Storing a vehicle- advice please!

Messages
5,442
Location
MTL, CANADA
Thread starter
Happy Friday everyone smile I'm looking to get some advice on storing a car for a few months. I currently work from home and have 2 vehicles, I tend to always use my Venza as I have my kids seats in them and its much newer to truck them to daycare back and forth every day. Im debating storing my Corolla until March or April, and am looking for some advice. I do not have a garage, so the car will sit in my driveway in the open. I am looking into seeing if it actually will save me a decent few bucks before storing it, otherwise I might debate just getting it out on the roads every now and then to get the oil nice and hot and burn off any condensation in the fuel. If I decide to put it in storage, i'm concerned about a few things. First, would I be best to fill the tank with gas and add stabilizer? How should I go about this? Second, how do I go about keeping the battery topped up to ensure it stays in good shape? I have looked at battery maintainers but I assume id need to either remove the battery or connect it under the hood as most these devices need to be plugged into an electrical outlet? Im not familiar with these devices.. but i was hoping there might be an easier solution.. id rather not remove the battery... but im guessing the ones that connect to the socket inside the car still require the device to be plugged to a power source. Are there any other concerns I should look out for or do to ensure the car is ready for use in April? The oil has just been changed, so the oil and filter are fresh. Unfortunately my car will be sitting on top of grass, not something I like, for moisture concerns, but with a car shelter in place, keeping my car on asphalt is not possible. My other option is to simply leave my car plated and take it out once in awhile, but how often should i get it out? Once a week? Once every 2 weeks? Should I still put some stabilizer in to keep the gas fresh? Obviously its likely that I will not go through a full tank in the next couple months.. so just want to do everything i can to keep it in best condition possible. Appreciate all your suggestions in advance! Thanks!
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
It's a 12 year old Corolla with over 248,000 kms. Why not simply sell it? Considering the time of year, you could get a premium for it as most do not want to sell a reliable winter car, in winter. If you need another one there's an abundance of them in the used marketplace....unless you have some sort of sentimental attachment to it. coffee
 
Messages
5,442
Location
MTL, CANADA
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Lolvoguy
It's a 12 year old Corolla with over 248,000 kms. Why not simply sell it? If you need another one, you can easily find them....unless you have some sort of sentimental attachment to it. coffee
I may require a 2nd vehicle in the coming months, as I may switch jobs.. thus the reason I am holding onto it at least for a few months.. and id rather not risk someone elses corolla! Otherwise, selling it would be considered! Im at about 270,000 kms on it! I dont think id get much for it to be worth selling, despite being in good condition.
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
Originally Posted by Rolla07
I may require a 2nd vehicle in the coming months, as I may switch jobs.. thus the reason I am holding onto it at least for a few months..
Fair enough. Since we're not dealing with a rare or antique vehicle here, I'd suggest: -adding in a generous amount of fuel stabilizer BEFORE you fill the tank. Regular fuel is fine. -Also, changing the oil (conventional would be fine, you just want to remove as much acid from the engine oil as possible before letting it sit). This will also alleviate you of one more thing you need to do once you start driving it again. -Removing the battery from the vehicle and putting it on a trickle charger. You should place it in a well ventilated environment with a trickle charger of your choice. Alternatively, you can just place it on a regular battery charger once every few weeks and charge it until it's at about 13.4V (using a multimeter to determine the voltage). It'll naturally discharge over time, but not as much as if you left it connected in the car. -Overinflate the tires to about 40 PSI. These are some of the steps I use when storing my BMW for a year at a time. As a result over the past 16 years I've never had an issue with anything due to it being in storage.
 
Messages
4,415
Location
Guilford, CT
You can buy a solar-powered battery maintainer. You plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and put the solar panel on the dashboard. I don't have any personal experience with those, so I can't say how well it works. Aside from using a battery maintainer, I wouldn't do a thing to the car. Park it and leave it alone. It'll start up just fine in the spring.
 
