By on October 23, 2013

Longtime TTAC commentator mikey writes:

Sajeev,

In the years since I last wrote to you my personal circumstances took a few turns. When the dust settled, I ended up with three cars. I decided to keep all three cars. The Cobalt is my daily/winter driver, and I will drive it to the ground. My wife loves the Mustang: we drop the top and take it on a cruise, she loves it, and it gets us out of the house.

About a year or so ago, I was feeling sorry for myself, traded the Impala in, and bought a new 2011 2SS Camaro with a six speed. It is a very cool car. If I’m having a bad day I pull it out of the garage, detail it and look at it. Once in a while, we may take it for a drive. Those drives are getting more and more rare. Less than 8000 kms on the clock, but I’m not planning on selling it. That may change, but not for a while…

My questions:

  1. Do I need to do more than a yearly oil change on the Camaro? GM recommends synthetic.
  2. How long can I let it sit in my garage before seals and stuff dry out? I use fuel stabilizer for the winter. Do I need to use the stabilizer all the time?
  3. I’d rather not put it into long-term storage. If its been sitting for a month or two,is a short trip around the block enough to prevent seals drying out. Maybe I should consider long-term storage? If opt for long-term storage then what do I have to do?

Sajeev if you use this for Piston Slap, great! I’d love to hear some of the B&B ‘s recommendations.

Sajeev answers:

After giving us such insight in the months leading up to GM’s bankruptcy, how could we say no to you? And if I recall, that Impala was part of your buyout from GM…we are a part of your life, no matter what!

The twists and turns we experience in our personal lives are quite amazing. Someone or something can change you forever.  Except that it does not: continually managing the negativity and focusing on a continuous stream of positive experiences is the best path to overcoming any problem. Like trading the Impala for a Camaro SS: you gotta do it, to it!

Rambling aside, my life on Texas’ Gulf coast gives me zero first hand knowledge. So put up with my drivel and get the scoop from the B&B afterwards.

  1. Annual oil changes (synthetic or no) are perfect, especially if you do run the motor up to normal operating temperature a few times every year.  Water contamination is a valid problem with any automotive lubricant, but yearly oil changes and regular exercise will make this issue a non-starter.
  2. Fuel stabilizer in the winter is a great idea, probably not necessary all year for a car this new and not stored in a museum. I wouldn’t even start worrying about seals and other rubber bits until 5-10 years of natural aging.  Dry rotted tires will be your biggest problem, but that’s at least 4 years away…probably more like 6-7 years away. And the other bits?  Well, if you can run the motor once a month in the garage (again, up to operating temperature) this will definitely help everything as the years go by.  More importantly, don’t worry about these failures until a visual inspection (i.e. cracks from dry rot or an actual leak) tells you otherwise.
  3. Long term storage sounds like a waste for a dude like you.  Just give it a little monthly exercise, change the oil annually, add fuel stabilizer when it gets cold and be a happy camper.

Best and Brightest?

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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67 Comments on “Piston Slap: Weathering the Long Winter...”


  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    That’s too bad you’re not loving the SS. I drove the V6 with steelies and 6MT and actually liked it a lot, but even without the sunroof there was not enough headroom. The haters that get mad about the weight just have to think of it as a grand touring car. A properly evolved Monte Carlo. There are plenty of F-Bodies around if you want a track toy.

    However, since you don’t like it, instead of worrying about winter storage my advice is:

    http://www.hark.com/clips/qcwcxwjqxg-sell-sell-sell-button

    With winter coming it might not be the best time, but do they have CarMax in America’s hat? If so they will probably give you good money for it and ship it off to Vancouver.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      On the track they seem to hold their own. No Miata to be sure, but every Camaro before 5th gen sucked worse on the track.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        I would not buy one for track duty, but if I had one I would take it to the track. After making sure to pull the side airbag fuse. Regarding my Monte Carlo analogy, I just remembered that it is the coupe version of what is being sold in the US, to the more equal pigs working for the government, as the Caprice. Still, the next one will supposedly be lighter and smaller, so keeping the Camaro name alive does make sense.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          “I would not buy one for track duty, but if I had one I would take it to the track”

          This seems to be the consensus among the 5th gen owners I’ve met at lapping days. Not really doing any serious competition with them, but fun to toss about. The ZL1 especially.

    • 0 avatar

      BTW, Mikey likes his SS…he just doesn’t necessarily have the spare time to drive it.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I have some older cars, and one in particularly never leaves the garage in the winter. A few years ago I took the insurance off of it to save us some money while my wife was out of work.

