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Some unexpected winter storage questions

Laserbrain

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I had an incident and broke my right leg around Halloween. I needed a couple of surgeries to fix things and I'm doing better now. I won't be able to drive until I heal enough to get rid of this boot. Probably at least another 6-12 weeks. IDK for sure.

Because of the injury, I was unable to put on the snow tires and at this point I probably won't.

Since my incident, the car has remained parked in the garage. It's on a battery tender.

Should I start the engine once in a while? Say, let it run for 5 minutes once a week?

Should I do something to try to prevent flat-spotting the tires? I don't think I could safely put it up on jack-stands in my current condition. Maybe add more air?

Is there anything else I can do?
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robvas

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I wouldn't start it at all until spring. Cold start plus not warming up to operating temp isn't great.

The flat spots will work themselves out after you drive it. I get them overnight on my suv when it's cold. Parking on carpet or adding 10psi of air won't prevent them. Put it up on jackstands if you want, but I find it makes it a pain to move the car if you need to.
 

Skye

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Sorry to hear about your leg, but happy that you're on the mend. :like:

The timeline given, reads that it could be up to six months. Last season, my car sat for four and a half and I experienced no problems when I went to start it.

Can someone inflate the tires? That'd be a help. I increase my to 40 psi / 2.75 bar.

I do not put the car on jack stands. A vehicle spends it's life under its own weight. Sitting for a few months without moving won't hurt. Fully-extending the suspension for several months, I don't care for that myself.

I do not set the parking brake while the car is sitting that long. If a manual, put in neutral and chock the wheels.

For gasoline, I like putting Stabil in on a full tank, but several have commented that storage like we're doing should not have a serious impact on fuel quality.

I check the tires, under the car, under the hood once a month. Being in MA, if you can do any of the varmint prevention measures, that'd be a plus. No food in the garage, nothing they could make bedding out of. Dryer sheets, peppermint, month balls or all the above. Anything to deter rodents.

Being on the tender will be great.

Lock the car and stow the FOB; it'd help prevent the car from attempting to talk to the keys, possibly being a drag on the battery.

Otherwise, most of the stuff I read over is cleaning and detailing; you can do that after you return to driving. :party:

If, if there is anyone that can take the car out and bring it up to full operating temps for a good bit, that would be excellent. Otherwise, I don't think it's a good idea to start and let it idle. I do not start my car while it is sitting.

https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...or-winter-what-is-needed.194307/#post-3893759

Some more feedback in the thread above. :inspect:
 
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23GreenGremlin

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My recommendation if you can do it is to fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer. Run the engine for 5-10 minutes at idle or 10 miles on the street to ensure the stabilizer is mixed well and run through the system. Fill the tires to the proper inflation, maybe a couple extra pounds if you can remember to adjust before driving. Park it, put it on a good quality battery tender. Ensure the connection to the battery tender is prior to the battery monitoring sensor (right at the terminal). Check all of your fluids to ensure they are at proper levels. If the car is going to be stored for more than a few months, it is great if you can do it shortly after an oil change. If the car is clean put a cover over it. If the car is not clean, do not put a cover on it as any rubbing between a cover and dirty surface acts like sandpaper. Don't run it again until you are ready to drive it. Running a car in a garage for short periods without driving it is more likely to cause harm than just leaving it sitting. You really shouldn't have a big problem with flat spotting the tires but there are some ramp-type flat spot preventers that you can buy if you desire. The shorter the side wall, the more you may feel a temporary flat spot but in most cases it will disappear after getting the tires up to temperature. If you can't afford the expensive ones, you can get decent flat spot preventers pretty cheap from an RV parts place. Hope you heal well and can get back behind the wheel soon.
 

cmxPPL219

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I wouldn't start it at all until spring. Cold start plus not warming up to operating temp isn't great.

The flat spots will work themselves out after you drive it. I get them overnight on my suv when it's cold. Parking on carpet or adding 10psi of air won't prevent them. Put it up on jackstands if you want, but I find it makes it a pain to move the car if you need to.
OP, Skye's post has a very good checklist, and I would reiterate the above - avoid, if it all possible, starting and running for a few minutes then shutting down.
It's become a misconception for whatever reason to do this, but it's not recommended, as this can do more harm than good. Car isn't up to operating temp, promoting condensation build up and incomplete combustion to accumulate in the crankcase and/or cylinders. It's a good idea to have the car on a tender, but let's say you didn't, for the most part, starting your car will eat up more juice from the battery than idling it for 5 mins will allow the alternator to top up. You should only start it if you plan to drive it for a decent amount of time, and at freeway speeds if possible, to achieve OT.
 

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Nothing to do. Just leave it on the tender.
 

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Just leave it on the tender. You'll be driving the car in 3 months roughly.
 

Balr14

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You might throw some mothballs around under the car and under the hood.... help keep mice away.
 

luca1290

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If you have bug splatter on the front I would not leave it long, in that case you can spray the front with a foam and then very gently and using a microfiber cloth you can remove them after leaving them soak.
Other kinds of dirt it's not a big deal but bird droppings and bug splatter eat through the clearcoat.

As others have already said, don't start it and pump up the tires a bit.
 

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I had an incident and broke my right leg around Halloween. I needed a couple of surgeries to fix things and I'm doing better now. I won't be able to drive until I heal enough to get rid of this boot. Probably at least another 6-12 weeks. IDK for sure.

Because of the injury, I was unable to put on the snow tires and at this point I probably won't.

Since my incident, the car has remained parked in the garage. It's on a battery tender.

Should I start the engine once in a while? Say, let it run for 5 minutes once a week?

Should I do something to try to prevent flat-spotting the tires? I don't think I could safely put it up on jack-stands in my current condition. Maybe add more air?

Is there anything else I can do?
My 2 cents? just leave it. I never started my 13 Shelby over the winter for almost 10 years, nor my 21 since buying it. I blow the tires up to 38psi. run the battery tender from time to time. Starting it just makes water in the exhaust and oil. Unless you can drive it, just leave it.
 

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Nothing to do. Just leave it on the tender.
That's what I do for 6 months every year for 6 years now. What ever is in the tank, that's where it stays. No stabilizer. No worrying about tire pressure. Don't care if old oil sits in it. No problems whatsoever.
 

glene

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About eight years ago I went to a tech session held at the Porsche Wiessach engine development facility. At the Q&A session with the powertrain engineers, this idea of starting it every now and then when it’s in storage came up. They were adamant ANY engine that is in storage, should be left asleep unless you can take it out on the road and put a load on it and warm it up to temperature , meaning 15 to 30 minutes. But starting and stopping for five minutes doesn’t do any good and just adds more condensation to the oil.
 
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Laserbrain

Laserbrain

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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I went for a drive in the Mustang today for the first time since my injury in October.

It was a 40 degree day, and the roads were damp, but the 305 summer tires still had enough grip.
The car started without any problems.
Brake rotors had surface rust and that took a few good stops to get rid of.

I did a nice 30 minute drive and everything felt good, the car and my leg.

There was only one (minor) problem with the car. It seems that the garage door opener forgot how to open the garage. I'll have to figure out how to reprogram that.

I still have a lot of PT to do to restore strength and flexibility to my leg, but at least now I can drive myself to PT.
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