How often to drive a second car.

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81
Location
Sioux Falls
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Currently have a leased vehicle that I daily drive. The lease is up in early spring and I do not plan on purchasing it. About a month ago I couldn't pass up a 2012 Scion xB with just under 20,000 miles on it for a price I could not refuse. Really like the vehicle. Has the little 2.4 and has tons of room for how small it looks. I am way under mileage on the lease so I do not drive the xB much at all. It just sits in the garage with a tank full of fuel (non ethanol) and some SI-1 in the tank. We get super cold temperatures here, like -30F last winter and am wondering how often I should be driving the xB. I have always heard that a car sitting for long periods is not great for the vehicle, especially in extended cold temps. Is once a week enough for 30 or 45 minutes or a couple days a week? Hoping this isn't a dumb question. Thanks guys.
 
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39,427
Location
Great Lakes
I would think once every couple of weeks would be plenty. FWIW, my Charger sits in an attached unheated garage for the entire winter usually, mid November to mid April. I just top off its battery every couple of weeks.
 
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4,432
Location
Connecticut
Your cold starts are pretty severe. But if you have the correct oil and can pre-heat the oil, much less of an issue. In years past I often put a space heater blowing on my old collector car to get the oil pan warmed up. A heated dip stick works great. On a few occasions I would heat up the entire garage to 45-60 degrees for about 12 hrs before taking out the car. I have a little driven 2nd car (1,000 miles per year). Up until this past year I was taking it out at least every 2-4 weeks during New England winter months (Dec-March) for 15-20 mile runs. This past year I pushed that out to 4-6 weeks. I've always felt every few weeks was best. I know some guys on other car blogs that drive their cars only 400 miles per year and let it sit 6-8 months during cold weather months. In one case the owner was quite an enthusiast and has been doing that routine for 20 yrs, and not a single leak or issue on his low mileage car (bought new and still under 20,000 miles). I won't take my 2nd car out if the weather stinks.....only on clear days with dry roads and preferably 35 deg F or higher ambient temp.
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
I routinely leave cars of mine for 6 months between starts. Not an issue. A good modern oil keeps the internal parts coated. Removing the battery and storing it indoors is all that I personally recommend (and myself do). Ethanol in the fuel, not an issue in modern sealed fuel systems. SD weather, like further north in Canada, is very dry. Sheltering or at least keeping a cover on it reduces the exposure to snow and ice.
 
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24,607
Location
Upstate NY
Gas is good for at least 6 months. Best to keep battery on a temp compensated battery maintainer. Also depending upon the cat situation you may need to worry about mice making a home for the winter. If you start it you need to get the engine and exhaust up to operating temp for maybe 15 min. So drive it if you start it.
 
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81
Location
Sioux Falls
Thread starter
Great replies everyone! Thank you. I have a battery tender "junior" I used to hook up to a riding lawnmower battery. That might be a good idea. I also have one of those Kat's magnetic oil pan heaters. I guess my goal is to only take it out when the salt dissipates after a storm and there is no moisture. Currently using QSUD 0w-20 in it, which is a pretty good cold weather oil.
 
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81
Location
Sioux Falls
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Donald
Gas is good for at least 6 months. Best to keep battery on a temp compensated battery maintainer. Also depending upon the cat situation you may need to worry about mice making a home for the winter. If you start it you need to get the engine and exhaust up to operating temp for maybe 15 min. So drive it if you start it.
When I start it, I will automatically get it up to full operating temp by heading out for a good 30 miles or more. Going to get that Torque app, since the xB doesn't have a temp gauge. Just one of those goofy cold and overheat light only.
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
Actually, come to think of it, the biggest PITA on the vehicles I infrequently drive is the brakes. In the winter, they develop a light coating of rust on the exposed part of the rotor, but the part that's not exposed (ie: covered by the pad) remains free of rust. So 6 months later, the brakes do make noise for a considerable amount of time until the pads finally grind the rust off and even out the surface. Left long enough to rust on an uneven basis, I suppose the rotors could require full resurfacing. But I've never gone to the extreme of pulling all 4 tyres off, putting the car on jackstands, removing the calipers/rotors and then applying a corrosion inhibition product on the hub surfaces. Leaving such in place until time for reassembly. I suspect that would solve my problem, but at a pretty significant expenditure of effort. And potentially create other problems.
 