    The main thing is to start it and just let it idle for a 30mins or so. Rev the engine just a bit. Doesn’t hurt to back it out of the garage and to get the tires moving.

    Right now my old Jeep is off the road until I do some work to it. It still runs, so I start it up and drive around the yard, but I have a little bit of land.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Starting it up and idling it for 30 minutes is worse than just letting it sit, you need to get it out on the road and drive it at speed (about 30min at speed after it is up to norm operating temp)to boil all the water out of the fluids. You want the tail pipe to be hot to touch. Idling it for 30 minutes will just fill the muffler full of water shortening its life.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Dad’s buddy had a 1987 Oldsmobile 442 he purchased brand new and owned for 20+ years. During the summer he drove it at least weekly not caring how far (sometimes 100 miles in a day) but during the winter it sat. If the weather and roads were nasty he’d open the garage door a few feet, start the car and let it run for a 1/2 hour or so to reach operating temps. If it was just really cold and the roads were dry he’d take the car out and drive it about 10 miles (after letting it warm up) before returning it to the garage. No problems with storage issues during the time he owned it.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Don’t just run it once a month unless you’re going to drive it and get it good and hot.

    Idling an engine is hard on it. Idling a cold engine is even worse. Add in the fact that there is very little chance you’ll get the oil hot enough to boil off water and contaminants and you’re just filling your crankcase with condensation and unburned fuel.

    Now the reality is, are you likely to see the damage during your ownership? Nah. If the next owner wants to put 200K miles on it he may only be able to put 180K because of the monthly start routine you did.

    I wouldn’t stress over it. It is inside, has clean oil and gas and has relatively stable and slow moving temp changes.

    I would only touch it when I wanted to drive it, and only run it when you are going to drive it.

    I’ve got a couple of older collectables with stupid low miles. They don’t get touched from October until April or May, and one of them sat for 2 years without being turned over at all. Zero issues.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      What he said. Don’t just start it. You should drive it. By idling in the garage, you’ll get the coolant temperature nice and hot, but not the oil. And it’s the oil that needs to get up to operating temperature. This occurs through driving, and it takes more miles than you’d think. A solid 15 mile trip will do the trick.

      From the oil tests I’ve had done on my motorcycles, time does not degrade oil. Samples taken a year and a half apart, still looked new, with the tbn (total base number, a number that represents the oil’s additive pack = the life left in oil) still like new. But during this time, I maybe rode for three 30 mile trips. No idling. In other words, either drive it, or don’t. But dont just start it and leave it idling.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        I’ll have to make it a hat trick and agree with PonchoIndian and joeveto3; every technical write-up that I have read about storing cars says to drive them, not just idle them as that is hard on the engine and doesn’t exercise all of the moving parts properly. I have owned a lot of old cars that sit for periods of time and I always follow that advice and it seems to work well. Granted, some days in a winter clime you’ll be snowed in and can’t drive the car but there are those winter days when a five mile drive is doable. It is true too, that a car can sit for an entire winter without being driven; it shouldn’t be a problem, new car or old car.

        I would use a fuel stabilizer however over the winter. My experience with ethanol laden fuel is that it doesn’t hold up for as long a period of time of inactivity as non-ethanol fuel does. I wouldn’t bother with it however when the car is being driven regularly.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          Ditto on the fuel; the Taurus sat still for four years with a cracked engine block; besides one tire going flat, they had to drop the tank and place the entire assembly and three injectors because they rusted out.

          Also had to replace the airbag control module because the backup battery died, and later the radio and radiator. I have put 40,000 more miles on rest in daily driving with no issues.

    • 0 avatar

      Well said, folks. Well said.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Except, if I recall correctly, Mikey lives in the Frozen North. He can’t take it out of the garage and drive it around without getting road salt all over it.

      Further, I fail to see how the oil will say cool if the engine gets hot. The oil will get circulated to the top of the engine, where it should heat nicely, along with the coolant, drain down and contribute to heating the oil in the crankcase.

      I’d be more interested in the flow of fluids and greases through the rest of the drivetrain… but I still don’t think I’d take it out onto slushy roads.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’d use stabilizer year-round; it’s not particularly expensive. Gas starts to degrade after a month or so… it’ll work after that point, but it will start to clog the fuel filter.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    If you don’t own them already: floor jack and jack stands – get the tires off the floor – no flat spots.

