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How often should a car be started? #4682010
03/02/18 07:08 AM
03/02/18 07:08 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 460
Australia
Spetz Offline OP
Spetz  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 460
Australia
Hi everyone,

I use a car on a race track and hence have no need to start it often.

Just wondering am I better off starting it weekly, or whenever I need it (could be 1-3 months apart)?

And, is it a good idea to disable the fuel pump and crank it for a while to build oil pressure before starting it if it is only started rarely?


2003 Mitsubishi Diamante 6G74 3.5L. 5 Speed auto. 155,000 miles. Shell Helix Ultra 5W40 at 6k OCI
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682012
03/02/18 07:14 AM
03/02/18 07:14 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
How much of a race motor is it? What is your ambient humidity like?

If it's a wild motor I'd get a prelube setup, or prime the motor by spinning the oil pump (if possible). How long would it need to sit before I would do that? dunno, maybe six months, unless if it was trivial to spin the oil pump & I thought the bearings really "needed" it. I have a tough time thinking it couldn't go a year between starts.

I'm not sure if cranking w/o spark is going to get "lots" of oil pressure, and quickly. I'd be more apt to pull spark plugs and crank if I were to do that--it'll crank up to speed much faster, and get pressure that much faster.

Now if it humidity was a concern I'd fog the cylinders with some spray lube before storing; and then pull the plugs and crank (as above) when taking out of storage. Make sure to seal off intake&exhaust before storing.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 170k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 195k, his
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682021
03/02/18 07:37 AM
03/02/18 07:37 AM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 460
Australia
Spetz Offline OP
Spetz  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 460
Australia
Humidity is low.

The engine is a 6A12 Mitsubishi with bolt on modifications.

I can (and have)removed the plugs to prime it before but I need to take the intake manifold off (it's a V6) to get to the back cylinders.
I like this as there is no load on the bearings and the motor would spin fast enough to build oil pressure but it is quite labor intensive unfortunately.

It gets started about once a month at least but over summer as it's too hot to race it may go 3 months without being started (but I can obviously start it if needed).


2003 Mitsubishi Diamante 6G74 3.5L. 5 Speed auto. 155,000 miles. Shell Helix Ultra 5W40 at 6k OCI
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682026
03/02/18 07:44 AM
03/02/18 07:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,972
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 30,972
NY
Originally Posted By: Spetz
Humidity is low.

The engine is a 6A12 Mitsubishi with bolt on modifications.

I can (and have)removed the plugs to prime it before but I need to take the intake manifold off (it's a V6) to get to the back cylinders.
I like this as there is no load on the bearings and the motor would spin fast enough to build oil pressure but it is quite labor intensive unfortunately.

It gets started about once a month at least but over summer as it's too hot to race it may go 3 months without being started (but I can obviously start it if needed).




I've let engines sit longer than that w/o issues. I think you'll be fine. Over the years I have installed pre-lubers in vehicles that would occasionally sit more than 3 months at a time. That might be something worth looking into. As I mentioned I think you'll be fine just the way you are.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682032
03/02/18 07:58 AM
03/02/18 07:58 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,814
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Online content
Chris142  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,814
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
How are you priming the main ,rod bearings and camshaft through the plug holes?

Last edited by Chris142; 03/02/18 07:58 AM.

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Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Chris142] #4682035
03/02/18 08:04 AM
03/02/18 08:04 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
supton Offline
supton  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 12,761
NH
Originally Posted By: Chris142
How are you priming the main ,rod bearings and camshaft through the plug holes?


