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Subaru long-term storage, and what Subaru of America told me


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18 replies to this topic

#1 AWDfreak

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:43 PM

Did a little research on what I should do for long-term storage of a car.

I made a rough initial checklist
* change motor oil
* buy car cover
* stabilize fuel
* remove/disconnect battery


I took the time to ask Subaru of America via email what procedures I should take when storing a Subaru for long-term storage. I got this:

We have previously checked with our Technical Services Department regarding storing a Subaru vehicle for an extended period of time. They did not have any recommendations for a fuel stabilizer.

They recommend that you change the fluids before storing the car, and when you return. Before leaving, you should spray oil in all cylinders through the spark plug holes and then replace the spark plugs upon returning. You should also take the battery out of the car and store the car on four jack stands.



I then asked: So, it is neither recommended, nor discouraged by Subaru, to use a fuel stabilizer?

As for the oil in the spark plug holes, you are referring to motor oil, correct?


I got this back:

1. We do not use a fuel stabilizer. So, we neither recommend nor do not recommend. (I sound like a policitian - no comment!) To go a step further, we do not say that a fuel stabilizer will help or harm your vehicle, only because we do not use nor have tested that product.

2. Yes, motor oil.



So, from reading all that, here's what I plan to do since I have very little money:
* change oil and oil filter
* buy car cover
* buy 4 new spark plugs
* buy 4 jack stands
* disconnect battery

What else should I do? From the previous threads I read in my search for "long-term storage", I saw that using the highest octane fuel available and adding fuel stabilizer helps. Should I do that too?

And what should I use to spray motor oil into the spark plug holes??? It's a pain just to get to the spark plugs...

#2 davebugs

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:34 AM

I believe Sta-Bil makes a product to spray into your spark plug holes that is liek a fog to coat the while cylinder and not just the bottom. Never used it, don' tknow if a Subaru has enough access to do it.

I'd definately stabalize the fuel. I do in all my antiques. And the Ethanol gas is really BAD in general and especially when a vehicle sets. Alchohol draws moisture.

Most folks seem to think the Marine Sta-Bil does better with Ethanol. It's green instead of red, I think I got a bottle at Walmart.

#3 heartless

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 07:47 AM

I would use a fogging oil for the upper cylinders - comes in a spray can and I think it should have one of the little straws to make getting it in the sparkplug hole easier - and be generous with it. put the old sparkplugs back in the holes to keep dust and moisture out while it is stored. you dont need to buy new ones until you get back and take it out of storage.

fill it up with the high octane (takes longer to break down) and add the fuel stabilizer (i personally would use a stabilizer) make sure it is thoroughly mixed in - as in when you are filling for the last time - add the required amount of stabilizer to the tank (read the directions on the product for the required amount), then fill, then drive the car to it's storage location - this will ensure that the stabilizer is completey mixed in and distributed through out the fuel system.
The reason for filling the tank is to prevent excessive condensation moisture from forming inside the tank and rusting it from the inside out.

jack stands are a good idea - takes the weight off the tires and potentially prevents wheel damage from tires going flat over time...

#4 gbhrps

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:07 PM

awdfreak,

As for the jack stands ........ place them under the suspension so that the weight of the car is on the suspension. Under no circumstances should you place them under the body/frame and let the wheels hang down with no weight on them for a long storage time. Yes, you can have the tires off the ground (I do with my antique cars, when in storage) to prevent flat spotting.

Depending on where you are storing the car, consider some rodent prevention ... moth balls, Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, a mean starving cat, etc.

#5 lmdew

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:15 PM

Put stabil in but run it as empty as you can. The new gas will seperate and water will be in the bottom.

Or

Sell the car and get another when you get back!

#6 eppoh

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 10:35 PM

How long is "long term" to you?


The biggest problem you face is the effects of bad gasoline. Fuel stabilizer is okay, but will not prevent build up of junk in your injectors and filter.

I would drain all fuel from the tank and filter. Pull the injectors out and get as much fuel out of them as you can. You could leave them immersed in stabilizer with the injector ports plugged.

If your tires hold air okay, don't worry about jacks. That was for old nylon tires. Modern tires will be okay for a year if fully inflated to max pressure.

