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Here's what to do (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E34) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by EM on April 01, 1999 at 10:16:26:

In Reply to: won't be driving car for 6 months...need info posted by Johnny on March 31, 1999 at 18:30:30:

I've stored several cars over the years and here's what I do. Items are not necessarily listed in order...

(1) Fill gas tank w/premium fuel
(2) Pump tires to ~50psi and park on top of wood squares large enough to keep the tires off the floor. 12x12 sections work well.
(3) Get a good cover and put it on. Consider a car bag.
(4) Put a small plastic bag of mothballs (napthalene) in the passenger compartment, trunk and engine compartment. Its *amazing* where mice will live and what they'll eat (and crap all over)
(5) Make a list of what you've done and put it on the driver's seat.
(6) Disconnect and remove battery. Store on wood block. Make sure you have the radio codes for later.
(7) Change the oil. Start and run oil up to temp, then shut down. (about 10 min after water reaches operating temp)
(8) Check anti-freeze characteristics (will the stuff not freeze under your storage conditions...?) Change as appropriate for age or protection.
(9) Change brake fluid. Nothing is more surprizing than the brake calipers being rusted up on your first post-storage excursion.
(10) Crack windows slightly to allow moisture to escape and air to circulate.
(11) Clean car thoroughly inside and out at least a couple of days before storage. Don't put away wet.
(12) If you're worried about theft, remove coil wire.
(13) Remove all registration paperwork and put it in a safe place -- especially the title (you shouldn't have that in the car anyway) Write down where you put it.
(14) Decommission or reduce your insurance

Starting back up is just as important, maybe more. You just can't jump back in and drive. Here's some tips.

(1) Charge the battery a day or so beforehand
(2) Check all fluid levels: water, oil, brake.
(3) remove coil wire and crank until oil light goes out, 10 sec, or you see pressure on a guage (if you have one) whichever comes first. This will pressurize the oiling system without starting the car but don't overdo it. You don't want to overheat the starter.
(4) test brakes carefully
(5) Fill fuel tank asap after getting going again
(6) Don't forget to restart your insurance too

There are other things too, but let your common sense be your guide.

Good luck with your "sleeping beauty"!


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