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Old 11-07-2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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Sitting is harder on a vehicle than driving it, as they are designed to be driven, not parked for extended periods.
I tend to agree, but wonder how long some new/used vehicles sit unmoved in a dealer's lot.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:11 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
I tend to agree, but wonder how long some new/used vehicles sit unmoved in a dealer's lot.
I was an engineer in that business for 27 years. The result is called "lot rot". Causes a lot of warranty costs.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:34 PM   #23
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I used to park my SUV for weeks and the brake calipers started to hang up on the slider pins, ruining the brake pads and rotor.
Sitting is harder on a vehicle than driving it, as they are designed to be driven, not parked for extended periods.
Yep, I had the same problem with my Hyundai last winter. Parked it in the garage for 8 weeks while we were gone, and when I came back, the brake calipers had hung up (virtually locked in place), as you say, and I had to take it in for new pads and rotors before I could drive it. Part of the reason may be that the roads are salted around here in the winter, and I'm sure there was a little bit of salt sitting on the brakes during the time the car was parked. This winter I may have a friend come over and drive the car a bit every few weeks while we are gone so that things do not lock up..........although that's likely to just put more salt into the brakes, so I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not. Any thoughts on this?? I really don't want to have the same thing happen again this winter if I can avoid it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #24
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1) Get the battery minder.
2) Drive it for at least 30 minutes, I drive mine for an hour. The reason for doing this is to keep everything lubricated, but the most important part is to heat the engine and oil to a temperature that drive out the moisture in the oil and the engine.
3) Keep the gas tank filled. This will prevent moisture from accumulating inside the fuel tank and keep the seals from drying out. Use Sta-bil in the gas tank to reduce/eliminate Gum/Varnish. Before you put it away, add the Sta-bil, fill the tank and drive home (that will distribute the Sta-bil).
4) Anytime you are going to have longer storage periods (30 days), change the oil first. Moisture and acids in old oil will pit bearings and other
engine parts while in storage. This is also true if you don't drive the car for significant miles for significant periods of time (every 4-6 months).
5) While in storage engine oil drains away leaving internal engine components exposed resulting in corrosion and metal-to-metal contact (cylinder scuffing) at the next start-up. Spray STA-BIL Fogging Oil into the air intake with the engine running until the engine stalls. STA-BIL Fogging Oil penetrates deep into the engine, coating parts with a protective layer of anticorrosive compound that also lubricates the piston at start up next spring preventing cylinder scuffing.
6) Slip a plastic baggie over the exhaust tip(s) and snap a rubber band around it to keep it in place. Do the same to the air cleaner inlet. This will help keep moisture out of the engine.

You may not think it is worth the hassle, but the price of fixing corrosion, pitting and rusting is an expensive proposition. For the price of the Sta-bil products, the battery minder and the plastic baggies is minimal.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #25
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Can only give my own experience... not recommending.
When we go to FL for the winter, one car stays in the garage, (probably low of 28 degrees), and one stays outside... (wherever Ill temps go.) Disconnect positive terminal of batteries. When we get back, put a slow charge on batteries, even if they don't show discharge. Tires bump a bit for the first one or two miles. No Problem.
My three cars '96, '96 and '98 are now getting a wee bit old, but haven't had a problem with winter.
BTW... the batteries are 3 to 5 years old.
...but, as they say... YMMV.
+1 If it ain't broke....

Interesting... I disconnect the negative terminal to prevent the battery from draining when a car sits for the offseason (learned from Dad). My mom's CRV sits in the garage with the negative terminal disconnected all winter while she is in FL (~5 months)- in the spring I just reconnect, start and drive. I sometimes have to top up the air in the tires too but that's it. Been doing this for 15-20 years and never had a problem. Also done a few times with cars that sit outside all winter as well since all garage space was used.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:07 PM   #26
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Wow -- I was just telling a friend today about this forum and how it is filled with helpful, intelligent people who can help out with any issue. And then I come home to find all of these great suggestions, proving me right again

Thanks so much! I feel much more comfortable about things, now. As always, you are the best!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:26 PM   #27
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I just need to get fenders on my bike to stop the slush from getting my business professional clothes dirty!

