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Old 12-31-2020, 05:15 PM   #1
RMcG
 
Drives: 2008 Yaris Hatchback
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How long can I let my Yaris sit before risking damage?

I have a 2008 Yaris hatchback that I currently drive pretty regularly. But I own another car (a Hyundai Elantra) that is driven primarily by a relative. Because of the pandemic, the relative is not here to drive the Elantra and it has been sitting for months, although every 4-6 weeks I go out and start it up to charge the battery and let it idle for a half hour. And to prevent flat spots on the tires, I pull it out of its parking space and go back and forth over about 30 feet before re-parking it.

Because of the pandemic, the relative who drives the Elantra will not be here for another 6 months. So I have concluded that it would be good for the Elantra's maintenance to reactivate the liability insurance and actually drive the Elantra for a while. So I want to deactivate my Yaris's liabilty insurance (to save money) for a while, drive the Elantra, and do the same "maintenance" drill with the Yaris as I have done with the Elantra. That is, go out and start my Yaris up, recharge the battery, let it idle for 30 minutes or so, and pull it out of its parking space and move it back and forth to prevent tire flat spots, maybe every 2 weeks or so. My Yaris is my primary vehicle, so I want to be sure I do not take too much risk of damaging it.

QUESTION(S):How long can I do this with the Yaris, before I risk damage to the Yaris? One month, 1.5 months, 2 months? Is synthetic oil better and less likely to degrade with less driving & use? Does anybody have any other tips or suggestions?

Thank you,

R.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:27 PM   #2
ex-x-fire
 
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The only thing I'd worry about is the gas, I'd fill it with non ethanol gas. Get a battery tender and let it sit for 6-10 months.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:20 PM   #3
nortonfb
 
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If you can, put it on jack stands, DO not use the hand brake.
Brake rotors will rust if not being used.
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Old 12-31-2020, 09:52 PM   #4
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I store my 2zr-swapped turbo Yaris for about 6 months every year. The advice you have received is excellent, and is part of what I do. I put fresh gas in and add a fuel stabilizer. I try to change the oil and filter before storage, unless it was very recently done. My car gets an ATF drain and fill every year as it's turboed. I keep the car on a battery tender as well as try to start it and let it run for 20 - 30 minutes once a week. I also drive the car back and forth in the driveway to keep brakes (calipers and wheel cylinders) free and lubricated and, as you mentioned, combat flat spots on the tires. I like to bounce the suspension a bit too to keep the struts and shocks (in my case, coilovers) moving. I just drive slowly over a couple 2 x 4s I chuck on the driveway. Since my car is stored in an unheated garage, I don't get rusty rotors, but I always do rustproof the car before putting it away for winter. I run my A/C for part of the 20 - 30 minutes run time. I sometimes sit in the car for 10 - 15 minutes and tap the throttle; bringing the revs up and down. I do tend to go overboard, but I have a lot of time and money invested in my baby, so it does get a lot of TLC.
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:36 PM   #5
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The best way to store cars is to drive them. I drive my pick up truck 10 miles a week on Wednesday. If you can’t do that I agree with the others to put stabilizer in the gas tank and put a trickle charger on the battery.

Oil does not wear out synthetic or regular. It Hass to be changed because of contaminants no because of its molecular structure. My 2020 corolla is post to use synthetic oil and has a 10,000 mile oil change interval according to the manufacturer.

That’s pretty crazy in my opinion
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Old 01-01-2021, 03:33 PM   #6
06YarisRS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
The best way to store cars is to drive them. I drive my pick up truck 10 miles a week on Wednesday. If you can’t do that I agree with the others to put stabilizer in the gas tank and put a trickle charger on the battery.

Oil does not wear out synthetic or regular. It Hass to be changed because of contaminants no because of its molecular structure. My 2020 corolla is post to use synthetic oil and has a 10,000 mile oil change interval according to the manufacturer.

That’s pretty crazy in my opinion
Good advice. I agree, driving them is the best. It is not an option for me, other than back and forth in the driveway. The whole purpose of taking it off the road in winter is to keep road salt off the car.

The additive package - which provides a variety of protections - in the oil can wear out, or more appropriately, become depleted, and oil molecule chains can shear and result in viscosity loss. TBN, or Total Base Number, is a measure of remaining additives in the oil, though it can't be determined without doing an oil analysis. The oil in my car did not get changed this year before storage, as it was changed a few hundred kilometers ago. It's very clear and light honey-colored.

