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long-term storage of conventionally-powered vehicles (1-6 months)

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by genxer36, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    From Toyota's website. This may effect people in the military more.

    Our minimum recommendations for long-term storage of conventionally-powered vehicles are listed below:

    TOOLS AND SUPPLIES:


    • Wrench

    • Tire pressure gauge

    • Tire pump

    • Jack

    • Jack stand or blocks

    • Vehicle cover

    • Towels or shop rags


    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Before storing the vehicle:


    • Have the engine oil changed

    • Have the engine coolant changed if due during time of storage

    • Fill up the fuel tank with the appropriate gasoline for your vehicle

    • Wash the vehicle; use high pressure water or steam to clean underneath

    • Check underneath the floor mats to ensure the carpet is dry

    • If there are any paint chips, have them repaired


    When storing the vehicle:


    • Operate the engine at normal operating temperature* for 15 minutes prior to shutting off the engine

    • Disconnect the black negative (-) battery cable

    • Leave the parking brake off

    • Raise the vehicle on a level surface and place on jack stands or blocks to prevent flat spots on the tires

    • If stored in a temperate, ventilated garage, the windows can be left slightly open

    • Cover the vehicle

    • Operate the air conditioning once a month to ensure proper lubrication


    When bringing the vehicle out of storage:


    • Have the battery charged and reconnect the black negative (-) battery cable

    • Check fluid levels and add as needed

    • Check for any leaks underneath the vehicle

    • Check and inflate the tires to the correct pressure before taking the vehicle off the jack stands or blocks

    • After starting the engine, observe the warning lights; if any remain illuminated, have the issue addressed by your Toyota dealership as appropriate

    • Check the brake pedal for normal feel (height and firmness) before shifting the transmission

    • Take the vehicle to your local dealer for general inspection


    * To determine your vehicle's normal operating temperature, please refer to the section of your Owner's Manual that describes the engine coolant temperature gauge.

    Note: If you are planning to store your vehicle for more than 6 months, please consult a company that specializes in long-term vehicle storage.

    Disclaimer: There are many variations in the step-by-step procedures used when checking fluid levels or charging batteries, and varying skill levels of individuals. These instructions cannot anticipate all circumstances or provide advice and caution on each. If you are in doubt concerning your ability or have any questions, consult your local Toyota dealership and have the work performed by an experienced technician.
     
  2. 08WhiteTRD

    08WhiteTRD Well-Known Member

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    Great write up. This is some good to know stuff. I am going to be using this soon seeing as I am getting deployed for around 5 months.
     
  3. river rat

    river rat Tool Geek

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    +1 I run-in some Stabil and a litlle MMO in the tank. Otherwise, I do everything on the list.
     
  4. shook0002

    shook0002 "The Fuzz"

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    Use a battery tender. I've used them on my Mustang and quad and never had a problem with them. Get the name brand tender, they only charge when needed, cheaper ones give a continued 1.5 amp charge which will eventually cause the acid to boil out and damage the battery and your car.
     
  5. wareagle5693

    wareagle5693 Well-Known Member

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    :eek: I'm lucky if a tank will last me 6 days now!
     
  6. skeet

    skeet Member

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    I second the Stabil gas stabilizer. Also jack the car up slightly enough to take some load off the tires but do not extend the shocks more than an inch or two,
     
  7. Shadetree

    Shadetree Well-Known Member

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    Great advice. Just disconnecting a battery will eliminate the parasitic load (emissions computer, clock, radio presets, alarm system, etc.), but it will not stop the natural self discharge of a lead-acid battery, especially it the vehicle is stored in a hot climate. For more information, please see Section 13 in the Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ on www.batteryfaq.org.
     
  8. tacopre2002

    tacopre2002 Member

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    I left my tacoma sitting in a parking garage for two months under a roof here in south florida with a little more than a quater tank of gas and has 72,000 miles on it. came to start it up yesterday and started up but then wanted to die on me. it started shaking really bad and engine light was flashing. was able to drive it somewhat but when i pressed the gas it seemed like it wasnt getting enough fuel to the sylanoids or somthing and could only get up to 15 mph with the gas peddle all the way to the floor. it would continue to shake really badly. Also the brake peddle was really tight and wouldnt go all the way down, limiting my braking ability. any help???? has this happned to anyone before???????????
     
  9. aznutx

    aznutx Well-Known Member

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    sounds like your gas turned to water or all the sediments got sucked up and went thru the fuel filter i dunno
     
  10. genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    Should have topped off your tank before storing. Condensation occurred and the fuel now has water in it. You need to add sta-bil with ethanol treatment & top off with premium gas.
     
