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Old 10-09-2003, 12:25 PM
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Question FSS questions and winterizing for storage

My husband is a little skeptical about the intervals of the FSS and we were wondering what everyone else does, but it looks as though people do whatever they think is best - in most cases it looks as though a more frequent schedule is followed. My car is a 2002 and is still under warranty.
We plan to put it away for the winter and think we should do that with fresh oil. He has winterized vehicles before and has added fuel stabilizer to the full gas tank. Has anyone else winterized? We live in Southern Ontario and it will be parked inside for the season. I also need to pick up a car cover - any ideas where to find one that fits well?
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:38 PM
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Since it's virtually new, all I would do is change the oil before storage and add a fuel stabilizer. Some people fill the tank, others leave it a 1/3 or 3/4. On vintage cars, you typically want to top it off due to moisture in the gas tank.

Some people also "over-inflate" their tires to say 60 lbs. In all the years of storing cars over the winter, I've always kept them at 35 lbs psi and never had a flat spot.

In regards to a car cover, when indoors I keep mine uncovered with a window cracked open. I don't mind the minimal dust and it cleans up easily enough in the spring.

Car covers can range for $50-$300+. I'm not current on the latest, so try doing a search or hopefully someone else will chime in with product information.
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Old 10-09-2003, 12:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Years back I had a Camaro hot-rod that saw only summer usage. I learned my lesson with car covers after having to repaint. They won't keep dirt off the car, and the cover can move, scratching the paint. The next years I just let the car get dirty and then carefully washed it come spring. The paint was as perfect as in the fall when the car went "away."

Change the oil just before putting it away, and change it again in the spring. I also used a battery-tender to keep the battery in good shape. If possible, elevate the car off it's suspension to keep from "flat-spotting" bushings, etc.

As to the FSS, I use it. I change the oil/filter every time the FSS counts down 5000km's. No way would I let the oil sit in there for 15K plus. Then, I do the A and B services when the FSS gets to zero, and I alternate A and B. I do all my own maintenance work, and you can too on the SLK. The only jobs I farm out are changing the coolant and tranny fluid. The coolant change is easy, but my local dealer only charges $40 to do it. The tranny fluid on the 722.6 five speed automatic is a tougher job, and since it needs doing only once every 100K-km's, I have them do that too.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 10-09-2003, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,055
I've been storing cars including my 190 for six to twelve months for over ten years.

The clock does NOT run on fresh oil in the crankcase, and I consider fresh oil a must. The clock DOES run on brake fluid and antifreeze, so these fluids should not expire prior to the end of storage. I have never used a fuel stabilizer, but fill the fuel tank to prevent condesation. The colder the storage temperature, the less chance of fuel degradation. Chemical oxidation rates increase/decrease exponentially with temperature. I live in Southern CA and the mild to warm temperatures have not caused degradation of the fuel for up to a year. None of my cars have ever had any fuel system problems.

Increase tire air pressure to 36-40 psi, but do not exceed the placarded maximum cold air pressure on the tire sidewall. For most high speed rated tires, it is 44 psi.

Remove the battery, store it in above freezing temps if at all possible, and charge it once a month.

I always wash the car and dust/vacuum the interior prior to storage and use a breathable car cover.

The most important storage prep task is to protect the car from rodents. I can't tell you how many people have told me they don't have mice and lived to regret that statement. I place a traps inside each tire and poison bars in the engine compartment, interior, and trunk.

When you're ready to drive it again, install a freshly charged battery, remove the traps/bait, do a general vehicle inspection including checking for leaks and fluid levels, set tire pressure at your normal settings, and crank it up. Modern fuel injected cars start right up as if they've only been sitting for a couple of days rather than several months.

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