    But really? Drive the damn Camaro! You’re not getting any younger.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      That will screw up the suspension bushings and expose the struts to oxidation, just overinflate the tires.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        You can always put the jack stands under the control arms which will still load the suspension, but I would also just overinflate the tires to something above 60psi. Just be sure to lower them back down before you go drive it.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Don’t start it unless you’re going to drive it, and don’t drive it unless you’re going to drive it at least 5-10 miles, use all the gears and use the brakes. Run all the windows up and down, turn on the A/C, cycle the climate controls through all the modes, maybe move the power seats around. Don’t drive it in winter even if the roads are dry, because of salt dust. Fill the tires to the sidewall max to combat flat-spotting, hook up a battery minder to it, check out the cabin air filter for pests/rodents, and let it sit that way from December to April.

    In the good weather, just drive it more…it’s a Camaro SS, not a penalty box.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I would still drive it on nice days even in the winter. Once the roads are dry and the day is sunny, just take it out. I wouldn’t need any incentive, the SS is a nice ride.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Don’t start it unless you will drive it. Bad idea, most engine wear is done when an engine is cold. If your going to take it on a nice run and get it up to full operating temperature fine. Otherwise leave it in the garage.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    My biggest worry is condensation in the oil. Gaskets and stuff will last longer but oil can hold quite a bit of moisture which can age an engine over time. You want to be sure you get her hot enough to burn off as much as possible.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Very interesting article in the link, worth reading.

    I concede that driving is better than idling, but idling is still better than not running at all. As far as the cold start issue, whether you idle or drive it, you are still starting with a cold engine, there’s no way around it.

    Agree with Sirwired, I’d use stabilizer – the marine grade designed for ethanol containing fuel – year round.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “As far as the cold start issue, whether you idle or drive it, you are still starting with a cold engine, there’s no way around it.”

      True, but bringing an engine up to temp by just idling does more damage than actually driving it. That’s not too say you get rev happy while bringing the temps up but driving the car is a more effective way to this.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        The common wisdom today is to drive the car almost immediately. Putting the engine under load brings it to operating temperature much more quickly. The biggest problem with a cold engine (after the first few 100 revs when the bearing surfaces are poorly lubed) is that the ECM enriches the mixture to light off the catalyst as soon as possible and provide more “driveability.” Some of that extra gasoline works its way into the lube oil.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      double post

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Driving also keeps the seals in the transmission and differential properly lubricated and keeps condensation out as well.

      I would use fuel stabilizer year round as well. If you happen to fill up in the spring with a winter blend and it gets hot it goes bad pretty quick. Worse than summer blend stored over the winter.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I live about three miles from the north shore of Lake Ontario. The lake gives a just enough warmth, that we don’t get a real harsh winter.

    The downside of that, is a never ending freeze – thaw cycle. They pour the salt/sand on the roads. So salt dust,is a huge factor. If we get a little snow in December we live with the mess until April.

    At this point in time, I have no plans to sell the car. Also, at this point in time, I can’t see the Camaro being used that much.

    Yup, selling would certainly be the smart thing to do. However that ain’t going to happen either.

    I’m reading all the comments and advice. I can’t count the number of vehicles I’ve owned. However, when it come to high performance cars, I got zero experience. I shudder to think what those tires, would cost to replace. Synthetic oil? I thought it lasted forever. Brembo brakes? I’ll bet their not giving them babies away.

    I have always been a stickler for preventive maintenance. I don’t want to end up replacing or repairing something on the Camaro, because of neglect, or just plane ignorance on my part.

    Any help from those with far more experience than I, is greatly appreciated, and welcomed.

    Mikey

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      And I live about 6 miles from the south shore of Lake Ontario – 25 miles north of Buffalo. So we’re speaking the same language on the salt dust.

      Wait for the first good, soaking rain after the last salting to drive the car.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The car does come with corrosion protection engineered in. A drive on a few dry winter days won’t make much noticeable difference. That is unless you really want to be honest in your Kijiji/Craigslist ad that it was “NEVER WINTER DRIVEN”. The important thing here is to enjoy your car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’d agree with this. We have salty time all winter – and people use their cars every day in it, since most people don’t have a dedicated winter vehicle. Even cars around here from the late 90s don’t have any rust unless they’re never washed (Honda!). So go drive it around and if it gets salty – wash it off. You won’t be out in direct ice and snow, so spray it in your driveway if you’re so concerned.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Washing the salt off in the driveway is good advice.

