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Unpacking The Princess

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by Elkoholic, Jun 16, 2011.

    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    Hey guys, it's been a while!

    The last school year kept me super busy, and I ended up packing the 'vert away in a storage facility since it wasn't being used for commuting purposes (just bought another vehicle for that!).

    So here's the scoop. I entrusted my parents with the task of exercising my car every week or so while I was gone. But my mom can't drive stick and my dad has a bum left ankle (go figure), so it wasn't even started. I came home for winter break to a dead battery, and in recharging it several times, killed the alternator. Figured that out when it died in the middle of an intersection. Towed it to Jack's Auto & Aero (for those of you who are familiar with the area and our resident Bimmer genius), and he fixed it up, no problem. At his recommendation, I disconnected the battery upon packing the car away at the end of December, and covered it up in the facility to survive the winter.

    Now, six months later, I guess my greatest fear is rolling up the garage door to find a big heap of car that has rotted away to nothing. Yes, I know I'm being dramatic, but is there anything to be wary of? I just bought a heavy duty portable jump starter/battery charger, but as for the unseen items, should I do anything like siphon the gas out and replace it with a fresh batch? Replace the oil? Get new ignition wires (haha)? :confused:

    Has anyone ever dealt with a similar situation? I'm open to any advice, as usual!
    • Member

    tiFreak

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    I'd disconnect the battery and leave it on a battery tender, maybe keep it in your basement or at least somewhere a little warmer than a storage unit. Change the oil before you put it away and have a full tank of gas with marine formula Sta-bil. Inflate your tires to their maximum PSI to keep them from flat-spotting. From your picture it looks like you store it with the top down, I'd recommend putting it up but not actually latching it so it doesn't flatten the weatherstripping. I'd put a few mousetraps in and around it too since mice like to find dark, enclosed spaces during winter.
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    Hah, yeah, that picture is misleading, I have the top up and a cover over the car. And, luckily, the storage facility is on top of pest control. But you recommended fuel stabilizer, eh? This tank (full, at least last time I checked) has no stabilizer and hasn't been driven in six months. Should I pump it out and put a fresh batch in, just to be safe?
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    MGarrison

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    I'd check the battery and make sure it ain't dead - if it is, get it charged up. I wouldn't worry about the gas or oil, I seriously doubt 6 months is long enough to be a problem - give the car a good look over and make sure you don't have a flammable mouse nest buried someplace or any evidence of mice, or damage from mice. Perhaps leave the ignition in 'run' for a bit in case of a wire short from a mouse chawin' on a wire. If all looks ok and you have some charge on the battery, hook up your charger/starter, fire it up, and get driving. You'll run out the old gas quick enough and change the oil whenever you next normally would. If you put it away for the winter next time, yes - some fuel stabilizer can't hurt. Doublecheck your tire pressures, make sure they're back up after the winter, and if they're a little flat spotted, that should resolve itself shortly after some driving. I suppose make sure the fluid levels are up before you fire it up - oil, coolant, brake fluid, and power steering fluid. If there is any problematic leak, it should be self evident on the floor of where you had the car stored.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    X2. I wouldn't worry in the least about 6-month-old fuel. If you want to do something proactive to make yourself feel better about it, put half a can of Seafoam in the tank.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    And if you want to make yourself feel even better, treat yourself to some aromatherapy with some Seafoam deodorant and shaving cream. I bet you wouldn't have to look to far to find a Seafoam-scented candle too! :D
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    Haha, WONDERFUL advice, you guys, but I'm more of a fan of Bath & Body Works "Twilight Woods" for Men...ahem...okay...

    But seriously, thanks for the tips. I opened up the garage and peeled back the car cover to find a very well-kept bimmer. The battery is hooked up to the trickle charger for the night, and all the fluids are in good shape--the oil on the dipstick is even still golden. Can't wait to start it up tomorrow. I appreciate all the wisdom!
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Sometimes, you're just lucky to be out of range of my backhand ...

    [IMG]
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    jas67

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    Well, hello from Central PA! Jack Miller is a very good independent to deal with! I just wish I lived a little closer.

    I'm in Palmyra, where are you located?


    Jay

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