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81
Location
Sioux Falls
Thread starter
Originally Posted by pitzel
Actually, come to think of it, the biggest PITA on the vehicles I infrequently drive is the brakes. In the winter, they develop a light coating of rust on the exposed part of the rotor, but the part that's not exposed (ie: covered by the pad) remains free of rust. So 6 months later, the brakes do make noise for a considerable amount of time until the pads finally grind the rust off and even out the surface. But I've never gone to the extreme of pulling all 4 tyres off, putting the car on jackstands, removing the calipers/rotors and then applying a corrosion inhibition product on the hub surfaces. Leaving such in place until time for reassembly. I suspect that would solve my problem, but at a pretty significant expenditure of effort. And potentially create other problems.
Those are geat points Pitzel. All I did was spray half a can of Fluid Film all over the the rear e brake cable, brake area, etc., careful not hit the rotors. That is annoying when the rotors (and this vehicle has four of them) make that grinding noise until the surface rust gets knocked off. Not sure of a good solution for that.
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by SouthDakotaDad
Those are geat points Pitzel. All I did was spray half a can of Fluid Film all over the the rear e brake cable, brake area, etc., careful not hit the rotors. That is annoying when the rotors (and this vehicle has four of them) make that grinding noise until the surface rust gets knocked off. Not sure of a good solution for that.
Yeah I don't know if a solution would be to spray something like Fluid Film on the exposed rotors themselves, and then, upon reactivation, use something like brake cleaner to remove the Fluid Film. Or if there's some other combination of products that would work better (and equally as importantly, be safe on brake and associated rubber components). Of course when soaking a braking system with brake cleaner, the beneficial lubrication associated with brakes will also be removed by such product, so such a storage method may very well devolve into practically doing an entire brake job upon reactivation for both a proper cleaning and re-lubrication. Ceramic or carbon fiber rotors would probably overcome this problem....but at extreme cost at the moment.
 
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662
Location
Minnesota
Don't drive the Scion when there is salt on the roads. May as well get the lease all full of salt! I would take the steps to store the Scion for the winter. Put the miles and wear on the lease.
 
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6,748
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Originally Posted by SouthDakotaDad
Is once a week enough for 30 or 45 minutes or a couple days a week? Hoping this isn't a dumb question.
Once a week is fine. It's good you run it 30 to 45 minutes. That is long enough to completely warm up all the fluids to operating temperature. It will also burn out all of the condensation in the exhaust, as well as and any in the oil. Short trips in frigid cold weather are the worst.
 
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81
Location
Sioux Falls
Thread starter
Originally Posted by 2010Civic
Don't drive the Scion when there is salt on the roads. May as well get the lease all full of salt! I would take the steps to store the Scion for the winter. Put the miles and wear on the lease.
That's pretty much the plan at this point. I think I am about 1500 miles under lease miles and I only put on about 750 miles a month on the vehicle as it is. Looking forward to customizing this xB as there is quite a following of this vehicle as it is easy to make it look cool. lol

scinon1.jpg


scion6.jpg


scion2.jpg
 
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Messages
6,597
Location
Katy, Republic of Texas
I thought I had low miles on my 2012 xB (just over 50,000 miles). Just be careful and check the oil on that thing, it has the 2.4 that had the ring issue and not uncommon for them to use a qt of oil every 1000 miles (usually starts after 60,000 miles though, and have heard it may have been addressed by the 2012 model). I am of the thought that if you prep it, 6 months to a year of sitting will not be a long term issue. Full of fuel with a stabilizer in it, tires slightly over inflated, close up any easy access for rodents if it is an issue, a good wash and wax, pull the battery and set it inside on a trickle charger and be done with it. Maybe pull the plugs and squirt a little oil in the pistons. When you go to use it again, put the battery back in, check for critters, turn it over with the fuel pump relay/fuse out to get oil circulation, put it in and fire it up. Check tire pressure and take it on a nice long drive.
 
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5,827
Location
Texas Hill Country
My wife has an identical 2011 XB, color and everything. It has been VERY reliable, we are coming up on 100k. Nothing but maintenance items. Uses maybe 1/2 quart in 5000 mile oil change intervals.
 
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2,169
Location
Flaherty, KY
Since my wife and I have a spare vehicle, one of them sometimes does not get used for a couple / few weeks at a time (so it sits for fairly long periods on occasion)-- usually because we are too lazy to move the car seat from one to the other. Been this way for years, hasn't caused any issues regardless of season, just hop in and start them, then drive off.
 
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664
Location
New Hampshire USA
The 77 in my sig sits in an unheated garage from first road salt to 2 weeks after last salt with battery top up once or twice during winter. With a vehicle like an XB the battery would be disconnected for the duration and brought inside and not be set on concrete.
 
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