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Storing For Six Months


Richard Hewitt
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Because we are snowbirds, alternating between Oregon and Texas, we are faced with the necessity of storing our cars,

a 1998 GS400 and a 2002 LS 430, for periods of 6 months. We are careful that engine oil is clean and gas tanks are

full, tires overinflated before parking for the interim. The GS 400 has not offered any problems so far with disconnecting

the battery for the 6 month period and we are wondering what problems might occur if we disconnect the battery on the

LS 430 ( in Texas). Both cars are garaged.

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In addition to a constant voltage low current "float charger" I'd add an additive to your last tank of gas before you go. I use STA-BIL on all my small engines and since doing so never have a gummed up carburator the next season. Same principal for injectors. Stops any varnishing and gumming up of injector ports.

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In addition to a constant voltage low current "float charger" I'd add an additive to your last tank of gas before you go. I use STA-BIL on all my small engines and since doing so never have a gummed up carburator the next season. Same principal for injectors. Stops any varnishing and gumming up of injector ports.

If you use premium gas, stabilizer should not be necessary for a 6 month period. Premium gas does not varnish up like regular gas. I use regular gas in my mowers all summer then switch to premium for the winter storage.

I would also consider "critter-proofing" the car so that mice don't take up residence. Might also consider getting the weight off the tires so flat spots don't develop.

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I didn't know premium fuel had the no varnishing properties. I'll try in the snowblower in a few weeks.

I had some friends with MGBs back in the 80's. They put them away in storage for the winter. Some jacked up the cars on blocks to get the wheels up. Others over inflated the tires to avoid the flat spot problem. Over inflating was a lot easier than putting up on blocks but I can't say which is better.

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I didn't know premium fuel had the no varnishing properties. I'll try in the snowblower in a few weeks.

I had some friends with MGBs back in the 80's. They put them away in storage for the winter. Some jacked up the cars on blocks to get the wheels up. Others over inflated the tires to avoid the flat spot problem. Over inflating was a lot easier than putting up on blocks but I can't say which is better.

I used to put my 65 Mustang away for a year at a time with regular gas (no stabilizer) and was pulling the carburetor every year to clean out the gunk. One year I decided to put premium in her and was pleasantly surprised to have no more problems. Been a ritual ever since in all my equipment with no gumming problems. I do not claim to be a gasoline expert but I believe that the extra additives and/or refining steps are the reason.

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Landar,

Interesting note on the gumming... I am not a gas expert, but I did work for a fuel pipeline and storage company for a little bit. All fuel was supplied by the same pipeline to my area in NW Arkansas, 93 octane, 87 octane, and diesel. I learned that ethanol blends are not as "gummy-proof" as 100% detergent-infused gasoline. Our grades are mixed with ethanol if the filling station sources their fuel from my previous employer. Approximately 80% of my area got fuel from the pipeline company. My understanding is different areas are supplied different blends depending on state laws. I.e., what you pump in your tank in California will be different than what you pump in Michigan. Thus, again, following my understanding, Missouri has 100% non-blended gas for its premium unleaded. Blended fuel is allowed for lesser octane levels. Most interesting thing I learned was watching the system blend mid-grade fuel between regular 87 and 93 octanes as it was going into the truck. The other interesting fact I learned (which applies to my area) is the only real difference in the gas was the additives. Exxon, Texaco, Shell, etc., kept their own additives on site, which were pumped into the fuel as it was being dispensed into the truck's trailer.

Your area may be different. There is an enormous pipeline that sends fuel from Brownsville (if I remember correctly), TX, to the Chicago area. My area is fed from that pipeline for unleaded, I know.

I am a proponent of fuel stabilizers if the vehicle is going to sit for a long length of time, of which 6 months would qualify! I am also a proponent of finding a filling station that's fairly new and sticking with it.

As always, thanks for your very informative posts.

Micah

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I have alot of experience storing Toyotas for up to 2 years. I agree with Landar that fuel stabilizer is not needed and that it is desirable to get some of the weight off the tires to avoid flat spots and sidewall cracking. If you can't get the weight off then inflate the tires to 35-40 psi to help avoid sidewall cracking. And of course disconnect the negative terminal of the battery - even if storing for only 1 month.

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