How should I prepare my car for months of non-use?

How should I prepare my car for months of non-use?


John Paul, AAA Northeast’s Car Health care provider, answers a question from a reader organizing to be away for 5 months.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Q. I will be in Florida following winter for five months.  What are your tips for a car that will sit for that lengthy? It is a quite nicely preserved 2006 Toyota Camry with 46,000 miles.  

A. In this article is what I did with a motor vehicle that sat for 6 months. I transformed the oil and filter and lubed the door locks, hinges, and just about anything at all else that moves. I loaded the gasoline tank and additional gasoline stabilizer, and aired up the tires to the highest amount of money on the tire (the only time you ought to do this). I also obtained 4 pieces of foam construction insulation, about an inch thick, and place it below just about every tire (allows reduce flat spots). I set in a dampness absorber on an aluminum pie plate to acquire any dampness and prevent mildew. I hooked up the battery to a battery tender. I also cleaned and waxed the car and covered the car or truck with a auto include. When I returned the car appeared superior and ran properly.  

Q. I’m referencing your remedy in your column with regards to the 2014 Honda transmission problem. My Chevy Colorado has the exact challenge. I went to my local male about shifting the transmission fluid as you suggested. He said on situation it is experienced a unfavorable outcome. Are you aware of this likelihood?

A. In older autos, switching the transmission fluid on a vehicle that had a ton of varnish buildup could often trigger challenges. And generally, the proprietor suspected a dilemma with the transmission and was hoping a fluid adjust would help. So, it is assumed that the fluid adjust triggered the challenge. If this was my truck and it experienced a transmission “chuggle,” I would modify the fluid and include a friction modifier these as Lubeguard or Lucas Transmission Take care of and hope for the finest. 

Q. I have a 2020 BMW X3. My dilemma is should I rotate the tires? I cannot feel to get an remedy, professional or con. 

A. BMW just states to examine the tires every 10,000 miles and never ever mentions a tire rotation. So, in this distinct situation, I would say centered on the factory routine maintenance, tire rotation is not necessary.

Q. I’m changing my Lexus RX 300 which has been a superior auto. I am considering about a Mercedes, and the product I am looking at is the GLE 450. What do you believe of this auto? 

A. Like all Mercedes cars, it feels reliable the two on the road and even when you near the doors. The technology is spectacular with just about just about every superior driver support system obtainable. There ended up a pair of critiques. Some insignificant capabilities are complicated to find and use. It took a pair of minutes to locate and alter the lumbar assist. Also, the infotainment technique can be a minor overwhelming to operate. The seats, the moment adjusted, were being really cozy, and the overall experience and dealing with had been incredibly superior for an SUV. I was also delighted to see this car has a spare tire.    

Q. Concerning your the latest prognosis of the purple brake warning light. I experienced the actual very same warning lights with my 2009 Cadillac CTS. By the warning code the dealer diagnosed the problem as a worn wheel bearing which was replaced and the difficulty was solved. Now I question if the mechanic ran up the bill replacing the brakes or improperly diagnosing the trouble?

A. A worn bearing will generally convert on an Stomach muscles gentle not the purple brake warning mild. The Red brake warning mild will arrive on with the parking brake or a hydraulic problem associated to the braking technique.  

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Auto Physician. He has more than 40 many years of knowledge in the automotive company and is an ASE-licensed grasp technician. E-mail your automobile dilemma to [email protected] Listen to Car Medical doctor on the radio at 10 a.m. every single Saturday on 104.9 FM or on line at