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Old 12-01-2019, 09:02 PM   #1
Overboost
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Let's talk about winter storage

Ok gang, as the thread title suggests, let's hear some tip and tricks from the members from the north that put their whips away for the winter. How do you store them, and how you prepare for the hibernation.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:27 PM   #2
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I wanted to post something snarky like “What is Winter?” or the like but thought that’s just rude. So, I’ll just leave a small neener.
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Old 12-02-2019, 12:34 AM   #3
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I wanted to post something snarky like “What is Winter?” or the like but thought that’s just rude. So, I’ll just leave a small neener.
It's appropriate.

We're having rain, but right now my BMW is parked outside for "winter storage". No choice right now because I have three old projects parked in my covered spaces. Hopefully I'll get the one that isn't mine done in about a week and get it back to the owner, IF the snow melts at his place...
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:14 AM   #4
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Fill fuel tank full. Add correct amount of gas stabilizer. Run engine for several minutes or drive home from gas station. Park it. Max out tire air pressure. Attached battery maintainer to under-hood terminals. Stuff rags in air box intake. Stuff rags in tail pipe openings. Moth ball in cabin. Peppermint bag under the hood.
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:46 AM   #5
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Fill fuel tank full. Add correct amount of gas stabilizer. Run engine for several minutes or drive home from gas station. Park it. Max out tire air pressure. Attached battery maintainer to under-hood terminals. Stuff rags in air box intake. Stuff rags in tail pipe openings. Moth ball in cabin. Peppermint bag under the hood.
Great tips and suggestions Efthreeoh. Do you ever experience any tire flatspotting or is the max pressure adequate?
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Old 12-02-2019, 05:59 AM   #6
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Inflating to the max pressure should prevent flat spots. Just remember to deflate the tires in the spring.

You might also consider removing the battery and keeping it in a warmer place. The smart charger (and not a trickle charger) will still be necessary.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:45 AM   #7
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Fill the tires as needed, if its not going to move all winter put it up on stands to avoid tire issues and cover it, if its outside.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:05 AM   #8
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what's the consensus , start it and let it run for 30 minutes every couple weeks or leave it sit all winter?

i start it, i leave tire press same, i never have flat spot problems ........i forgot to fill tank this year tho, oh well , maybe still have time in between storms

i don't use stab with full tank

never heard of stuffing tailpipe , they will make a nest in the head? lol, never seen this

starting every couple weeks wards this off i bet

def trickle
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:08 AM   #9
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I drive my E46 all year on all seasons and have an e92 m3 on summers. On the e92 I fill up the tires and take the battery out and trickle charge it in the house once it gets consistently below about 45 degrees F. I don’t bother with fuel stabilizer. I do nothing else.


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Old 12-02-2019, 07:17 AM   #10
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Fill the tires as needed, if its not going to move all winter put it up on stands to avoid tire issues and cover it, if its outside.
The problem with this is that all the suspension bushings are being stored at a full droop angle. I'm not sure all the bushings and joints would like being held in that unnatural angle for months. I believe the car should be stored at ride height.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:22 AM   #11
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no, do not cover it , covers ruin paint , don't wipe the snow off either
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:46 AM   #12
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Fill fuel tank full. Add correct amount of gas stabilizer. Run engine for several minutes or drive home from gas station. Park it. Max out tire air pressure. Attached battery maintainer to under-hood terminals. Stuff rags in air box intake. Stuff rags in tail pipe openings. Moth ball in cabin. Peppermint bag under the hood.
Similar setup for my M3 since it sits from November til late March early April. Fill up the gas tank (90 nonE), CTek battery tender on battery in vehicle, start it every 4-6 weeks for 20 minutes.

I read somewhere on here about taking most of the load off the tires to avoid flat spots by sitting the vehicle high enough on wood cribbing such that the tires don't hang freely but also not dont handle the full weight of the vehicle. I did this last winter and didnt notice any adverse effects.

I dont bother with the exhaust pipes, air intake, or any kind of mothballs. No signs of rodents in the attached garage where it is parked.

The other e46 is the DD and sits outside year round.

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Old 12-02-2019, 12:11 PM   #13
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I don't really have a winter here that demands winter storage but I do drive my X5 as a daily driver and the E46 can sit for months sometimes. It has always been garaged since new and my garage is not heated but is part of the house so the coldest I have ever seen inside the garage has been in the 40's when outside ambient temps are in the teens.

I have been getting some flatspotting recently and I guess it is just 5 year old tires finally giving up. I have been thinking about some Race Ramps Flatstopper car storage ramps to park on that supposedly cradle the tire reducing the deformation but they are pricey at $200-$300 for a set of 4.



I also found Race Ramps make a 12" wheel crib that cradles the tire and gives some nice ground clearance during storage if you wanted to move around underneath it while in storage to clean or maintain any components.