Rodents can be a problem as someone mentioned. Keep plenty of rat poison around the vehicle, but be prepared to find a dead on in the car later.

I actually built sheet metal skirts that went around the tires on my plane. If you are up on jack stands, you could do the same.

#7 AWDfreak

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 05:42 PM

I believe Sta-Bil makes a product to spray into your spark plug holes that is liek a fog to coat the while cylinder and not just the bottom. Never used it, don' tknow if a Subaru has enough access to do it.

I'd definately stabalize the fuel. I do in all my antiques. And the Ethanol gas is really BAD in general and especially when a vehicle sets. Alchohol draws moisture.

Most folks seem to think the Marine Sta-Bil does better with Ethanol. It's green instead of red, I think I got a bottle at Walmart.

Hmmmm, might consider the Marine Sta-Bil, but still think I'll go with "regular" Sta-Bil.

I would use a fogging oil for the upper cylinders - comes in a spray can and I think it should have one of the little straws to make getting it in the sparkplug hole easier - and be generous with it. put the old sparkplugs back in the holes to keep dust and moisture out while it is stored. you dont need to buy new ones until you get back and take it out of storage.

fill it up with the high octane (takes longer to break down) and add the fuel stabilizer (i personally would use a stabilizer) make sure it is thoroughly mixed in - as in when you are filling for the last time - add the required amount of stabilizer to the tank (read the directions on the product for the required amount), then fill, then drive the car to it's storage location - this will ensure that the stabilizer is completey mixed in and distributed through out the fuel system.
The reason for filling the tank is to prevent excessive condensation moisture from forming inside the tank and rusting it from the inside out.

jack stands are a good idea - takes the weight off the tires and potentially prevents wheel damage from tires going flat over time...

I think I just might use the fogging oil. I don't have any means to spray motor oil, so it would just be more convenient to use the fogging oil.

Anyone have any experience with the fogging oil though????? I'm wondering if it will be fine with the fogging oil...

awdfreak,

As for the jack stands ........ place them under the suspension so that the weight of the car is on the suspension. Under no circumstances should you place them under the body/frame and let the wheels hang down with no weight on them for a long storage time. Yes, you can have the tires off the ground (I do with my antique cars, when in storage) to prevent flat spotting.

Depending on where you are storing the car, consider some rodent prevention ... moth balls, Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, a mean starving cat, etc.

Alright, thanks. I will put the jack stands on the suspension then.

And the pest issue just adds something else for me to be concerned about :-\

Put stabil in but run it as empty as you can. The new gas will seperate and water will be in the bottom.

Or

Sell the car and get another when you get back!

As empty as I can? Does half tank sound OK?

How long is "long term" to you?


The biggest problem you face is the effects of bad gasoline. Fuel stabilizer is okay, but will not prevent build up of junk in your injectors and filter.

I would drain all fuel from the tank and filter. Pull the injectors out and get as much fuel out of them as you can. You could leave them immersed in stabilizer with the injector ports plugged.

If your tires hold air okay, don't worry about jacks. That was for old nylon tires. Modern tires will be okay for a year if fully inflated to max pressure.

Rodents can be a problem as someone mentioned. Keep plenty of rat poison around the vehicle, but be prepared to find a dead on in the car later.

I actually built sheet metal skirts that went around the tires on my plane. If you are up on jack stands, you could do the same.


Long term as in years before it gets driven again. I'm doubtful it will be as long as a decade, but 2-5 years is what I'm expecting.

Hmmmm, interesting. A whole year, fully inflated to max? Might not drive it in a year, so that's not an option, sadly.

As for rodents and pests, can you post some pictures, and/or elaborate? I would really like to implement that.


Thanks for the initial feedback! It's a shame not too many Subaru people know about this place!

#8 goof_ball

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:06 PM

Is it not possible to have a trusted friend or family member take the car to use while you are gone? Are you going to keep the car insured? I know my carrier offers storage insurance. Good luck.

#9 987687

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:19 PM

awdfreak,

As for the jack stands ........ place them under the suspension so that the weight of the car is on the suspension. Under no circumstances should you place them under the body/frame and let the wheels hang down with no weight on them for a long storage time. Yes, you can have the tires off the ground (I do with my antique cars, when in storage) to prevent flat spotting.

