General Question

bookish1's avatar

What condition should I leave my car in over the summer?

Asked by bookish1 (13062 points ) June 2nd, 2012

I’m going to be out of the country for 2 months and my poor car will be languishing out on a hot blacktop with no shade. (Note: I won’t be using it to return from the airport at the end of my trip; I’m taking a cab.)

-Should I leave it with a full tank of gas, near-empty tank, or does it not matter?
-Is it especially necessary to change oil/refill tires before I leave, or does that not matter?
-Is there anything else you can think of to suggest?

Thank you.

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10 Answers

jerv's avatar

I’ve left cars sitting for longer and had them start up without difficulty. Two months isn’t terribly long.

I would fill the gas tank since an empty one will collect more condensation out of the air unless the space where moist air would be is filled with something else, preferably gas. The oil should be fine for that period of time, but the tires should probably be filled.

The only possible concern I can think of is the battery, but if it is relatively new and your charging system is still in good working order, it should still be able to fire up on the first try in a couple of months. Hell, I left an old beater VW in the corner of the yard neglected for five months and it fired up on the first try.

bookish1's avatar

Thanks alot @jerv! I’ll be sure to fill the gas and tires before I go :)

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have cars that sit for months too. I just leave them – with gas. I throw in a gallon of gas mixed with Stabil fuel stabilizer . I don’t know if it makes a difference but I never have trouble starting the cars. The brake disks will be rusty when you get back so be careful for the first few stops.

JLeslie's avatar

If you have a neighbor you trust you could ask them to start up the car every 2 or 3 weeks. That’s what I have done, let it run for 5 minutes. I don’t know if it helps, but I feel like it does.

bookish1's avatar

@JLeslie: That sounds good, but I have no neighbors I would trust with the keys, haha.

laketommy12345's avatar

I wouldnt worry too much.. Its only 2 months. I WOULD, however, get a cover to put over it to make sure that the hot sun doesnt damage the clear coat on the paint. That is a VERY costly fix to have the vehicle repainted, ecspecially a whole car paint job. If you do, i would reccomend getting a rain-x cover. They are about 75 dollars, but they can be purchased online for cheaper. (Amazon, Ebay, Etc.) They may be expensive, but if you get a cheap one, water will puddle on the hood and trunk and roof, and cause damage to the body panels. The rain-x covers force water down instead of pulling it in underneath, preventing puddle. Overall, this will protect your car.

Also, if you want to, it wouldn’t hurt to purchase a siphoning pump, and remove the gas in the tank, not completely dry, or the tank and other fuel parts will get overly hot and dry-crack from the heat. just leave about a half tank or so and you will be good to go. I DO NOT reccomend leaving a full tank of gas in it, because if the heat/sun were to hypothetically damage something in the fuel pump or similar part, you will have to remove the tank to repair the parts. This would mean alot of work for you, or alot of money that the mechanic would charge you.

Also, the battery might be a concern. I would reccomend disconnecting the battery and cleaning any and all corossion and debris on the connectors. DO NOT disconnect any ground from the frame and leave them off while you are gone, or you may return to find some erors in one or more internal communication modules, a very costly fix as well.

bookish1's avatar

@laketommy12345 : Hey, thanks for the advice. Too late to buy a cover… I’ve been out of the country for a month, haha. But I was only able to afford to leave her with half a tank of gas in her anyway, haha.

laketommy12345's avatar

@bookish1 Haha oh sorry. I just now looked at the post date. Haha. Out of curiosity, what kind of car is it?

bookish1's avatar

2003 merc sable, just under 70,000 miles.

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