Finally I found a cheap set of these tire cradles made of hard plastic on Amazon for around $50-$60 for a set of 4. Most reviews show them sliding as you try to drive up on them but the shape is much like the Race Ramps cradles.

Anyway, Camping World has them on Black Friday/Cyber Monday for just over $7/set of 2 so I got 2 sets for about $15. I am going to spray them with a polycarbonate bedliner material and see if they meet my expectations.

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Old 12-02-2019, 01:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Overboost View Post
I don't really have a winter here that demands winter storage but I do drive my X5 as a daily driver and the E46 can sit for months sometimes. It has always been garaged since new and my garage is not heated but is part of the house so the coldest I have ever seen inside the garage has been in the 40's when outside ambient temps are in the teens.

I have been getting some flatspotting recently and I guess it is just 5 year old tires finally giving up. I have been thinking about some Race Ramps Flatstopper car storage ramps to park on that supposedly cradle the tire reducing the deformation but they are pricey at $200-$300 for a set of 4.



I also found Race Ramps make a 12" wheel crib that cradles the tire and gives some nice ground clearance during storage if you wanted to move around underneath it while in storage to clean or maintain any components.



Finally I found a cheap set of these tire cradles made of hard plastic on Amazon for around $50-$60 for a set of 4. Most reviews show them sliding as you try to drive up on them but the shape is much like the Race Ramps cradles.

Anyway, Camping World has them on Black Friday/Cyber Monday for just over $7/set of 2 so I got 2 sets for about $15. I am going to spray them with a polycarbonate bedliner material and see if they meet my expectations.

+1 - everything Efthreeoh suggested

Last winter I used something similar to the yellow ones you've shown. They worked out, but it did take several attempts to get up on them because as pointed out they tend to want to slide.

This year I'm trying these wheel dollies I found at Harbor Freight. https://www.harborfreight.com/2-piec...ies-67338.html. Has a similar wheel shape as the yellow ones but allows me to move the car around fairly easily (does take some effort....).

I never start my car while it's in storage and have never had an issue in the spring when I put the battery back in. Unless you are going to fully warm up the car (20+ minutes) you can do more damage than good
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:18 PM   #15
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Change the oil, potentially the trans/diff fluid if nearing the end of life), tank of gas, put battery on a Battery Tender and leave it in the garage. I would do more but only if the car was going to spend an extended time down - like 6+ months but for 3 months - nothing else really needs to be done.

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Old 12-02-2019, 05:04 PM   #16
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what's the consensus , start it and let it run for 30 minutes every couple weeks or leave it sit all winter?
No need for this if you use a fuel stabilizer. Cold starts followed by 30 minutes of idling isn't exactly ideal for the engine.

If your fuel is treated and the battery tended, there really isn't any point to starting the car during the storage period, IMO.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:11 PM   #17
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My E46 is covered sitting in my carport for the winter where it remains fairly dry and weather tight. I topped up tire pressures, disconnected the battery and filled the fuel tank. I charged the battery to full. My car can stay like this for up to two or three months but I prefer to take the car for a drive any time the weather permits which is usually every 4 to 6 weeks at most. I have had issues with mice in the fall when the weather gets cold so I always check closely for signs of mice and put traps when needed. I have left my car like this for the last several winters and the car starts right up and drives fine.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:16 PM   #18
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A huge shout out to all who have commented on this post. My geographical circumstance doesn't force the need to prepare my cars for winter or storage so I am getting an education from all these posts. Thank you.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:12 PM   #19
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As I look out the window at 10" of snow last night (and still snowing), I agree, you are in a different world

All your Zone 8 plants would be dead at my house by now
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:10 AM   #20
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Some very good suggestions here about full tank, fuel stabilizer & running the car to get the mix through, rags in various places (IF YOU REMEMBER TO REMOVE?) and the flat spot helpers.

I'm located a little further north and see many cars after winter hibernation. One thing that can happen is a noisy pinion shaft bearing in the differential.
The differential is only filled about 1/2 way up with gear oil. The pinion shaft bearings rely on movement (driving the car) so that when the car drives forward the ring gear holds onto some of the oil and slings it forward over the pinion shaft and bathing the bearings in oil. Also the exposed part of the ring gear and the spiders & shafts that are up out of the oil get a bath with oil.

As I say to many, C'Mon, there are days in Jan & Feb you can drive the car for 15 minutes. Do so! It's good for everything.

I'd also suggest a fresh oil change prior to parking it.

If you need a reminder about the various rags (should you do so?) I'd suggest going to an aircraft supply store (Such as aircraft spruce) and buy a few of those "Remove Before Flight" streamers. Place them in the spots where the rags are located (hanging on hood & trunk lid) to remind you to remove them.
Sucking a rag into the intake and past an intake valve is not good.
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