Cars That Sit
by Pat Goss
Most of us have some seasonal equipment or a custom vehicle, something that sits for long periods of time yet has an internal combustion engine. Well if you have that you have to take special care if you want to let it sit for any extended period of time without damage.
First, is fresh oil. Oil picks up acids as its used, you don’t want those acids inside your engine, so fresh oil is important.
Next thing is coolant. If its liquid cooled you want fresh coolant because coolant deteriorates even as it sits. You want the proper type and you want it to be fresh. Gasoline. You want the gasoline in the tank full, and you want the gasoline to be treated with the proper type of stabilizer so that the fuel does not go bad and gum up the carburetor or the fuel injectors. Very Important.
Also, brake fluid. Brake fluid is hydroscopic, it absorbs and attracts moisture, and just by sitting it can attract enough moisture that it damages brake parts. So fresh brake fluid, and that’s all cars, every two years no matter what.
Tires. Well one thing that you can do is you can pump the tires up… over inflate them… don’t go beyond the maximum on the side wall of the tire but higher pressure will help keep them from flat spotting. And speaking of flat spotting, how about jackstands. That’s the better way to go. Jack the car up, position the stands under it, make sure the stands are as close to the wheels as possible so when you bring the car down the spring will be loaded. If you leave the springs unloaded, not good for them.
And don’t forget the top part of the engine, this is fogging oil you want to follow the directions on the can to the letter because if you don’t you could damage something. Fogging oil will lubricate the top parts of the engine and keep them in good condition, helps prevent rust on things like valves and so on. And let’s not forget the battery in our car this is something we don’t want to do we don’t want to use a battery charger we want to use a battery maintainer. The maintainer at a level state of charge and won’t over charge it like a battery charger would.
And a big shout out to Justin Nelson for loaning us his gorgeous 1950 Chevrolet truck here. I saw it at a car show that I judged. I felt that it was Best of Show and he’s kind enough to let us use it here on the set. And if you have a question, or a comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.