          For my garage-kept cars, I wash the salt off them after every exposure; in the winter this means every day (in the garage). A simple rinse will do – it’s enough to neutralize the salts, even if dirt still clings to the car.

          Doing so at a public car wash is almost a waste of time, since the car gets recoated with salt on the way home.

        • 0 avatar
          Fordson

          Those cars that look non-rusted from 20 feet away? Go do a brake job on one. Or swap out a fuel filter or stabilizer bar end links or front struts (have fun with the steering knuckle pinch bolts). Take a look at the crimp-ons on the power steering hoses, or the radiator support, or the dipstick bracket. Yeah, I know they’re better than they used to be. The corrosion protection you’re talking about is about 75% against outer-body rust-through – that’s what the warranty covers. You’re best off if you drive the cars in winter that MUST be driven in winter, and the ones you don’t have to, don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @Fordson… Oh yeah! I was looking at a 2010 Escalade my buddy wanted, really a {tarted up Yukon} Anyway under the hood was just as you described.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            In my experience, this is far more of a problem with American and Japanese cars than Swedish or German ones. The Europeans seem to just use much higher grade fasteners that do not turn into lumps of rust after 10 years in New England. They also tend to have a lot fewer problems with rusty brake and fuel lines.

            Hopefully a new American car like Mikey’s has the better quality stuff too!

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I’ve had many many many vehicles that lived their entire lives through Southern Ontario winters and generally at about 10 years, they’re in pretty good shape underneath and very serviceable. Yes, pounding out pinch bolts is a pain, but this aint Arizona. A little Aerokroil does wonders.

            Mikey’s car will not turn to dust from a few winter drives here and there. Of course it’s up to him if he wants to keep it a garage queen all winter, but if I owned it, I’d want to enjoy it.

            I drive my ’63 T-bird on nice winter days to prevent all the things mikey is concerned about, plus, it’s fun!

    • 0 avatar
      oldworntruck

      Living in winnipeg and having been an automotive mechanic who is now a marine mechanic in the midst of the get it into storage season here…
      The only things to be concerned with on any modern vehicle for winter storage are fuel battery and tires.
      Fuel degrades rather quickly these days and stabilizer helps esp if you are adding it a couple of weeks prior to storage.
      You electrical system will have quite a parasitic drain on your battery either charge it once a month with a trickle charger or invest in an onboard vehicle charger and leave it plugged in at all times.
      For tires there really is not much you can do other than keep them inflated and let the flat spots smooth out in the spring.
      Hoses belts oils and gaskets will not wear any faster with storage of this nature.
      It is counter productive to start an engine unless you plan on using it.
      Marine engines have been stored this way every winter with no complications.
      Just keep up on the reg maint and enjoy mikey.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Don’t make your kids sell the car to the first person that enjoys it. Use up some parts, help some mechanics save into their RRSPs with that fat CAW pension. If you are really worried about the tires you can get some dirt cheap base Camaro steelies with tires on eBay, but make sure they fit over the Brembos.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I have been parking cars for six months at a time for about 15 years now with three different vehicles. Fresh oil change, pump up the tires , put preservative in the gas tank, disconnect the battery and I’m good to go. So far I’ve never suffered any malady that can be attributed to my doing this.

    • 0 avatar
      nrcote

      What he said. Did exactly that with a 1999 Civic SiR for 5 years, then a 2004 V6 Mustang for 7 years, now a 2012 MX-5. Apart from a defective spark plug on the Mustang in year 4, zero issues. Unheated garage, concrete floor, car cover, outside of Ottawa, Ontario.

  • avatar
    dabossinne

    If you’re going to store it for the winter, then store it for the winter. Don’t start it once a month to “warm it up” unless you’re actually going to drive and get it up to operating temperature. Just letting it idle in your driveway won’t do the trick and you’ll do more harm than good long term.

