Proper vehicle storage. We might need to consider... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Some of the info that came to light this weekend in the TB2K forum dealt with probable oil problems as result of Y2K. Needless to say, we all should be prepared to not be doing much driving over the first six to eighteen months of the new century.

But not driving means more than just parking your vehicle and walking away. If you ever want to use that car or truck again (and let's say you decide to move as soon as fuel can be had), you need to do some advance work to make sure that the vehicle will be usable when you need to use it.

You're going to need some hardware to perform your storage work. First, You'll need a good floor jack and a set of four jackstands (or large wooden or concrete blocks).

The worst thing for a vehicle is to sit on it's tires for an extended period. Jack your vehicle off the ground and place it up on blocks or jackstands. Position the blocks under the frame and not under the suspension. Keeping the weight off the suspension while a vehicle is stored prevents the shocks, springs and tires from going bad.

Next you'll need to drain the fuel tank. Then add an mix of one or two gallons of fuel mixed with a quart of motor oil per gallon of fuel. Start the vehicle and let it run until it's apparant motor oil is being burned with the fuel, then shut off the engine. This will prevent the fuel system from rusting as the fuel evaporates.

After letting the engine cool down, completely cover the air intake with a large plastic bag. Use rubber bands or plastic ties and place a smaller plastic bag over the exhaust tail-pipe. Remove the battery and you've performed a low-budget vehicle storage job.

If your vehicle is stored outside you may want to use some sort of cover to protect the paint, but it isn't required.


-- Wildweasel (, November 01, 1999


Thanks for the tip, WW. Would it work as well, to run the engine until the fuel is spent, rather than some other way of draining fuel?

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), November 01, 1999.

A word of caution...IF you use concrete blocks to rest your car on make sure the holes point up and down and also put a piece of wood on top of the block. Concrete blocks have a lot of compressive strength with the holes up and down but very little when laid on their sides. NEVER get under the car when on blocks...only when on jackstands.

-- Ace (, November 01, 1999.

WW, I have to disagree about you comments about placing the jackstands or blocks under the frame instead of the suspension. By letting the suspension hang you are exposing the shock absorber piston to moisture that they are normally not exposed to, causing the piston to rust. Also, the suspension bushings are placed in an abnoral position, causing them to distort and will later causing thumps and squeaks. I suggest putting the jackstands/blocks under the axle and suspension. As for draining the gas tank and adding oil, I think that is a bit extreme. The other option is to FILL the tank with fresh gasoline to prevent condensation from forming which will in turn cause rust in the tank. The gas on modern cars will not evaporate due to the closed fuel systems. To keep the valves and cylinders in the engine from rusting, the tried and true method is to remove the spark plugs and squirt oil into the cylinders. Disconnect the coil wire and crank the engine to distribute the oil. Also, make sure the interior of the car is clean, ie. Big Mac wrappers, etc. This is an invitation for mice and other critters that will make their new home in your car. Vacuuming the rug is also a good idea if you eat in you car.

Ace- I your warning about cinder blocks is good advice. Always place them holes up when supporting heavy loads such as an automobile or truck.

-- Lurker (, November 02, 1999.

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