Piston Slap: Weathering the Long Winter
Longtime TTAC commentator mikey writes:
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…
- Do I need to do more than a yearly oil change on the Camaro? GM recommends synthetic.
- 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?
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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