long-term automobile storage

I’m going away for three months & leaving my car at home. What should I do to it, other than leave it in the garage? And is the answer the same if I’m not driving it for six months?

I’d recommend disconnecting the battery to prevent it from running down, and making sure the tires are inflated to the correct pressure (if pressure is low, there’s a greater chance that the tires will develop flat spots from sitting in one position). You might also want to get some “fuel stabilizer” (an additive you should be able to find at Pep Boys or wherever) to keep the gas in the tank from going bad.

-Andrew L

njufoic’s comments are very good.

You also may want to consider changing all the fluids in the car – oil, transmission fluid (if a stick), antifreeze, etc., as though you were doing a major tuneup (don’t forget the air/oil filters).

Then take the car out for a steady country drive (not stop and go traffic and not high-speed interstate travel, either) for thirty minutes so everything settles nicely. Park it at home and follow njufoic’s advice.

BTW, disconnecting the battery means both connections.

Your car should be fine for the duration. Well, at least mechanically. Not so sure emotionally, though, especially if it has a strong crush on you. If you do, make sure you label the cords and the terminals. Don’t assume in three months’ time you will remember.

One other thing to do is make sure you leave it with a full tank of gas. That will prevent condensation and rust from forming in the
gas tank. Put the fuel stabilizer in the tank before you fill it with gas, that will allow it to mix thoroughly.