  11. Tacon

    Tacon Member

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    Some problems I've seen w/ long term storage:

    Carb gummed up in spite of using Stabil.
    Mold growth inside cab (closed refrigerator effect).
    Moisture trapped by car cover caused surface rust (I prefer thin cotton cover).
    Mice damage to seats and wires (yes somebody left bird seed in garage).
    Rust formation on dry half of ring gear and diff bearings/races.
    Hardened seals (depends on material of construction).
    Internal master/wheel cylinder and caliper corrosion (common).
    Collapsed lifters and gummed oil galleys (extreme case).
    Grease separation (Mob 1 separates, some axle grease doesn't).
    Some grease will dry out over time.
    Temporary tire flat spots (if not on jack stands).
    Tire dry rot doesn't seem to be issue inside garage.
    HVAC problems(common).
     
  12. Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    One thing I would highly recommend is filling up with real gas instead of ethanol. Ethanol breaks down much faster (it starts within a couple of weeks according to most reports I've read) and absorbs a lot more water due to the alcohol.
     
  13. TacoGlenn

    TacoGlenn Nobody Makes a Monkey Outta Me!

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    from: http://www.toyota.com/owners/web/pages/faqs#answers/detail/a_id/7686

    I've had my Tacoma for almost 6 months now and living in the cool Oregon coast climate I've never had the need to run my A/C. I happened upon this TW thread and it got me wondering just how important periodically running your a/c really is, even if you don't need it. I found a couple of other threads on a Lexus forum regarding the same topic.

    http://www.clublexus.com/forums/car-chat/563551-use-your-a-c-compressor-regularly.html
    http://www.clublexus.com/forums/car...mpressor-occasionally-runs-in-the-winter.html

    But I can't find any mention of periodically running my a/c in my owners manual or maintenance guide.

    One poster
    (http://www.clublexus.com/forums/car-chat/563551-use-your-a-c-compressor-regularly.html#post6292735)
    noted: "...compressors have advanced by leaps and bounds in terms of reliability and efficiency, so i doubt anyone will have any problem unless they choose to leave the AC off for years."

    Any opinions on this, do I really need to run my a/c periodically even if I never need it where I currently live?
     
  14. Clearwater Bill

    Clearwater Bill Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    The oil is carried (suspended) in the refrigerant, and by that method lubricates the entire system internals, including the seals/orings.

    Not running for excessive periods can allow separation of the oil, and puddling at low spots in the system. This can create some drying (non lubricated) problems in some components. And when the system is first started after a long time, it may remix fine, or it may not. It's a gamble.

    I do think it odd Toyota calls for that in their 6 month storage cycle. That means you have to run the vehicle, ie pretty much do everything all over again. I'd rather take my chances with the AC in that case than keep short cycling my engine oil.

    BTW, in most modern vehicles the AC runs in the defrost cycle. I suspect you use that, and may already be using the unit adequately. Just put it in defrost, open the hood and see if the compressor is engaged (not just spinning)
     
  15. TacoGlenn

    TacoGlenn Nobody Makes a Monkey Outta Me!

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    Thanks for the input!! I guess I'll run it periodically, I just have to remember.
     
  16. Shadetree

    Shadetree Well-Known Member

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    Disconnecting the negative lead of a wet battery will eliminate the parasitic load on it, but the battery will continue to naturally self-discharge. The speed of the discharge depends on the temperature. In storage where the temperatures over 100 degrees F, the battery plates will be totally coated in lead sulfate within three to six months and you may have to replace the battery but certainly try to charge it slowly to determine if it will hold a charge. In these higher storage temperatures, I better approach is to fully charge the battery and continuously maintain it with a small temperature compensating "smart" charger like a Battery Tender Plus, Battery Minder, Solar, etc.

    If you are storing you vehicle in a moderate (60 to 80 degrees) temperature, then you probably can fully recharge your disconnected battery after six months and recovery it. If you plan to store it in below freezing temperature, you should keep it on a small temperature compensating "smart" charger after fully charging it to keep it from freezing and the plates being damaged.

    If you have a AGM battery, just disconnect the negative lead and you will be good for six months to a year depending on the temperature.

    Regardless of the battery type, insure that the terminals and posts are free from corrosion before you reconnect your fully charged battery. If in doubt about the battery's CCA performance after fully recharging it, have it tested at an auto parts or battery store. Most will do this for free.
     
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