before being sold and the fuel tank filled for the first time. But that is with new hardware.

As time goes by in tank hardware can be more at risk of being exposed to "air" for long periods of time. So every subsequent year the car is put away for months I believe the risk of an issue developing increases.

Really it is up to the owner what trade off he wants to make. To store the car and save it from the (mostly imagined) ravages of winter weather the owner makes sacrifices in other areas. Depreciation continues. Insurance needs to be kept in place. Proper servicing/preparation prior to storage. The necessary servicing and resurrecting of the car to make it road worthy again after storage. The dealing with "stale" gasoline.

If the owner is willing to accept the risk -- and I grant you at least in my sphere of knowledge the amount of risk is unknown -- of putting the car away with less than a full tank that is his call.
 

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The fuel tanks in modern cars do not "breathe" so condensation which requires air move in and out of the tank (with "fresh" air having moisture available to condense) is not an issue.

As I mentioned above I would prefer to have the car if it needs to sit any length of time to do so with the in tank hardware submerged as much as is possible.

Have to note that new cars are shipped with minimal fuel in the tank and sit sometimes for a long time before being sold and the fuel tank filled for the first time. But that is with new hardware.

As time goes by in tank hardware can be more at risk of being exposed to "air" for long periods of time. So every subsequent year the car is put away for months I believe the risk of an issue developing increases.

Really it is up to the owner what trade off he wants to make. To store the car and save it from the (mostly imagined) ravages of winter weather the owner makes sacrifices in other areas. Depreciation continues. Insurance needs to be kept in place. Proper servicing/preparation prior to storage. The necessary servicing and resurrecting of the car to make it road worthy again after storage. The dealing with "stale" gasoline.

If the owner is willing to accept the risk -- and I grant you at least in my sphere of knowledge the amount of risk is unknown -- of putting the car away with less than a full tank that is his call.
Imagined ravages of winter?

Hardly. The truth is Brine salt solutions will get into EVERYTHING and make a hell of a mess of any car or truck you'd like to keep long term. (if you're in the habit of swapping cars every couple of years you probably are taking serious "hits" for sure to your wallet but that's another story)

Depreciation does indeed stop for NOTHING but a car absolutely FREE of any winter time damage does retain more value and ability to negotiate a higher price when the time to part ways comes along.

Insurance kept in place? Wow......is this ever WRONG and it's the only place I actually save a couple of bucks. I reduce coverage to Comp only (Fire, theft and vandalism) suspending both Liability and Collision is where the majority of your over all premium is spent so the savings is significant.......I'll assume anyone with a safe enough place to park their car can do this. A Garage well away from the road and potential for a "hit and run" qualifies IMO)

Proper servicing before and after storage? What in the world are you talking about? I hear this all the time. Yet living in New Hampshire I've been storing cars EVERY WINTER from mid to late November, when we see salted roads for the first time, until what has average the end of March to April 1 when rain washes away the last of it. Yet I've NEVER done anything more than fill 'em with gas, a fresh oil change and coolant check before parking.......if there is a detrimental effect to not doing more before socking 'em away for the winter......I'm yet to see it and we've parked 3-4 cars at a time every winter for more than the last 25 years. Two of them older Carburated rides that we've had for the whole run, a 2002 Thunderbird for the last 16 years and now the Challenger for just this one past winter but before it there was a couple of Chevys a '96 Camaro and '08 Corvette (both sold and fetched better pricing because I could make the case for their pristine condition that was free of any winter/salt related damage)..........not in any of these cars have I ever experienced a problem related to storage without any special preparation.

The only thing I do on an ongoing basis is make sure batteries don't go flat in the newer cars......in the old cars I just take the batteries out for the winter months and store them in the house where they won't freeze from lack of use and charging.

I have no doubt that storing a car for a full year or more probably requires some effort but for most of us that live in the Northern states........we are talking about 4 months.......a considerably shorter period of time, that in my experience, requires no special effort to get through beyond making sure the battery isn't damaged from a lack of charging during weather cold enough to freeze it and destroy the plates inside.
 
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