I am actually more concerned about commuting in the summer, as I don't want to be a sweaty mess by the time I get to work. This past summer I hadn't fixed my bike yet, so took the bus.
Don't forget about good lights during winter months - they are plenty of good LED bicycle lights available nowadays
As far as sweaty summers - can you change clothes at work? Our office building has showers, so I have it easy, but bicycle commuters, who don't have showers can do sponge baths.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:03 PM   #28
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+1 If it ain't broke....

Interesting... I disconnect the negative terminal to prevent the battery from draining when a car sits for the offseason (learned from Dad). My mom's CRV sits in the garage with the negative terminal disconnected all winter while she is in FL (~5 months)- in the spring I just reconnect, start and drive. I sometimes have to top up the air in the tires too but that's it. Been doing this for 15-20 years and never had a problem. Also done a few times with cars that sit outside all winter as well since all garage space was used.
+1

I worked with industrial batteries for almost 40 years (which is why I will not be buying a hybrid anytime soon). My training was that you ALWAYS disconnect the ground lead (may be positive or negative) first and ALWAYS reconnect the ground lead last. This reduces the possibility of arcing, sparking and possible explosions. Think about it. If you disconnect the positive (battery) terminal first, the whole chassis remains charged and a wrench or whatever can brush against the chassis and the positive terminal or other component and you may have arcing, sparking, damage to electronic components,and possible explosions involving the gas that ALWAYS surrounds batteries. On the other hand when you disconnect the ground terminal first, the chassis is neutralized.

Most cars have a +12VDC system which features negative ground and positive battery. Many other DC systems feature positive ground and negative battery. For example, most telecom systems (landline and cellphone tower) are powered by -48VDC.

IMHO the positive ground and negative battery is a much better system. This is because the positive battery terminal features a deficiency of electrons which attracts all the negative ions floating in the air. This is why the postive teminal on car batteries usually corrode unless preventative measures are implemented.The negative ground also attracts positive ions but this is spread over the entire chassis so the effect is greatly reduced.

On the other hand in the previously mentioned -48VDC system the negative battery terminal features a surplus of electrons which repels the negative ions floating in the air and corrosion is greatly reduced. The negative ions are attracted to the positive ground chassis.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #29
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Don't forget about good lights during winter months - they are plenty of good LED bicycle lights available nowadays
As far as sweaty summers - can you change clothes at work? Our office building has showers, so I have it easy, but bicycle commuters, who don't have showers can do sponge baths.
I have great LED lights that really illuminate my path. They recharge on my computer -- technology is amazing! I called my bike shop and am getting my fenders installed on Saturday.

I suppose I could change clothes in the summer (though I'd have to leave 15 minutes earlier.) My other thought is to join a gym closer to my place of employment and shower there. But that's still months away.

I still think that I should not have to worry about sweating when I am only going 2.5 miles, but my body does not listen to me!
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #30
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If you intend to drive the car twice a week for say 20-30 minutes then I doubt you'll need Stabil as you'll use the gas up in a timely manner. But if you do decide to use Stabil don't use the pink Stabil it is worse than useless because you think it is helping when it is not! The blue/green Marine Stabil is a good product as is Seafoam, both are gas stabilizers that keep gas "fresh". Gas today is garbage and degrades relatively quickly.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #31
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I still think that I should not have to worry about sweating when I am only going 2.5 miles, but my body does not listen to me!
Slow down and look at these ladies: Cycle Chicģ
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:41 AM   #32
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Recommended: Add an oil supplement (e.g., Lucas) to keep parts from getting dry.

Not Recommended: First year I moved to Paradise, I let the old beater sit through the winter in the midwest. Upon return, 9 months later, I turned the key and got ruuuugh, ruuuugh, ruuuugh, vroooom, CLATTER, CLATTER, clatter, clatter. Ran fine all summer and the next 3 summers following the same procedure (no supplement).

So, by all means, start/drive often, use a supplement, etc. etc. But, if you don't, it may well be just fine.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:22 PM   #33
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Thought I would update this. I was able to ride my bike every day to work through the end of December. I made sure to drive my car at least twice a week, as recommended here, and everything was fine.