You're not. Fog with a light oil before storage, reinstall plugs, to prevent cylinder wall rust. When taking out of storage, remove plugs and spin the motor to remove said oil. Cranking the motor over w/o plugs should get pressure up pretty quickly.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 170k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 144k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 195k, his
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682039
03/02/18 08:16 AM
03/02/18 08:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,383
Tasmania, Australia
hpb Offline
hpb  Offline
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,383
Tasmania, Australia
Just start it as and when needed. Seriously, you're not going to remove the inlet manifold to get the rear bank spark plugs out and fog those cylinders, are you? In our temperatures, nothing inside the engine is going to rust. If you're wanting to be super cautious, pull the fuel pump relay and crank it a bit before firing, but honestly, it'll build oil pressure much quicker if you just start it right up smile


MY16 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 diesel, 56,000km - Castrol 5w30
2006 Ford Falcon 4.0, 138,000km - Penrite Vantage 15w40, Ryco filter
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682065
03/02/18 08:49 AM
03/02/18 08:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,481
Ontario, Canada
mightymousetech Offline
mightymousetech  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,481
Ontario, Canada
Do not start it unless you plan on getting it up to full operating temp.


Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: mightymousetech] #4682067
03/02/18 08:52 AM
03/02/18 08:52 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 103
MB, Canada
propuckstopper Offline
propuckstopper  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 103
MB, Canada
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Do not start it unless you plan on getting it up to full operating temp.


^^^^This.


1965 Pontiac GTO Tri-Power 4-Speed Hardtop (Montero Red)
1968 Pontiac GTO Covertible 400 H.O./Auto (Solar Red)
2000 Lexus ES300
2003 Honda Element AWD
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: mightymousetech] #4682073
03/02/18 08:55 AM
03/02/18 08:55 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,196
Sunny Florida
SteveSRT8 Offline
SteveSRT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,196
Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Do not start it unless you plan on getting it up to full operating temp.


Times a million! For years I worked for a guy with a substantial collection of cars. One rule for all was never start them unless you can drive it for at least 20 minutes.

Even if you let it get up to full temp at idle it is not heated the same as driving. Plus other components have issues with long spells of inactivity.


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: SteveSRT8] #4682187
03/02/18 10:58 AM
03/02/18 10:58 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,295
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,295
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Do not start it unless you plan on getting it up to full operating temp.


Times a million! For years I worked for a guy with a substantial collection of cars. One rule for all was never start them unless you can drive it for at least 20 minutes.

Even if you let it get up to full temp at idle it is not heated the same as driving. Plus other components have issues with long spells of inactivity.


Agree 100% getting to temp is key.

Since OP likely does not have AC in that vehicle, I see no reason to run it. Keeping AC system lubed, oil barriers in the hoses, etc. is one of the only real drivers I see to having to run a vehicle more often... And even then, the hot rule applies!

Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: SteveSRT8] #4682275
03/02/18 12:37 PM
03/02/18 12:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 164
Displaced Texan in Mexico City
Gimpy1 Offline
Gimpy1  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 164
Displaced Texan in Mexico City
Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
Originally Posted By: mightymousetech
Do not start it unless you plan on getting it up to full operating temp.


Times a million! For years I worked for a guy with a substantial collection of cars. One rule for all was never start them unless you can drive it for at least 20 minutes.

Even if you let it get up to full temp at idle it is not heated the same as driving. Plus other components have issues with long spells of inactivity.


This!!!
What about the fuel in the tank and lines are you completely draining the system I'd be concerned about fuel evaporation leaving nasty gunk on the injectors and such . Also if its a wild built uber motor, building or purchasing a oil accumulator might be a wise investment. Check out Accusump for examples.

Last edited by Gimpy1; 03/02/18 12:40 PM. Reason: added info
Re: How often should a car be started? [Re: Spetz] #4682358
03/02/18 01:54 PM
03/02/18 01:54 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,088
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Online content
Nick1994  Online Content
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,088
Phoenix, AZ
Unless you need to move it or use it, leave it alone.

My Camry has been sitting for a year. Every once in a while I need to move it, it's parked on the street out front of my house. I pulled it in the driveway in December overnight to charge the battery, next morning back on the street. I think that's the last time I touched it. Battery is in the garage now.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 88k Motorcraft Synthetic Blend 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 231k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra

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