Storing a car - Jabera
Can anyone give me advice on what I should do to protect my car (Alfa Spyder 1998) when it is in storage for a long period of time.I've inflated the tyres and dis-connected the battery and the car is covered over in a garage.
What should I do when putting it back on the road?
Regards

Jabera
Re: Storing a car - John Slaughter
Other points to check:

Run it 'till hot, and drain and fill with new oil. Then run the engine 'tiill it's hot to circulate the new oil. Don't leave it sitting with old oil in the sump.

Remove the plugs, put a tablespoon of oil in each bore and replace the plugs.

Make sure the coolant is relatively new and well up to strength with anti-freeze

Remove, rather than just disconnect the battery. You may be able to save this by charging it once a month, but don't count on it.

If you can jack it up to keep the tyres off the ground all well and good, otherwise pump them up to 40/45 psi.

Keep the sun off it and check it regularly if possible.

Don't forget to declare SORN to the DVLA.

Don't forget, you can't guarantee there will be no guarantee that a long layup won't result in problems when you restart the car, but with care you'll avoid the big expenses.

There's a start - I'm sure you'll get a few other tips!

Regards

John
Re: Storing a car - Cliff Pope
Don't charge tha battery every month - that is the worst thing you can do to it. Use it on another car, or flatten it ocasionally and charge it up again.

You don't say whether there will be anyone around to check the car, or whether it will be left unattended. If you can, I'd say start it up every month or two, run to full temperature, operate the clutch, generally keep everything that might stick a chance to keep loose.

Fill it with petrol (or diesel?!). Leave the handbrake off, chock the wheels, or better put up on blocks, then you can spin the wheels and turn the gearbox when you run it.

There is I believe some special lay-up oil available - I think used a lot in the marine world.

Clif Pope
Re: Storing a car - John Kenyon
Cliff Pope wrote:
>

>
> Fill it with petrol (or diesel?!).

Bad idea - petrol will go "off". The more volatile fractions will
eventually evaporate. This is more of a problem with older
cars which don't have any form of vapour retention system.

I would suggest leaving the tank about quarter full.

When you do want to use the car, chuck a jerry can of fresh
petrol in the tank - those missing volatile fractions make the
cold engine easier to start. Then go to the petrol station and
top up to the brim with fresh fuel.

/John
Re: Storing a car - Cliff Pope
John,
I once did just as you advise, and the partly full tank accumulated gunge as the petrol evaporated. The large volume of air above it was constantly being vented as the temperature varied. I still say, fill it to the brim, and then it cannot evaporate.
Alternatively, I suppose you could drain entirely and dry out the whole system, but that might introduce other problems.

Cliff Pope
Re: Storing a car - John Slaughter
Drain the tank, and the fuel system if possible. Nothing worse than the lacquer left when the petrol evaporates for gumming up the works.

Regards

john
Re: Storing a car - peter
I remember seeing (in the Frost Catalogue I think) a petrol additive designed for cars left standing. Expressly to prevent the laquer effect. I have one friend who tried it, but cannot contact him at the moment.
Re: Storing a car - Stuart Bruce
Cliff Pope wrote:
>
> Don't charge tha battery every month - that is the worst
> thing you can do to it. Use it on another car, or flatten it
> ocasionally and charge it up again.

NO NO NO!

Using it on another car is perhaps the simplest way but even then car charging systems are not perfect unless you are doing mega miles as its almost impossible to get a battery fully charged. If you have to store it in order to get rid off the parasitic load, clock, computer memory etc then do NOT flatten it occasionally.

Batteries self discharge at a rate between 1% and 15% per month dependant upon temperature.
Eg @ 75F (23C) the battery discharges at half the rate it does at 95F (35C)
Now you might say my garage is unheated and it never gets that hot, well providing you do not freeze the thing thats OK, but what about in the summer. You can get midday temps, if we ever get any decent weather again, that will kill a battery.

Next thing that is death to batteries is deep cycling ie flattening as in Cliffs suggestion, also death is heat, vibration and over charging. Deep cycling produces sulphate on the plates, and the plates fritter away due to the size changes. In general the shallower the depth of discharge the longer the battery life. Over charging also claps the battery which is why just giving it a charge every 2/4 weeks is also bad news unless you know how much it has discharged.

What you should do is to keep measuring the charge and when its down to about 80%, either because of self discharge or perhaps deliberately connecting a small load across it, then charge the battery up to full. Its quite complicated how to measure charge either by hydrometer or by Avo as you have to make all sorts of adjustments. Plus there is the charge effect which is due to inadequate mixing of the water and acid after charge /discharge which can make a good battery look duff, and a duff one look OK. (The way to get rid of this effect is to discharge the battery @ 33% of its rated amp/hrs for 5 minutes, then wait 10 minutes and you should get a good reading)

All of this is a pain in the rear end if you are around and impossible if you are travelling away from home so basically the easiest way on storage is to use an intelligent charging system such as the Airflow Battery Conditioner per HJ FAQ and this should take all the hard work out as it sorts out when and where and how fast to charge.
Re: Storing a car - Cliff Pope
We'll have to differ on that one. My battery expert says differently from yours. But I do normally make batteries last 10 years minimum, even 20 once.
Cliff pope
Re: Storing a car - John Slaughter
Stuart

This is my understanding too. Car batteries are not designed to survive deep discharge/charge cycles, so are best kept in a charged state. I believe it is possible to actually fully charge them and then drain out the acid - that's how they are usually delivered to battery retailers - so called dry charged. But, as you say, whatever you do it's not easy to keep a lead acid battery useable for a long period of storage. In many ways, if the car's laid up for more than a year, I'd be inclined to sell the battery and buy a new one when you recommission it.

regards

john
Re: Storing a car - honest john
What's this stuff a bout battery charging? If you leave it permanently connected to an Airflow Battery Management System (a slow trickle charger that stops at 13.5volts) you will keep the battery in perfect condition and will not harm any of the car's electronics. Want one, tel: 01635 569569. There are others out there, but you obviously cannot leave the battery permanently connected to a standard charger as this is dangerous.

HJ
Re: Storing a car - Stuart Bruce
honest john wrote:
>
> What's this stuff a bout battery charging? If you leave it
> permanently connected to an Airflow Battery Management System
> (a slow trickle charger that stops at 13.5volts) you will
> keep the battery in perfect condition and will not harm any
> of the car's electronics. Want one, tel: 01635 569569. There
> are others out there, but you obviously cannot leave the
> battery permanently connected to a standard charger as this
> is dangerous.
>
> HJ


Er, thought that is what I said, just backed it up with a "few" technical reasons why it was worth spending the money to get some decent kit,
we dont spend brass easily oop North tha knows!
 

Value my car