Depending on where you are storing the car, consider some rodent prevention ... moth balls, Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, a mean starving cat, etc.


Why is it bad to let the suspension hang?
When a strut is stored in a box for a year on a shelf, it's essentially just hanging.

#10 AWDfreak

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:26 PM

Is it not possible to have a trusted friend or family member take the car to use while you are gone? Are you going to keep the car insured? I know my carrier offers storage insurance. Good luck.


The majority of my extended family cannot operate a manual transmission,. My brother and I are only two of a very few handful that can and are willing to drive a manual transmission. My brother already drives a Forester, and hates driving my Outback.
Sadly, that isn't an option at all because most of my family can only drive autotragics :-\

In addition, I cannot afford to fix it at the moment. I am nearly broke.

It will be registered as non-operational.


Speaking of which, just purchased some Sta-Bil and Sta-Bil Fogging Oil.
The Fogging Oil states that it should be sprayed directly into the air intake (with air filter off) while engine is running, and then sprayed into spark plug holes. Is this OK, or should I spray only in the spark plug holes???

I just need to get the jack stands on Tuesday and a car cover sometime on the weekdays...

#11 heartless

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:55 AM

re the fogging oil - if it wasnt ok it wouldnt be on the can. I personally have never used it in the air intake, but that doesnt mean you cant, or shouldnt.

I have used it to lubricate and protect upper cylinders and it does work for it's intended purpose...

on the fuel - either full or empty - half tank is very bad.

#12 The Dude

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:02 AM

re the fogging oil - if it wasnt ok it wouldnt be on the can. I personally have never used it in the air intake, but that doesnt mean you cant, or shouldnt.

I have used it to lubricate and protect upper cylinders and it does work for it's intended purpose...

On the fuel - either full or empty - half tank is very bad.


I would not spray the fogging oil through the air intake without researching the subject thoroughly!!!!

The Subaru MAF senor is notoriously sensitive to any contamination. Many MAF sensors have been destroyed just by an attempt to "clean" them

Edited by The Dude, 05 June 2011 - 09:05 AM.


#13 MilesFox

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:09 AM

administer it to the throttle body. A plastic air intake is not going to rust.

#14 AWDfreak

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 04:38 PM

Is the MAF next to the airbox where the air filter is???

Would removing that section with the MAF, and then spraying it into the remaining plastic intake more acceptable?

In this figure, spraying directly into 12 while 8 is removed, is this fine?
http://subarupartsde...s/7/7521117.gif
Posted Image

found on http://subarupartsde...playCatalogid=0

#15 johnceggleston

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 05:31 PM

yes, just after the air filter box. number 8 in the diagram.

#16 Ricearu

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 12:38 PM

remove #13 and spray into the ALUMINUM throttle body. have a friend crank it or hold the idle up. it *can* run with this disconnected, it just won't be happy. but it should be fine for just a minute or two.

sell the battery. give it away even. it won't be worth jack when you get back. I would drain all gas out. every last drop.

if this will be outdoors, I would take all the tires off, let the air down to about 10psi and store them in a shed or garage or even attic. My grandpa has a set of 13 year old trailer tires that look new with no dry rot. he keeps the tires in the barn and once every few years he HOSES them down with PB'laster. It keeps the rubber "wet" and healthy. its worked thus far. they only have about 3k miles on them lol

I personally would take the weight off the suspension. by the time you get back, your outback my sit higher because of steel memory lol

Edited by Ricearu, 07 June 2011 - 12:43 PM.


#17 johnceggleston

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:30 PM

i have read, here, that the best long term storage for tires is half pressure in a black plastic bag.

#18 987687

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 07:41 PM

i have read, here, that the best long term storage for tires is half pressure in a black plastic bag.


I've read that too. Pressure down the tires and keep them off the ground.

Still, it's unclear whether it's bad to have the suspension compressed or uncompressed. I'd think the latter... but??

#19 Meeky Moose

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 04:47 PM

Put stabil in but run it as empty as you can. The new gas will seperate and water will be in the bottom.



all metal tanks will condense (draw) moisture if they are close to empty just sitting, its better to have it full of gas.. basic physics...

the fuel stabilizer will help with the fuel not seperating and (going bad)

just my 2 cents




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