Vehicle Storage - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Killeen, TX
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Vehicle Storage

Hi guys,

My wife and I are deploying to Afghanistan soon, it will be my 2nd deployment and her first. The last time I left she was able to just put my car in the garage and start it every now and again and take it for a ride. Owing to the fact that we would rather not store our vehicles with our family in South Carolina, I have to put them into storage units here at Fort Hood, TX.

My questions to you are as follows:
  • Should we put the cars on jacks so as to remove pressure from the wheels/tires?

  • Should we drain the oil/change the oil the day of the storage?

  • Should we disconnect the batteries/Buy new ones and leave them in the storage unit?

  • Are there any measures we can take to protect the exterior and interior?

If it helps, I have a 2010 Mazdaspeed3, she has a 2006 Roush Mustang.

Thanks.
Kyle and Kat.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:44 PM
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Re: Vehicle Storage

How long are you going for?

1) No I wouldn't put it on jackstands, but before putting it in storage id make sure the tire pressure is set to the right setting.
2) I would change the oil before putting it in storage, personally id use a high quality oil, preferable synthetic, so something like Amsoil.
3) Depending on your stay length you could use a battery maintainer
4) I would wash n wax the entire car and if possible get a pressure washer n spray underneath
5) Clean the inside thoroughly, food etc. and if possible I would buy a car cover.

That is how I would do it, it may seem excessive but thats how I would do it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 06:05 PM
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Re: Vehicle Storage

[quote author=itstillruns link=topic=185259.msg3914176#msg3914176 date=1295822682]
How long are you going for?

1) No I wouldn't put it on jackstands, but before putting it in storage id make sure the tire pressure is set to the right setting.
2) I would change the oil before putting it in storage, personally id use a high quality oil, preferable synthetic, so something like Amsoil.
3) Depending on your stay length you could use a battery maintainer
4) I would wash n wax the entire car and if possible get a pressure washer n spray underneath
5) Clean the inside thoroughly, food etc. and if possible I would buy a car cover.

That is how I would do it, it may seem excessive but thats how I would do it.
[/quote]

Basically what he said. Putting it on jackstands is horrible for the suspension. Also put some steel wool in the airboxes where the air goes into the bottom of the box, to keep mice from getting in there and making a nest. Same with the tail pipes. The battery tender is your best bet as far as the batteries, if you don't have power where you are storing them, disconnecting them is your best bet. If you had optima red tops, you could disconnect them and go away for a year and they'd still be able to start the car when you got back. Change the oil before you leave, and again once you get back after you go for a drive and get everything up to operating temperature.

Starting the car for a short period of time is also a bad idea, as the car doesn't reach operating temperature and all you are doing is diluting the oil with unburnt gasoline and condensation.

I'd also put some mothballs inside the car, and around it in the storage shed.

Also, DO NOT leave the parking brake engaged while in storage. Especially on the Mustang. Stupid things like to freeze up after an extended period engaged. I should know, I had a 2007 Mazdaspeed 3, and now have a 2010 Mustang GT with a ton of mods which is sitting in storage for the winter. Honestly, I wouldn't even leave them in gear either, I'd have them in neutral and use wheel chocks. The shifter bushings on the Roush don't take kindly to being stuck in 1st or reverse for weeks on end, they get quite stiff and the shifter doesn't want to return to neutral afterwards.

I'd also go as far to flushing the brake fluid when you get back, being alcohol based, it does absorb water over time.

A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Vehicle Storage

Thanks for the responses!

Itstillruns: We will be gone about a year. I will have to check the storage unit to see if theres outlets for the maintainer.

smokinAMD: I didn't think about the mice issue or mothballs, great advice! My wife wanted to ask why the jackstands are bad for the suspension. I'm not car guru so I thought it would be best left to someone with more experience.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 06:24 PM
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Re: Vehicle Storage

It causes the springs to sag, and puts undue stress on the bushings. Once you put the car back on the ground it would actually look like you lifted it until it settled down. Just having it sit on the ground is a lot less stressful for it.

Also, the gas. Some people have varying degrees of thought on this. If you leave it with a full tank, you'd have a to worry a lot less about condensation, but then you'd have to worry about gas that's been sitting in there for about a year. A near empty tank, you'd be able to burn thru the gas quickly when you got back and put some fresh stuff in once you get back. However, condensation is more of a worry with this method. Whatever method you choose, fuel stabilizer is a must.

Me personally? I'd have about a 1/4 tank in the car with a bottle of fuel stabilizer to combat any condensation issues. Works well for me, and I haven't had any issues. I've been storing my Mustang for the past 2 winters using this method and it fires up without any hesitation come the spring. I just try to stay out of boost until I burn thru the tank and have a fresh tank of gas in it.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:54 PM
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Re: Vehicle Storage

put stabil in the gas tank.

for the battery you can get a 1.5amp float charger and plug it in. most storage units have a light. unscrew the bulb and get one of those adapters.

http://img9.imageshack.us/i/dsc02177h.jpg/sr=1

for the tires make sure the pressure is good. buy some of that pink foam insulation at home depot and put a piece under each wheel. it keeps the tires off the ground and helps distribute the load

change the oil before you leave.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Vehicle Storage

Sorry for the late response, thank you for your replies!

Kyle
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 01:07 PM
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Re: Vehicle Storage

[quote author=kfoxon link=topic=185259.msg3914168#msg3914168 date=1295820879]
My questions to you are as follows:
  • Should we put the cars on jacks so as to remove pressure from the wheels/tires?

  • Should we drain the oil/change the oil the day of the storage?

  • Should we disconnect the batteries/Buy new ones and leave them in the storage unit?

  • Are there any measures we can take to protect the exterior and interior?

Thanks.
Kyle and Kat.
[/quote]

I'm going to disagree with a few people here in my responses (but will explain my rationale as we go).

1. Yes, putting the car on stands IS a good idea, but only by raising the car enough to take a little strain off. What I mean, is that you do not completely raise the car so the wheels come off the ground but simply just enough so that the wheels and suspension are not absorbing 100% of the weight.
2. Changing the oil is a good idea if the car is going to sit for a while.
3. I would remove the battery completely.
4. I don't think waxing has much effect on a stored car, but that is me. I would recommend purchasing a high quality car cover though.

A few extras to consider:
5. Making sure the intake and exhaust tips are plugged up properly so no animals make homes.
6. Treat the interior leather, and I would avoid the use of moth balls as the smell when you get back would be quite overpowering. If you're worried about moisture you could also put a small dish of kitty litter on the floor in the front seat.
7. I would also recommend keeping the window slightly cracked so the car can "breathe" with the change of temperatures.
8. Use a plastic drop sheet under the vehicle to keep moisture from rising up and absorbing into the floor.
9. Release the parking brake.
10. If the car will be parked outside and the temperatures go below freezing, store the car with a FULL tank of gas. Not having a full tank means that condensation can build up in the tank and fuel lines (especially if you're using fuel with ethanol) which means moisture in the lines and water in the tank when you go to start it.


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