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Not using BRAT for year-how to prepare

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HI all. Have not posted here for about two years. I am in Georgia and have a special 1981 BRAT that is my baby. I will be working in DC for a year and we are just taking our Forester for the year (will be taking METRO to work). What is the best way to prepare the BRAT for the year of no use?

Do I need to drain the gas or fill the tank and put in gas stabilizer?

Should I plug the exhaust?

Should I have a neighbor start it up once a month and let it idle or drive it around the block (we live on a big oval type subdivision)?

It does have pretty fresh antifreeze (changed last year).

Thanks, John


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I personally believe cars need to be driven.


I'd have a neighbor drive it around every now and then.

In my mind that would mean making sure it gets run long enough to reach operating temp.

Some good solid high rpm acceleration would not be a bad thing as part of a maintenance program.


Things like dried out seals, dead batterys, varnished fuel, carbon deposits could be avoided with a little driving...


My .02


82 SubaruHummer--driven twice a week...for it's own good.

01 Forester--sits for one week every three weeks.

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My opinion is to have the neighbor drive it a little each week.Fill the gas,use stabilizer.Have them change the oil every 3 months regardless of use.If that's too much to ask then no biggie on the oil,although it is recommended every 3mos or 3kmi.



Sitting for a year+++ is harmful to a Subaru or any boxer engine.That's been proven.But one year won't kill it if it came down to just cold storage over occasional tending.Hopefully your neighbor will understand and help the cause.


Good luck in D.C.Man,those jets flying sooooooooo close to everything freak me out,sorry,hope it doesn't bother you.The F.D.R. Memorial is hands down the best thing about D.C. to me.Words etched in stone at that site are some of the most true ever spoken by any president.See if you can get W to go take a look and smack him in the head if he doesn't get the message.

Thanks you.

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i have put two of my vega's in storrage and i have found that the best way to keep your car in the same shape as when you leave it you should drain the gas and run the carb dry, make sure you bye a solid plug/cap for the exhaust and the carb to help keep moisture off of the valves and cylinder walls. next you should support the vehical so the tires are off the ground and the suspention is at ride hight to prevent any bushing failure from drooped suspention, the lifting the car is to prevent flat spots in the tire (only on bias plys) or to help from fatige on the side wall. you should drain the oil and change the filter befor storage and after storage ( before you run the gas dry.) you should also disconnect the battery to prevent discharge. i remove the battery from my cars and put some acid nutralizer in the tray to help prevent rust, if you do this then dont reinstall battery till you get back. if you can you should store your car indoors but if you cant you should bue a quality cover designed to work with the climate and weather conditions for your area, you may have to ask around for that info. dont park it under a tree or in any grassy area. over pavement or gravel only, that is a big only or the floor pan and rockers may rust out. that is just some basic stuff that will help out, you may try some other things such as pulling the spark plugs and putting a table spoon of fresh oil in the cylinders and then reistall the plugs. i will see if i can come up with any thing else today.

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Another reason to lift the wheels off the ground (if its not being taken for regular drives by someone): Your front bearings can get marked from sitting in one position with load on them for a long time. I know this used to be a problem (especially with deep groove balls like on the front of your soob), not sure if it still is or not.


Anyway, definitely get it driven every month or so if you can ,then you dont have to worry about it.

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