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      09-12-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
Nate4641
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Long term car storage

Its getting to be that time of year where some people put their nice cars away for winter. What are some tips or opinions on certain techniques for storing a car long term?

I've seen conflicting ideas when it comes to certain things. Is it better to leave the car untouched for months or get it warmed up and driven a little bit once a month or so? The idea behind leaving the car alone is that it doesn't go from cold to hot to cold and that can leave condensation in the exhaust plus the expanding and shrinking of metals and fluids may not be good if the car isn't driven frequently. The idea behind driving the car a little bit once a month is that it circulates fluids and everything in the drive train.

Personally, I'm stationed overseas and my parents have been nice enough to keep my Z4 in their garage for me with a cover on it. I've read conflicting tips on what is best to do for storing a car long term. In my case the car isn't driven for up to a year or more unless my father takes it out to "stretch its legs" so to say.

Also with battery tenders; should it be left on 24/7 or just hooked up once in awhile?

Fluids, should they be changed before storage or before the car is brought back out from storage?

From what I have read recently modern tires, at the correct pressures, aren't at risk of flat spotting.

I'd like to get some input on this from people with experience storing cars for the winter or long term.
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      09-12-2013, 12:19 PM   #2
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Keep the battery tenderer on all the time. If your storing for more than 6 months put stabilizer in the fuel. Psi 5 below max psi to prevent flat spotting. There's also some different things you should do if there is many temperature fluctuations and if it is humid or not. I had to store my car the last two summers and last winter. You really only need a battery tenderer for less then 2 months and even then it's probably not required.
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      09-12-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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I left my old car (before I got my M3) stored for 16 months while deployed. I put fuel stabilizer in, disconnected the battery completely, and did nothing with the tires. When I got back home, I reconnected the battery and she started right up. I didn't have any flat spots either.

Maybe I was lucky, though. I would recommend keeping the trickle charger on at all times, and put stabilizer in the gas tank. Unless you're storing it for over a year, I wouldn't worry about flat spots on the tires. The only reason to take the car out to "stretch the legs" would be to keep a charge on the battery, but you won't need that with the tender so don't worry about it. The fluids will settle, but that's normal for inactivity.

This is just my personal recommendation. I'm sure you'll get tons of different answers.
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