And then January hit, along with the terrible icy conditions.

I slipped on some ice and fell off my bike three weeks ago. No real harm done (scraped my knee and elbow and hit my helmeted head, which only resulted in a sore neck for a few days.) Since then, I've decided to only bike when there is no ice. I've also decided that about 5 degrees (wind chill) is my cut-off, so since it's been colder than that a few days, even when the path is clear, I've been driving.

Only one day where I could/did bike to work in three weeks. I really miss it. It was a great start and end to my work day. I'm hoping conditions improve shortly so I can go back to it!

And sailor, thanks for that blog! I usually bike in a skirt or dress as I don't change from work clothes. Nice to see I'm not the only one!
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:32 PM   #34
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Relax. It's a sign of great maturity when you start setting limits for yourself (rather than relying on others to set your limits).

Most mornings, I enjoy going for a run (just a few miles), and I really don't care about the weather since I have the right clothing for any conditions.

About 6 or 7 years ago, I slipped on some black ice and cracked a rib. Since then I too draw the line at running when there is any significant snow or ice on the ground. Seems to me that a bike would be even more subject to slipping than feet.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #35
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FYI, you should definitely replace your bike helmet. It might not be cracked but it's definitely not as effective.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:14 AM   #36
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I have four cars; two are kept on Cape Cod (no garage), two are garaged in AZ. For what itís worth, this is my protocol:


I put stabilizer in the fuel (Iíve used Stabil as well as some marine kind. Canít tell if one is better than the other).


A day before I leave for wherever Iím going to be for +five months I have an oil and filter change done (Mobil One, if that matters.).


When the car is back home I put a smart charger on the batteries (On the Cape one stays in my Jeep as the Jeep is near an electrical outlet. The other battery gets pulled.)


I put forty pounds of air in my tires.


On my Cape cars I open the air filter box, stuff steel wool in any openings (once some critters got in to my air box and made a nice home for themselves.)


I put mothballs, placed in plastic bags with holes punched in them, in the engine compartment. Not a clue whether or not that keeps critters out, but, what the heck.


Oh, and the Cape cars both get car covers put on them.


Bottom line to all of the above is, when I arrive to my destination my cars start up as if they had been driven the day before.


Best of luck,

Rich
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:46 AM   #37
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I do not drive my car in Il from december through march. I do start it occasionally and back it out in the driveway to let it run for a few minutes if the driveway is clear of snow/ice. Sometimes I drive it around the block, but I don't go far because I have the insurance off. Keep stabil in the gas tank. I'm going to throw my battery tender on it soon.

I do not drive our car in az from may through august. maybe once in mid july. seems like the heat is worse for the battery than cold. I need a battery tender for the az car
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:04 AM   #38
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I drive two diesel cars for work commute. One summer, one winter. One car is always sitting in a heated hanger. I disconnect the battery, wax, install car cover, come back in six months. The diesel fuel does not evaporate like gas so no buildups. My batteries were replaced last 2006, so I am on borrowed time.

I fully agree with operating a car for a min of 30 minutes to run up the oil temps to burn off water condensate.

If one thinks it is wasteful to have (2) cars devoted to a commute, I would agree except the '83 MB was inherited from FIL, formerly my next door neighbor's new car. The summer one is a '99 MB. I love the longevity of the MB diesels.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:01 PM   #39
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I keep a beautiful old Trans Am GTA in my garage over the winter, uninsured for 3 months. I take it out anyway about once every 2 weeks, and get the temp up to normal (about 10 minutes) then put it back in the garage. I just did that today, and a mouse ran out from under the hood, onto my windshield, and then was splashed under my front left tire. I popped the hood to find 2 nests on top of my engine, made from insulation the mouse (mice?) removed from the hood. After cleaning out the nests, and returning the car to the garage, I set 2 mouse traps there. Can't stand mice. They will eat electrical wiring, I hear !! Mothballs and peppermint oil are supposed to be repellents for mice. Will look for some peppermint oil.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #40
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FYI, you should definitely replace your bike helmet. It might not be cracked but it's definitely not as effective.
+1 Bike helm's are only good protection for one impact.

(Do NOT ask me how I know that )
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