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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old November 10th, 2005, 09:48   #1
heno
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Default Long term storage

I'm going to store the Jetta for about six months. Any advice on steps to take to prepare the car? The car will spend the winter in a garage in Boise Idaho..so it gets a little cold.
I was thinking of unhooking the battery and maybe a shot of Stanadyne in the fuel. Anything else I should be looking at?
Mike
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:16   #2
Derek_tdi
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Fuel Economy: Best: 41.8mpg Average 36mpg
Default Long term storage

I'm about to put my 530d into storage for about the same amount of time - The only thing I'm doing is putting a car cover on it, and having a friend come by about once a month or so to drive it around. I'm personally not so worried about the engine as I am about having the seals dry up on me. You might want to call your insurance company and see if you can put a friend on your policy (no charge) as a "care taker" and drop your insurance down, I did this with my insurance company, and it's saving me a great deal of $$$.

Others with more experience might have better advice.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:30   #3
Powder Hound
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Default Long term storage

Quote:
... I'm personally not so worried about the engine as I am about having the seals dry up on me. ...
Bingo!!! Give that man a kewpie doll!!

The fuel won't dry up. It won't go bad either, as long as there's no water in it. Probably your best bet here is to fill it up before you quit.

Something to keep the battery topped off, and be sure you have the radio code for when you start it up again. You might need that. And did you say Boise? It doesn't get super-cold there, so excess worry about the strength of the coolant freeze protection is probably not required.

After that, you might want to check the refrigerant level when you go to restart it later. That might need a refill.

The list of other things you can do is nearly endless. Things like jack it off the tires so they won't flat spot, or grease every rubber item or whatever it takes to prevent rodents from nesting in the engine bay. You'll be the best judge of these things.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 10:45   #4
Long_Range
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Default Long term storage

If this storage will be an annual event I'd definitely get an automatic battery maintainer. Around $30 or less at Sears. Batteries will deteriorate if left uncharged.

My dad stores his RV where their's no electricity. We get about three years out of a set of batteries. We must leave the batteries in so the manager of the building can move the vehicle if needed. It's cheap rent though.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 11:31   #5
BrianM
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Default Re: Long term storage

Long term storage of motorcycles is common (I'm a MC mechanic for whatever that's worth). Skipping the gasser related stuff, I've never seen tires get a flat spot with 6~7 months of sitting, and MC tires are more sucptable to this kind of thing. A 'Battery Tender' is a must, it's smart enough to keep the battery topped up without overcharging it. Past that, it's Generally a better idea to just let a vehicle sit for the whole duration than to 'drive it arround the block' or just let it idle. Now, if it were to get a good 30 mile drive where Everything gets completely up to temp for a few minutes, that'd be a different story. Rubber items don't fail, dry out, or do anything else bad in 6 months. Hell, I've resurected bikes stored for 6 YEARS where the rubber bits were fine (minus tires ~ talking fuel system, final drive, and in a couple cases timing belts).

Were it me, I'd top up the fuel, drop in some normal anti-gelling additive and put on a battery tender. To keep the rodents away, spread out some mothballs and make sure there are NO other food sources in the same garage. That's it.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 12:19   #6
weedeater
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Default Re: Long term storage

If nobody is going to drive it, then as Brian said. Though I might suggest changing the oil just beforehand, and filling the tank to the brim. And removing the battery (since it will get cold in Boise) and keep it in a warmer place. I used to keep my boat battery in the utility room (no flames around) on a trickle charger.
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Old November 10th, 2005, 14:33   #7
BrianM
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Default Re: Long term storage

Since there's no blow-by (or shouldn't be) with diesel, does the oil get acidic? I honestly don't know (but that's the main reason for changing oil before long term storage with gassers, and lots of people recomended changing it again before running to get condensation out ~ I'm of the school that it evaporates so long as that First running is a long one).
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Old November 10th, 2005, 16:00   #8
n1das
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Default Long term storage

Quote:

After that, you might want to check the refrigerant level when you go to restart it later. That might need a refill.

If the car is periodically started and driven around to give it some exercise, be sure to run the A/C each time it is driven. This helps move the refrigerant's oil around in the system and keeps the compressor shaft seals moist so they don't dry out and leak, causing a loss of refrigerant. One of the best ways to keep an A/C system working properly is to regularly use it, even in winter (defrost works better with A/C). Non-use will kill an A/C system over time.

Other things to do:

- Make sure the windshield washer fluid can handle the cold temps (typically can handle down to -25F) so that the fluid jug doesn't freeze. I recently was in below freezing temps with summer Rain-X washer fluid (only good to +30F, i.e., 2 degrees below freezing). It made slush on the windshield when I used it. I promptly ran it out of the system and refilled it with the winter (-25F) stuff.

- It's probably a good idea to check all fluid levels and top off as necessary.

- Inflate tires to max rated PSI on tire (~ 44 PSI?). They'll lose some air during long-term storage but the pressure will be close to where you want them to be after storage. I typically run 40PSI in my tires rated at 44PSI max.

- Fully top off the tank to the brim, with liquid at the top. Wait patiently for all foam to settle. Hopefully wherever you fuel up is close to where the car will be parked and you won't have to drive far after filling it.

- Dump your favorite fuel additive into the tank when you fuel it up. OK to give it a bit of an overdose of additives. Use an additive that does something to control water.

- Make sure the brake rotors are totally DRY when you park it. Lightly and briefly 'riding' the brakes right before you park it will help dry them off. Light and powdery surface rust from moisture can form on the rotors after sitting parked for even as little as a few days.

- Like others said, hook up a trickle charger to the battery to maintain it and keep it ready to go.

I'll soon be parking my 05 PD Jetta Wagen for the winter to keep the road salt off it and keep it in pristine showroom condition. It only has 7800 miles on it (and NO, I'm NOT selling it!). My 02 Golf (w/185k miles!) remains as my daily driver. If another driver is going to slide into me during a snowstorm, I don't want it to be the Wagen that gets hit. I'll be starting and running the Wagen about once every 1-2 weeks so that it doesn't atrophy from non-use. I'll drive it and give it some use on the good weather days. The Wagen is my 'baby' to have last well past 2007 in case TDIs get legislated out of existence due to tightening Tier 2 emissions regs.

Like others have said, the list of things you can do prep it for winter storage is endless. You be the judge. Probably the number one thing to do is fully top off the tank all the way to liquid at the top (no foam) and use a fuel additive that does something to control water.

Good luck.
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