    Steps for long term storage:
    1) Change the oil/filter. Once a year oil change for a seldom-driven car is fine, but do it right before you put it away for the winter. Condensation that forms in the crankcase over the winter months will react with combustion byproducts suspended in the used oil to create acids which, over time, can etch the bearings in the motor. Fresh oil minimizes this.
    2) Fill up the gas tank and add Stabil (or similar) fuel stabilizer. Use non-ethanol gas if you can, as ethanol fuel separates after a few months of sitting around. You can drain the tank, too, but better to fill it up and eliminate the possibility of condensation forming inside the gas tank.
    2) Air up the tires to around 40psi. This will keep the tires well inflated over the cold winter months an help minimize any flat spotting that may occur. Wouldn’t worry too much about flat spotting, though…. once you get it out in the spring and drive it around any flat spots on the tires will eventually go away. Just remember to check the tires in the spring and deflate them down to the factory recommended pressure come spring.
    3) Buy a Battery Tender (that’s the brand name) and hook it up to your battery. You’ll save your battery and keep your Camaro’s electronics happy during the winter months.
    4) If you have vermin problems in your garage, a few fabric softener sheets placed inside the interior will keep ‘em out. Might also want plug the intake snorkel, but then you have to remember to unplug it in the spring.

    That’s about it. Good luck!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Oh yeah, vermin.
      I started up my Plymouth Laser one spring, and dried grass blew out of the dash vents, and the fan made a bad rumble at high apeeda. Some critter found the fan to be a freat nesting spot. There was a handfull plant and other fibers in the fan itself.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’ve had cars ruined by mice, it’s not pleasant. It takes a complete teardown of the interior, ozone rooms, and time to make the smell tolerable. Of course, this happened when storing cars in less rodent controlled places like pole barns and machine sheds.

      To keep the odd rodent out in my shop, I use dryer fabric softener sheets. They smell better than moth balls, and really do the trick.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    “If I’m having a bad day I pull it out of the garage, detail it and look at it.”

    I honestly thought you were going to say you take it out and drive it like you stole it. To each his own but that car is beggin’ to be driven and I think you should oblige.

    Or, to put it another way, stop dry humping that Camaro and go balls deep.

  • avatar

    Mikey! Enjoy that Camaro!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Two words.

    Battery tender.

    You can connect to the jumper cable posts under the hood, no need to go to the battery in the trunk.

    I don’t drive the G8 much and store in winter (mechanically they are very close cousins). I do the annual oil change (never come close to mileage or GM Oil Life recommendation). I try to run the motor every 4 to 6 weeks (gentle drive on our rare dry sunny days). Fill the tank with premium before winter slumber and watch the tire pressures.

    Oh, and a good detail with wax, making sure no tar, bugs, bird dropping, sap, etc is anywhere. That stuff will bond to the paint if it sits for months. Finally I use a quality car cover.

    I’m always amazed at how much dust there is even in a clean garage in a newly built home.

    But if you don’t get a battery tender, be ready for an expensive new battery sooner than you think.

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      Ditto on the battery tender. The battery will discharge itself even if the car isn’t drawing any current. And a modern car with electronics is *always* drawing a little current.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It is important that if you want to put a charger on a battery in storage that it is indeed a charger/maintainer or battery tender and NOT a trickle charger. A charger/maintainer will cycle on and of to maintain the battery at a near 100% SOC while a trickle charger just keeps on charging at a constant rate, overcharging and cooking the battery. Leave it on over an extended period of time and it will kill the battery.

  • avatar
    mikey

    David….I do enjoy it. I loved your “57 Chevy lady” story. God willing, I will long enough for somebody to write a story about the old retired autoworker and his SS.

  • avatar
    AGR

    Mikey,

    Have a Camaro that has been used and stored for the past 35 years.

    Some points:

    Tires will flat spot unless you keep the car on stands, modern high performance tires flat spot quickly and require some driving to alleviate the flat spots.

    Keep the battery charged, the various electronic components do not appreciate running out of power or going below a certain voltage. Not an issue with a 35 year old car. http://www.thestrada.net/reviews/2009/11/4/1979-camaro-z28-2010-camaro-ss.html

    As an aside Delco batteries last approximately 10 years, before no longer holding a charge.

    In my case, seals have not deteriorated (all small block Chevies leak a bit), I you start it, warm it up, run it, drive it.

    Get a car cover very useful to keep the car cleaner when stored.

    The thought 35 years ago was to keep an old fashioned mechanical car, with a carburetor, distibutor, clutch pedal, miserable GM brakes, miserable assembly from Norwood, and so on.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      “As an aside Delco batteries last approximately 10 years, before no longer holding a charge.”

      Not in my experience, I went through three AC/Delco batteries in six years for my ’68 Impala. In each case the plates decomposed and collapsed upon one other, shorting out the battery entirely. The charging system/regulator has continually put out the correct voltage and charging rate is right were it is supposed to be (I had it tested after the second one went belly-up), so I have completely given up on those batteries…don’t know if what comes in a new GM car is any different than the replacement market.

