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Old 12-08-2021, 08:03 AM   #1
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First time snowbird

Getting ready to leave Pennsylvania for Gulf Shores, AL. Wondering about storage of daily driver back home in cold garage. Was thinking of airing up tires to max allowable psi, filling tank with fresh 93 octane gas, putting battery on trickle charge. Am I missing anything? Do you continue to insure vehicle during absence? Weíll be away 3 months and vehicle has no liens.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:14 AM   #2
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We are gone for 4~5 months to warmer climate and just park vehicle in garage and disconnect negative battery cable.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:24 AM   #3
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We store our car in Central NY with battery disconnected. Leave minimum coverage on it.

Check with your insurance company. Sometimes a lapse in coverage raises your rates.

You may also need to surrender your license plates, otherwise they can suspend your driver's license.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:42 AM   #4
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We are gone for 4~5 months to warmer climate and just park vehicle in garage and disconnect negative battery cable.
X2. Trickling will eventually drive off too much water and destroy battery.
Drop your insurance in PA and DMV will have you surrender your tag. Have your agent lower your reported mileage driven on the subject vehicle. This can lower your rate.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:44 AM   #5
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For only 3 months I'd just park it. Either take off the neg battery cable or trickle charge. Nothing else is needed. As for insurance, call your carrier. It depends on your coverage, you can probably suspend the liability and collision but keep the comp if it is a newer vehicle but don't take my word for it and don't forget to add back whatever you took off before you drive it.
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Old 12-08-2021, 08:51 AM   #6
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I just leave my car in the garage.
I even unplug it since it’s plug-in hybrid.
I don’t want any fires.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:19 AM   #7
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We leave our WI car in the garage for six months each year. Sometimes I fill it with gas, but not always. I plug in a "Smart" trickle charger and drop the collision and liability coverage. When I return in the spring, I unplug the charger, add back the collision and liability coverage, and check the tire pressures. A "Smart" charger will not harm your battery. It's smarter than we are. I do the same with the vehicles we leave at our AZ home from May to Oct. I add fuel stabilizer, but you won't have to for just 3 months of cold weather. Seems to work for us.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:39 AM   #8
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I just leave my car in the garage.
I even unplug it since itís plug-in hybrid.
I donít want any fires.
You are a smart charger!
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Old 12-08-2021, 10:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ignots213 View Post
Getting ready to leave Pennsylvania for Gulf Shores, AL. Wondering about storage of daily driver back home in cold garage. Was thinking of airing up tires to max allowable psi, filling tank with fresh 93 octane gas, putting battery on trickle charge. Am I missing anything? Do you continue to insure vehicle during absence? Weíll be away 3 months and vehicle has no liens.
Sounds good to me. Trickle charge of disconnecting the negative cable are up to you. Both are viable options. If trickle charging don't use a dirt cheap charger.

Some insurance companies will allow you to suspend liability and collision, leaving your comprehensive to protect the car. My daughter does this with her fair weather sports car. Parks it in the winter, calls the insurance company, and tells them it's not being driven. One winter I kept the car at my place under a light roof. Heavy snow overnight collapsed the roof into the car denting the top. Comprehensive covered it. Your insurance may vary.
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Old 12-08-2021, 11:02 AM   #10
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I leave my cars for months at a time every year at houses in NJ and FL. Fill tank and put smart trickle charger on. New trickle chargers don't start fires and don't ruin your battery.

One issue not mentioned is rodents. Set up a number of glue traps to hopefully get the rodents before they make a nest in your engine.

I have wifi thermostats in both houses. I'll get an email if the furnace craps out and the temp gets below 50. Freezing pipes is worse than a dead car battery!
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Old 12-08-2021, 02:39 PM   #11
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I would also second the suggestion to add some rodent proofing to your list of things to do, as they've been a problem for us in the past and can do considerable damage if left unchecked.

Here's a solution:
https://ucnrs.org/mice-barrier-cars/
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Old 12-08-2021, 06:16 PM   #12
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Add fuel stabilizer to the tank, and run the motor for a few minutes.
Today's fuels will start to gum up after 30 days and the stabilizer will avoid gummed carb, injectors etc.
The same goes for your lawn mower, leaf blower, grass trimer, snow blower, and anything with a gas motor etc at the end of each season.
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Old 12-08-2021, 09:39 PM   #13
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Add fuel stabilizer to the tank, and run the motor for a few minutes.
Today's fuels will start to gum up after 30 days and the stabilizer will avoid gummed carb, injectors etc.
The same goes for your lawn mower, leaf blower, grass trimer, snow blower, and anything with a gas motor etc at the end of each season.
+2 on the fuel stabilizer. Run a battery minder or disconnect the battery ground. But if you have a lot of presets and security that needs to be re-setup if the battery is disconnected, go the battery minder way.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:19 AM   #14
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No need for high octane fuel - the octane rating is irrelevant.


Any electronic charger made in the last decade isn't going to overcharge or "boil" a battery. We were half-yearly travelers until last year and always left a vehicle at home on an inexpensive maintenance charger. Maybe not strictly necessary, but it keep everything up to par.

Many states require that liability insurance be kept in effect unless you surrender the plates to the DMV, but you can reduce the liability coverage to the state minimum. Your insurance agent can advise on the liability requirements in PA. And I would want to keep the comprehensive insurance in effect in case of fire or vandalism or weather damage. That's a personal call, but usually it isn't expensive. Again, consult with the insurer about your options.


Rodent prevention is a good idea in some regions. If they do move in, they make a terrible mess that is difficult & expensive to fix. It's one of those "better safe than sorry" things...
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