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Storing the E39 for winter - technique suggestions?

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by GSMetal, Sep 24, 2010.

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    GSMetal

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    I've stored cars before but I'm I know the electronics can be sort of fussy so it's my intention to put a Battery Tender on my 2001 E39 and just lock it up and see it in 6 months.

    I won't have access in the facility it's being stored in so if someone has any advise I would like to hear it.

    Thanks!
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    dms540i

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    No access, that doesn't sound like any fun to me.
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    GSMetal

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    Well you're right but the car is in good company with other really nice cars and at least it won't see any of that nasty white stuff (salt and snow)
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    MGarrison

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    It will be stored in a rodent-proof facility?
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    Scott

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    Marshall makes a good point. Mice are amazing at finding ways to get into your car, especially through fresh air vents that may remain open. Happened to me years ago with a 2002 that I thought I had sealed rather well. Not well enough. :(

    You should also treat your gasoline with Sta-bil. If you live in a cold climate, double check your anti-freeze just in case your storage building loses power.

    In the old days, we used to run some Mystery Oil through the engine to give the metal a good coating. It would put out a smoke screen that James Bond would envy. I have no idea if that's a smart thing to do these days, what with advances in metallurgy and lubrication and stuff. :confused:
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    GSMetal

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    Unless you store your car up on a shelf I don't know if you can ever guarantee a rodent free facility.

    The guy I'm storing with hasn't had any problems with critters (so he says). For his RV & camper clients he insists that they clean out all food from the campers before he lets them.

    I'm more concerned about the battery & electronics getting wonky even with a battery tender.
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    granthr

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    This is what I do when I store my cars.

    Full tank of gas with fuel stabilizer
    Fresh Oil Change
    Make sure you get the car good and hot immediately before storage. (No moisture in the exhaust, so go for one more spirited drive.)
    Put moth balls in the engine compartment and truck, I make little foil plates so they are not touching the car. This will keep rodents out!!! They hate the stuff. Then put an opened box of bounce dryer sheets (the kind that smells) in the car. This will also help keep rodents out, but doesn't smell as bad as moth balls to us.
    The battery tender is great, but you can just disconnect the battery with no worries. I have done this for 8 years now for my M3 and still have the same battery with no problems. But if you can do battery tender, not a bad idea.
    Inflate tires to at least 44psi or tires max this will help prevent/reduce flat spots. Just don't forget to reduce when you drive it again!

    Kick back and feel good that your car won't see a lick of salt or gravel this winter!!!!!! :D
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    echanda

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    What About the Brakes

    I've read a number of threads regarding car storage, including this one, and no one has ever mentioned the brakes. Does the lack of use while in storage cause the rotors rust? Do they need to be re-greased to ensure they survive the ordeal?
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    MGarrison

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    The rotors probably won't rust much if stored indoors. Either way, I wouldn't worry about it too much, some mileage should get the rust off pretty quickly, and since brakes need the friction between the pad and rotor to work, I suggest definitely not greasing your rotors. There is little more panic inducing in a vehicle than not being able to stop or slow down.
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    echanda

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    Clearly being able to stop is the highest priority. Grease may not have been the best term. I understand that replacement rotors come from the factory with a coating that prevents rusting while they sit in storage waiting to be used. Brake cleaner is then applied to prepare them before being installed.

    I fully expected to hear that BMW rotors are made of some priceless alloy that turns to cheddar cheese if not used regularly, requiring expensive replacement after a long winter in storage. I am glad that it isn't such a big deal.
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    MGarrison

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    If you did find the rotors to be very rusty, (again, most likely if outside for an extended length of time or perhaps in a high-humidity environment), I'd say just be cautious and allow plenty of stopping distance in initial driving. If the rotors don't self-clean (as it were) within a day of driving, or there's some rust build-up not coming off, then maybe you have to resort to popping off a wheel to try and do something about it. I think it is recommended to wipe off new out-of-the-box rotors w/ brake-parts cleaner.

    You have a new M3? very nice, congrats & enjoy!
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    granthr

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    Don't worry about the rotors unless this car is sitting out in the rain. If it is inside, rust will be a non issue.

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