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Old 03-11-2002, 01:47 PM   #1
JSmith
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garaging car

I will be going away on business for approximately six months next fall and I am wondering if it is okay to garage my car during that whole time without anyone driving it. Am I going to have problems with it when I get back? If I could have someone at least start it or maybe take it for a drive how often would be necessary? Am I better off just selling it??? Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2002, 02:24 PM   #2
ivymike1031
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it would certainly be my inclination to dispose of the vehicle before going on the trip. You'll have to work the numbers yourself for your particular situation, but if I was not going to be driving my newer vehicle for that long, it'd be gone. My "disposable" car, which I paid $125 for, could stay in my garage if I couldn't find a way to make money off of an empty garage while I was gone (like renting it out to a coworker as a workshop, or something like that).

As far as whether or not the vehicle will tolerate being stored for that long, I can't think of a particularly strong reason to go either way (especially with no knowledge of what kind of vehicle it is). Some people will say that disuse will cause premature seal failure, and I think that was certainly true for the cork seals that cars used to use, but I don't know if I buy that for rubber, steel, copper, aluminum, or other modern gasket materials. The oil will definitely have time to drip from every moving surface of the engine, which will no doubt make restarting the car more problematic than usual - there will most likely be much more wear for a completely "dry" startup than for a recently-wetted startup. Another potential concern is corrosion of internal powertrain components, but I don't know how severe the problem will be. Normally you splash a bunch of lube all over the place in your engine, tranny, etc., and heat them up to fairly high temps, when you run the car. If you didn't run it for a while, I wouldn't be surprised to find that condensed water may cause some spots of corrosion. Your brake rotors will no doubt fall victim to this, but they'll shine right up again after a couple trips around the block. I'm not sure how well gears / cylinder liners will deal with this issue. Then there's the battery - it may go dead. No biggie, but add 50% of the cost of battery replacement to the cost of storing the car ('cause it might or might not happen). You'd probably be wise to use a fuel stabilizer, and fill the gas tank to the brim (to avoid fuel-related problems, and corrosion of the gas tank).

Heck, I'm sure that others will add to my list, so I'm going to stop there.
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