Messages
263
Location
Rochester, NY
If you store the Corolla indoors, I would top off the tank and put a battery tender on it. You can pour some Sta-Bil in the tank if it makes you feel better, but I don't think it's necessary for ~4 months of storage. That's really not a very long duration. If you keep it outdoors, I would be more worried about the brake calipers seizing than anything else. I would want to drive it every week to 10 days. Since you are starting it up for that, make sure you get it to operating temp to avoid condensation in the oil.
 
Messages
263
Location
Rochester, NY
Originally Posted by exranger06
You can buy a solar-powered battery maintainer. You plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and put the solar panel on the dashboard. I don't have any personal experience with those, so I can't say how well it works. Aside from using a battery maintainer, I wouldn't do a thing to the car. Park it and leave it alone. It'll start up just fine in the spring.
That is a good idea, but ensure first that the cigarette lighter socket isn't switched with the ignition or else you may never have a closed circuit. (no charging)
 
Messages
2,767
Location
USA
When a car is stored outside and getting rained on, the brake rotors can get rusty. The only practical solution to this is to drive the car every couple of weeks to rub off the rust before it gets so thick it would wreck the brake pads instead of just rubbing off the rotors. That will also address the issue of the battery running down.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,376
Location
Parts Unknown
Since 1989, I have stored an old mercury from october to the begining of May in my heated garage.. I fill the gas tank, put stabil in it, fill the tires to max inflation and kept the battery disconnected but hooked up to a battery maintainer. I never have started it between October and the first week of May. I only put about 1000-1500 miles on it during the summer, so I only will change oil when I reach 3000-3500 miles. If I am nowhere close to those miles, I leave the oil alone. Done this since 1989 and the same since 1997 on an old truck. Never had any problems and they start right up in the spring. Your biggest issue will be rodents, so take measures to guard against that.
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,912
Location
North Carolina
4 months? S tabil in the gas and drive to run it through. Car cover , and not worry about it. Only worry would be vermin getting into it. Put the battery in a garage or shed after its fully charged, and charge it in april before you reinstall.
 
Messages
162
Location
New England
As others have said, fill up the gas (ethanol free would be my preference, but not a big deal if not) with some fuel stabilizer. Start it up at drive it down the street and back every week or two to keep the brakes happy.
 
Messages
1,427
Location
Perris, CA
Originally Posted by exranger06
You can buy a solar-powered battery maintainer. You plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and put the solar panel on the dashboard. I don't have any personal experience with those, so I can't say how well it works. Aside from using a battery maintainer, I wouldn't do a thing to the car. Park it and leave it alone. It'll start up just fine in the spring.
I do have experience and they suck. Couldn't even keep the battery in my XTerra topped off in the middle of summer. It did something because the voltage dropped slower than if I left the maintainer unplugged, but it still fell over time.
 
Messages
3,649
Location
Worst Case, Ontario
I think your brake rotors might be OK during the winter due to the cold temperatures. I watched the brake rotors on a Maserati at a house I was working at rust badly from July-Nov but it was pretty humid all summer. With comparatively low humidity and the cold slowing down chemical reactions it might not be a big deal. I also live in Toronto and it gets extremely humid during the summer.
 
Messages
35,852
Location
ME
Park on a tarp so moisture doesn't come up out of the ground. Cover your air intake so mice don't get in. Throw some moth balls around inside. They sell them at dollar tree. I had a car wrecked when mice moved in and peed everywhere. Can't get that out. Overinflate your tires to 40-45 psi as stated. Your current oil is fine. Even "used up" oil with 5k miles on it has anti-corrosion properties and isn't "acid". Disconnect your battery and leave it outside in the car. Cold weather means less chemical reactions, and less degradation vs bringing it inside. Go out there mid-winter (valentines day) and put a 6-amp charger on it for a couple hours. Bet it won't take much current for much time. Mist the undercarriage (what you see) with WD-40. It washes off quickly when driving, but you aren't driving. Don't hit the rubber stuff but try to get the floor pan, brake lines, subframes.
 
Top