      “(all small block Chevies leak a bit)”

      Agree with you there on a pre-’87 small block but not a newer one with a one piece rear main seal and center bolt valve cover bolts. They’re pretty tight.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @AGR..I worked with a guy that bought a brand new “Smoky and the Bandit car”. A 78-79…? By 1990 it was rusted to nothing. Good for you keeping one.

  • avatar
    EX35

    This is a Camaro, not a Ferrari. This is not an appreciating asset. Drive it.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      BOOM!

      Nail meet the hammer of truth!

      Put some capable snow tires (if you like Nokians like I do, save $ and get Hankook i*cepts) and DRIVE DAT Camaro.

      • 0 avatar
        nrcote

        But I feel so great when I take the toy out of storage in spring. Connect the battery, get in, start the car, get out of the garage, lower the top (even if it’s still cold out there, don’t care) and then I go for a ride. The first weekend of April, I always think I got myself a brand new car, minus the smell of course. Then I remember I have to adjust the tire pressure.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    EX35 has a point. Whatever “salt dust” gets on the car from winter drives on dry pavement can’t be much of a big deal. A monthly 30-minute drive up to and including highway speeds for a good part of that time is an all around good thing. This gets all lubricants (not just the motor oil) circulating; it gets engine oil warm enough to boil off water, gasoline, etc. that may have collected. I think just starting the engine and running it is not a good thing. Without pulling a load, the engine will take longer to reach operating temperature, running rich for a longer time; and the oli will probably only get warm (if that). You probably have a climate control system that runs the a/c compressor unless the outside air is below 40 F; it’s good to have that run and circulate the lubricants that are in the refrigerant.

    If you drive less frequently than monthly, it may be necessary to have one of those battery devices. Otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. The biggest enemy of batteries is the heat in the engine compartment where they usually are located. The battery in my BMW is in the trunk, and I replaced it after 10 years only because I was afraid it would fail at some inconvenient time. It was still holding a charge, even then.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      I live in Canada too.

      My 04 Camry doesn’t have any sigh of rusting, even though we drove it through out the winters and almost never washed it.

      If rust is what Mikey feared for his GM, he really should have bought a Toyota.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @wsn… Lets see driving an SS Camaro, kept all detailed,vacumed, windows sparkling. Or a dirty Camry, that many would confuse with a toaster….Man that’s a tough choice.

        Oh yeah siily me! I forgot Toyotas never rust,and they never break. So why does the Toyota dealer have so many service bays? Maybe because of all the recalls? How come dealers offer rust protection packages?

        Maybe it was just the Tacomas that had frame rot in five years.

  • avatar
    KennethofGA

    I don’t have any experience personally with long term storage but I do recall hearing Lake Speed Jr of Driven Racing Oils on CarCast talking about a special oil they put out that I wanna say was called Hot Rod oil?.?.?.? The gist is it was their synthetic oil but with additional corrosion inhibiters blended in for cars that sit idle for long periods of time. Just a thought.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    A couple of my cars never saw any snow. I would wait for a warmer, clear day and would take it out for at least an hour’s drive several times over the winter months, and never had a storage related problem with any of them. Some places don’t really have breaks where it rains and washes off all the salt like Toledo does though. I would change my oil spring and fall, just to make sure the water and gas was gone from the crankcase.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Well!…..Thanks everybody. I got some excellent advice and tips.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Mikey, I have kept my 95 Probe GT in mint condition. It never gets driven in salt, and it sits in a garage that has radiant heat for the last four years. My advice for you:

    In the non winter, make sure you use the car at least once every three weeks and drive it enough to warm it up thorigyly and that includes the transmission. Keeping her clean and dry helps a lot, as does limiting sun exposure. I have Rio red which like all reds back then can fade pretty badly. I have barely discernable fade.

    Winter time: Keep a battery tender on the car. Fuel tank full. No need for stabilizer IMHO. If at all possible, when the road is dry, take if for a spin. Even if the road is white with salt, but there is no moisture, you will be ok. Just try to avoid those paths of melt water and salt that pop up. That crap is super concentrated. Keep the tires pressurized to high 30s.

    This is my receipe and my car is near factory fresh after 70K miles. DON’T SELL THAT CAR!!

  • avatar
    mikey

    @g2h….Thank you sir. Great advice.


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