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Old 07-31-2010, 09:34 AM   #1
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Parking her for the next 3 years...

So I'm about to transfer to Japan with the military, and I am sadly not bringing my focus with me. She is going to stay behind state side so I have a car to drive when the wife and I come home on leave (about once a year).

So I am open to any advice on what I should do to keep her in the best shape for when I come back. I do have family that will be able to start her up and drive her around at least once a month. Of course I am going to do the obvious thing and purchase a car cover for her (no garage).

I will not be selling my car, because well...I love my car


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Old 07-31-2010, 10:33 AM   #2
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No garage? Oh Boy. Death to SVT.

I'd go to some store and build a a shed around the car. That and have some start it weekly. Also, before you leave, put a nice good coat of wax on it.

That or wrap the whole thing in a ziploc!
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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I would look into a storage bay. Sitting outside with no wax, washing, etc for years is going to trash the car.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:50 AM   #4
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Yeah, definitely rent a self storage unit. A lot of them are even climate controlled these days. Just make sure the payments are made, they're allowed to auction off whatever's inside if its not paid.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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If you don't get storage park it on a plastic tarp. Make sure the water can run AWAY from the car. Fill the tank and put stabilizer in it. Disconnect the battery. Plug up the intake and the exhaust so mice and squirrels don't wreck shit. Moth balls help with the mice. Just put them around the engine bay and some under the car. Dryer sheets are also good. You can wrap them around tight spaces the mice like to live.

Good luck in Japan.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:56 AM   #6
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i agree on the storage unit.

you can store a car for a long time if you prepare it correctly

while the car is running, pull the fuel pump fuse and allow all the fuel to run out the lines. i too agree on the full tank with stabilizer.

also, they make bubbles for cars. it prevents moisture from getting to the car.

make sure you wax the outside and really condition the inside.

if you make the correct precautions, the car should be just the way you left it.

Also, placing the car on jackstands isnt a bad idea either.

hopefully others will chime in with some other useful ideas

good luck
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
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Before purchasing a cover, or "ziplocking" it. You need to do a little work. What is your areas average humidity level and most important, your average dew point. As an example, covering the air conditioner in winter is not a smart idea in Saint Louis as water will get trapped under the cover. A climate controlled self storage unit is best but may not be in the budget, So I would go with OceanGrown suggestion of a shed, plastic seal the interior (overlapped black plastic sheet and contact cement) and make about 4 small doors (also sealed) around the perimeter and use those desiccant 'buckets' (reusable, you poor the water out of them once a month. also affordable). Basically your making a dark, dry environment. Fill the tank and stabilize the gas, put it on jacks. When you get home you will have a dusty car in need of new gas and some basic maintenance, but no rust. What I cannot recall exactly is a suggestion that you run briefly a heavy weight oil (30w?) through the engine right before you park it for good. Oil will not go bad like gas, but you want to insure you have oil present when your ready to start (basically you don't want to have a dry start). Make sure you store your wheels horizontally to prevent flat spots. Although I don't know what product could be used to prevent dry rot, so you might have to get new tires when you return. Last thought. Before you put anything on the interior, make sure it is PH balanced to your interior. The safest chemicals are from the dealer as they test them of course. But as you will not be fighting U/V rays, this may be less of a concern. I would assume it would cost ~$500 to build the shed if it has a floor, More to purchase. It you don't go with a floor then spread plastic on the ground and staple/glue to the perimeter frame. But, then you have to stake the shed (important). The stakes you use are the same as they use for mobile homes and the best method is to run straps from the stakes over the shed. That should be able to withstand anything other than a direct tornado.
Add: REALLY important. Depending on your neighborhood/easments etc. you may need to get permission to build a 'permanent' shed on your property. You want to check that 1st so your family does not get a take down summons 6 months after you deploy.
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Old 07-31-2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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you need to get ALL the fuel out of your tank before you pull the fuel pump fuse
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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Have a new set of tires and wheels handy for when you come back. The ones that are on there will have flat spots.

Car cover + lots of mothballs!! LOTS!! Critters- including ants- love sitting cars. Mice are not the only critters who damage vehicles that are sitting. I've seen honey bees build nests in the trunks of cars left sitting. It's less likely that you'll have those problems if it's covered. You should always expect something else to be in there.
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:17 PM   #10
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sell? and buy a new focus/fiesta/whatever when you return? 3 years is quite a while.
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