Yeah, even though modern oils are capable of extended drain intervals, I still stick to 8000 - 10000 km changes and this is a change for me as I used to go 5000 - 6000 between changes. It's hard for me not to change it more regularly as I have many jugs and bulk supplies of filters for all my cars.
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Old 01-01-2021, 05:09 PM   #7
06YarisRS
 
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All this talk inspired me to go out and do any oil change on my 2007 Red RS. I hadn't changed the oil since I recently got it and it's not registered and on the road. It was definitely due for a change. It was pretty dark. I used one of my EcoGard filters and SuperTech 5W30 Full Syn. Purrs like a kitten. Gear oil is next.
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Old 01-01-2021, 07:03 PM   #8
bronsin
 
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Supertek 5W 30 full synthetic!

Nectar of the gods!

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Old 01-02-2021, 03:17 AM   #9
RMcG
 
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Thanks to everybody, this is really good advice.

I am wondering about a procedure of parking my Yaris, for say 1.5 months, but starting it and letting it idle for say 20-30 minutes (so it gets up to operating temperature) every week or two and driving 30 feet back and forth in front of the parking space. Maybe bouncing the suspension some up and down on the car just by pushing down on the hood & rear of the Yaris. I won't be able to drive the Yaris without active liability insurance.

Then reactivating the liability insurance and driving the Yaris normally for 1.5 months after it has been in storage and leaving the Elantra in storage for 1.5 months. Repeating the cycle over and over every 1.5 months. I would use gas stabilizer with a fresh tank of gas, probably Sta-Bil.

How does that sound?

Bronsin, so you think Supertek Synthetic 5W 30 is more stable or suitable for storage?

Thanks again,

R.

Last edited by RMcG; 01-02-2021 at 03:22 AM. Reason: for clarity
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Old 01-02-2021, 11:05 AM   #10
bronsin
 
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If you can’t drive the car, then I think your plan sounds good.

As long as the oil is changed, I don’t think it really makes what difference the oil is.

But I like Supertek because it’s cheap and just as good as the more expensive stuff
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:50 AM   #11
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Pretty sure I read that you should not store cars on jack stands as the suspension components are supposed to be under load and will not take being without load very well. Also, you're not going to flat spot your tires in that short amount of time. I used to let my FR-S sit for long periods of time. Never had and flat spots.
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:37 AM   #12
ex-x-fire
 
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The lighter the car the less chance of flat spotting. Like I said, all you have to worry about is the gas and the battery.
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Old 01-03-2021, 04:13 PM   #13
06YarisRS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaotic Lazagna View Post
Pretty sure I read that you should not store cars on jack stands as the suspension components are supposed to be under load and will not take being without load very well. Also, you're not going to flat spot your tires in that short amount of time. I used to let my FR-S sit for long periods of time. Never had and flat spots.
I agree. I've seen how the inner lower control arm bushing looks with the wheels hanging. Stretched pretty badly. Not pretty. I normally try to work on my car with the wheels on blocks; car supported by the suspension.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:48 PM   #14
RMcG
 
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Thanks to everybody for their responses. Just one more question. I drove the Elantra the other day about 35 miles and it seemed to do fine, even though the gas is about 1 year old. The only thing I have had to do is jump the battery now and then. And I have let it idle for 1/2 hour every 6-8 weeks and have driven it out of its parking space and backed it back in every 6-8 weeks; as described above.

I went out on the Interstate and got the Elantra up to high speed and its operating temperature was in the normal range for a long time. The Elantra's oil was changed about 1 year ago with synthetic oil. But it has hardly been driven in the past year other than a few miles after the oil was changed, the idling and the 35 miles recently.

Should I change the Elantra's oil now though?

Any other comments will be welcomed.

Thanks,

R.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:06 PM   #15
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No I would not change the oil.

But year-old gas Makes me nervous!

I would be doing whatever it takes to burn the gas up and put fresh gas in.
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Old 01-04-2021, 07:43 PM   #16
RMcG
 
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Originally Posted by bronsin View Post
No I would not change the oil.

But year-old gas Makes me nervous!

I would be doing whatever it takes to burn the gas up and put fresh gas in.
Thanks Bronsin,

Yes, that is what I want to do with the gas ASAP and then ad Sta-Bil to a new tank of gas. I was not sure about the oil, that's why I asked.

R.
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Old 01-06-2021, 02:22 PM   #17
Mister
 
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No one uses tyre saver blocks? Or is that seen a a gimmick?
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