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Going away for 3 months


maremrak

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Guys, I plan 3 month trip around the world starting in July, and need some advise on how to stock the car in the garage. If I just keep it on tires, I would need to buy a new ones after my return. Should I disconnect the battery? Any other things that I should do? Any thoughts?

1960 Sedan De Ville (sold)

1970 Coupe De Ville (sold)

1987 Mazda RX-7 (sold)

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I would change the oil right before you store it, disconnect the battery and put it on a trickle charge. I don't know about the tires or the gas. Relax and Enjoy your trip! Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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No moisture will get in the tank as long as the gas cap is not removed while it is in storage.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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No moisture will get in the tank as long as the gas cap is not removed while it is in storage.

KHE,

I thought the reason for stabilizer is because the gasoline breaks down within about 30 days, not for moisture. I would FILL THE TAMK and add the gas stabilizer so the gas is fresh in three months.

my.02

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No moisture will get in the tank as long as the gas cap is not removed while it is in storage.

KHE,

I thought the reason for stabilizer is because the gasoline breaks down within about 30 days, not for moisture. I would FILL THE TAMK and add the gas stabilizer so the gas is fresh in three months.

my.02

It wouldn't hurt anything to add fuel stabilizer - it will prevent the fuel from souring but why would you want to fill the tank prior to storage? Just extra money for the gas and stabilizer. I'm not convinced that gas breaks down in 30 days....that sounds more like some marketing hype on the Sta-Bil bottle to me....

I store my Fleetwood for the winter and it is usually stored with a 1/4 tank or less.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I'd over-inflate the tires to their max-pressure listed on the sidewalls. This will help avoid flat-spots. I once stored a car for a few months (without doing the above) and the tires developed flat-spots. Fortunately they 'rounded out' over time but I'm told it can be permanent.

Be sure to set the pressure back to proper inflation for your vehicle (as-denoted on the door jam sticker) when you put it back on the road.

~Doc

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Maremark,

Filling the gas tank is a good idea. If there is ANY temperature change in the garage, a less than full tank will "breathe" in and out with the temperature cycles. If there is moisture in the air, it will breath in with the air. Some of the moisture will condense inside the tank and settle to the bottom as water. More gas in the tank = less air that is exchanged during each temperature cycle. This means less moisture that is breathed into the tank.

As far as the battery, I would flush the top and sides with clean fresh water, distilled is best. This removes the residue that comes from the battery vents. This residue is conductive. That is the reason most battries discharge while in storage. Disconnecting is a good idea. That will eliminate any drain that the car's system has on it. If you leave a trickle charger on it, I would use one of a 1/2 amp or less capacity. Personally, I would charge the battery just before leaving, and recharge it again before putting it back in service. I get a little nervous about leaving a charger of any kind unattended for that long.

If you are going to replace the tires upon your return, I would just make sure that they are inflated to the proper pressure & leave them alone.

And, like Scotty suggests, Change the oil & filter just before you leave. Fresh oil, circulated through the engine is good at preventing acid damage to bearings. You should drive the car after the oil change to get all the surfaces coated with fresh oil. Don't short trip it. At least 10 miles for the last run.

Three months is not that long of a time. But it does warrant taking these simple precautions.

Enjoy your trip. Let us know when you return.

Britt

Britt
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Filling the gas tank is a good idea. If there is ANY temperature change in the garage, a less than full tank will "breathe" in and out with the temperature cycles.

This is not true - it is a carryover from the 1960's before the evaporative emission controls were installed....

The gas tank is not directly vented to the atmosphere - the charcoal cannister absorbs fuel vapors and when the engine is started, the purge solenoid allows the trapped vapors to be burned by the engine.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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KHE,

I beg to differ. The evaporative canister is designed to trap fuel vapors, not water vapor.

There is a "Vacuum Safety Relief Valve" incorporated into the fuel cap. This valve admits moisture laden air WITHOUT going through any cannister! As I said before, the less fuel in the fuel tank, the more air is exchanged in a given temperature cycle. In this case, it would be drawn in through the cap and and pushed out through the cannister. Some of the moisture will remain in the tank.

You believe what you want. But this is simple physics.

Britt

Britt
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Navion,

You are correct but the vent (check valve) in the cap is to let air in as the fuel is used so as not to create a vacuum. I understand what you are talking about with tempurature cycle but that would be very minimal in 3 (summer) months. I don't think he has anything to worry about.

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KHE,

I beg to differ. The evaporative canister is designed to trap fuel vapors, not water vapor.

There is a "Vacuum Safety Relief Valve" incorporated into the fuel cap. This valve admits moisture laden air WITHOUT going through any cannister! As I said before, the less fuel in the fuel tank, the more air is exchanged in a given temperature cycle. In this case, it would be drawn in through the cap and and pushed out through the cannister. Some of the moisture will remain in the tank.

You believe what you want. But this is simple physics.

Britt

If any moisture got in the tank, it would be a very small amount....hardly enough to cause a problem. Dumping a bottle of isopropyl gas line antifreeze would remove ANY moisture accumulated.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I admit that it will be a minimal amout in three months, but the fact remains, there will be less of an exchange of air if the tank is full.

The "Vacuum Safety Relief Valve" is there to prevent the tank from collasping when fuel is drawn from it or after it cools after going thorugh an expansion cycle.. The cap traps pressure and forces the fuel vapors to pass through the cannister as the air/vapor in the tank expands with heat. The larger the volume of air, the greater the exchange.

If the garage that Maremark stores his car in gets fairly hot during the day and then cools down at night, there could be as much as a 40 degree temperature change daily. That will cause a lot of expansion and contraction of the air in the fuel tank, summer or not. The less air volume in the tank means the less volumn for fuel vapors to accumulate, to be expelled during the next hot cycle. As a result, the light end (fuel) volitiles tend to stay in the fuel and not be expelled into the canister. The fuel stays fresher as a result.

Britt

Britt
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Even if there is a 40 degree temperature delta, that does not equate to halving the pressure in the tank. When you use the pressure/temperature ratio, the temperatures must be in degrees Kelvin.

Also, any vacuum effect created by atmospheric changes would be much smaller than the vacuum created by the fuel pump pumping at 50psi. The threshold at which the gas cap lets in air to prevent the tank from collapsing has to be higher than what would be generated by typical atmospheric changes.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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KHE,

The fact remains that the fuel tank gets it's air from the atmosphere. The less fuel, the more air is exchanged, period. If you think that is dosen't matter, then more power to you. I speak for experience. I have seen what can happen. All I am suggesting is to minimise the intrusion of water vapor into the tank, keep it full. The less air volume in the tank during storage, the less exchange during temp cycles. If you think that the tank won't "breathe" while in storage, then I don't know what else to say. I do know this, if the tank was sealed so no air could enter, it would collaspe. It can stand pressure, but not a lack of pressure.

As I said before, If you believe that leaving your tank 1/4 full over the storage period, by all means go ahead. It's your belief that it won't contribute to the gas going sour, fine. Go for it.

Take Care,

Britt

Britt
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KHE,

The fact remains that the fuel tank gets it's air from the atmosphere. The less fuel, the more air is exchanged, period. If you think that is dosen't matter, then more power to you. I speak for experience. I have seen what can happen. All I am suggesting is to minimise the intrusion of water vapor into the tank, keep it full. The less air volume in the tank during storage, the less exchange during temp cycles. If you think that the tank won't "breathe" while in storage, then I don't know what else to say. I do know this, if the tank was sealed so no air could enter, it would collaspe. It can stand pressure, but not a lack of pressure.

As I said before, If you believe that leaving your tank 1/4 full over the storage period, by all means go ahead. It's your belief that it won't contribute to the gas going sour, fine. Go for it.

Take Care,

Britt

How is the tank going to receive air from the atmosphere when the engine is not running??? Maybe if the cap were removed. Even if a slight amount of condensation would form - so what? A bottle of iso-heat will get rid of it anyway. As I said in my previous post, the threshold on the vacuum release on the gas cap would be matched to the reduction in tank pressure generated by the fuel pump pumping out the fuel at 45-50 psi. so the tank wouldn't collapse during operation.

The resulting pressure delta given a 40 degree temp delta as you describe is negligible compared with that generated by the fuel pump pumping fuel from the tank.

Fuel stabilizer will slow the rate at which the fuel would sour from sitting but we were talking about the possibility of moisture entering the tank during storage. I used to top off my tank (23 gallons....) prior to storage and treat it with fuel stabilizer. Now, I just use the fuel stabilizer to treat what fuel remains in the tank. When I pick up the car from the storage facility, I usually stop to fill it up anyway.

Another thing to consider is that many storage facilities prefer not to have cars filled up due to all that extra gasoline in an enclosed area for an extended period of time.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Just fill the tank. It will end up saving you money in the long run. Gas prices will probably climb again before you return, so there will definitely be a savings if you fill it now.

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Boatboy, that's a good point. I'll do that, add some Fuel stabilizer, take out the battery, check the air in the tires (add up to the Max) and I should be OK.

I was thinking to put the car on stands, instead of keeping it on tires, but I guess 3 months is not that long anyway.

1960 Sedan De Ville (sold)

1970 Coupe De Ville (sold)

1987 Mazda RX-7 (sold)

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